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Author Topic: How can I achieve these science/art crossover photos?  (Read 3004 times)

Averp

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I am working on an art photograph book for publication. Inspired by Richard Dawkins' unweaving the rainbow, I want to combine science and art.

Basically each page or so will have a photograph of a model with some sort of science related thing, with an explanation below. Like this:

*image of man illuminated by a spectrum*

*insert simple explanation of how spectrums work*

 Any and all ideas along this nature would be wonderful! I will take any and all ideas! Discuss freely!

I also have a few ideas, but am at a loss of where I can find the materials:

Water globe - basically I was thinking the refractoin may be a similar look as a gravity well.

A  Prism: Probably can buy anywhere online. But how do you, or can you, adjust the spread of the colors? So you can have the entire rainbow being a rough specific width?

Wave-machine: We had one of these in high school: basically you took your old school high school overhead projector, put a dish of water on it, and put this thing in it and it would make waves. You can adjust the speed. Then you put various blocks in front of the waves to make different patterns and see how they interact.

Double slot experiment: We can probably make do with a strong light and a peice of card, or does it have to be a specific light? My friend is a professional photographer so has access to some lights.

Eclipses: We want to simulate an eclipse, to get a picture of that cool effect (like this: http://media.komonews.com/images/120521_eclipse_shadow_lg.jpg). Is there a simple way to do this? Perhaps with a circular light and an occultation disk with a screen in front of it to break it up into the multiple shadows?

Thank you so very very much. We want to get this published by next January.


Mod edit:  I've formatted the subject as a heading.  Please do this in future to help keep the forum tiday and easy to navigate.  Thanks!
« Last Edit: 26/01/2013 15:57:14 by BenV »

CliffordK

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Re: Needing help with ideas for book project
« Reply #1 on: 25/01/2013 00:57:02 »
Have you read some of the stickied threads here?

A-Z Of Anything Or Anyone Associated With SCIENCE !!
http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=45507.0
Technology in technicolour
We want your space/astronomy pictures!
The truth is out there, in pictures.
A Chemicals Point Of View !
Pictures of Wildlife...the Birds and the Bees etc etc
PICTURES OF PLANTS

I'm not suggesting that you copy the work that Neilep, and others, have done.  But, perhaps you would find inspiration in the photo collections.

As far as your globe, perhaps you could find a round bottom flask without writing from Chemistry, or I've seen some round glass vases.  Just crop the top from the photo.

Your link to the eclipse is broken.  Did you cut and paste this message from elsewhere (frowned upon here).  I presume you need the atmosphere to create a full eclipse.  So, you can't just block out the sun.  You can get cool solar photos at dusk, especially if there is a bit of smoke out.

I think a small prism will give you a good rainbow in either sunlight, or with a good incandescent bulb.  Sometimes white paper is helpful.

Averp

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Re: Needing help with ideas for book project
« Reply #2 on: 25/01/2013 01:14:04 »
I am slowly working through them. I just love hearing ideas from people too though!

And I copied the post from NOTEPAD, which is where I write all my posts to try and spell check before I post them.  That doesnt count does it?

As for the eclipse, it is the shadows I want to recreate, not the image itself of an eclipsed sun with the flares and everything showing!   Lets try that link again: http://media.komonews.com/images/120521_eclipse_shadow_lg.jpg Does that work?  I want to simulate that effect and I was thinking of a round lamp with an occultation disk, with something like  a screen with holes in it in between ala pinhole camera.


Also, how do you control the width of the rainbow a prism makes though? We need something fullsize - not just a peice of paper sized but say, a few feet across at least.  Remember I am illuminating a person with this!  Is it the angle the prism is cut at, the angle the light shines through it?

Thank you so much for the help!

CliffordK

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Re: Needing help with ideas for book project
« Reply #3 on: 25/01/2013 04:34:00 »
I think the prism is an effect created by light traveling through two non parallel faces of glass or plastic.  I.E.  light can travel at different angles through a window with two parallel faces, and  not be separated by wavelength.   The closer the faces are to parallel, the narrower the bands.  The more deviation from parallel, the wider the bands.  Distance is your friend, and you can make the color separation greater with greater distance.

If you put the prism in a box with the light source, you could force essentially all light through the prism. 

RD

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Re: Needing help with ideas for book project
« Reply #4 on: 25/01/2013 06:27:54 »
Double slot experiment: We can probably make do with a strong light and a peice of card, or does it have to be a specific light?

For the double-slit experiment the light must be monochromatic , a cheap laser pointer will suffice if the room is dark ...

http://www.sciencephoto.com/media/92697/view
[ the above image is probably a double-exposure/photoshopped to show both the laser diffraction pattern and the apparatus in the same image as the exposure levels required for each are wildly different : a fraction of a second exposure for the apparatus, several seconds for the laser pattern. If the laser beam hasn't been 'shopped-in, particles must have been introduced into the air, (like an aerosol from a spray-can), to show the beam so clearly ]


If you put the prism in a box with the light source, you could force essentially all light through the prism.

A 35mm silde of a spectrum projected on to the model may just* be feasible, but really just use a photoshop-type program, if your image is going to be on a book it's going to end up in such a program anyway    ...




[ * the exposure would be a large fraction of a second, the model will have to keep very still, and be very white ]
« Last Edit: 25/01/2013 06:59:28 by RD »

RD

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Re: Needing help with ideas for book project
« Reply #5 on: 25/01/2013 08:28:28 »
Water globe - basically I was thinking the refractoin may be a similar look as a gravity well.

Digitally warping the image is much easier ...



Wave-machine: We had one of these in high school: basically you took your old school high school overhead projector, put a dish of water on it ...

Here's an ingenious flask photo (with hint of ripple-tank) ... http://www.anniehalliday.com/bwconicalflasks.html
« Last Edit: 25/01/2013 08:57:10 by RD »

CliffordK

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Re: Needing help with ideas for book project
« Reply #6 on: 25/01/2013 08:54:25 »
I'm not sure about your Multi exposure eclipse photo

Can one even make multi-exposure or time lapse photos in the digital age?

Anyway, the sun should have illuminated everything uniformly on the sun side, thus no small circular shadow.

However, if one took a mirror, one should be able to illuminate a "sun" spot onto the shaded side of a building.  Although, I'm not sure if you would get a reflection the shape of the mirror.  I'll have to practice tomorrow if we have sunshine.  Perhaps a parabolic mirror or magnifying glass would help. 

You might get a reasonably good pseudo eclipse using a round mirror, with the center obscured (taped over), and a thin reflective rim around the outside.

If you choose to illuminate people with a mirror, be careful with the eyes.  Perhaps instruct the person being photographed to keep their eyes closed.

You may be able to do the same with a directional spotlight that has a reasonably tight beam.  The advantage would be to make your pseudo solar reflections in the dark which would be advantageous for multi-exposures, or time lapse photography.
« Last Edit: 25/01/2013 09:04:51 by CliffordK »

RD

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Re: Needing help with ideas for book project
« Reply #7 on: 25/01/2013 09:18:15 »
... be careful with the eyes.

That point cannot be emphasised too much : never look directly at the sun , or via optical apparatus, (mirrors lenses).
 If you do you can, and probably will, damage your eyesight permanently.

Averp

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Re: Needing help with ideas for book project
« Reply #8 on: 25/01/2013 13:54:45 »
Uh, the eclipse photo isnt a multi exposure... I'm not sure where you got that idea. O.o   That image is what happens when an eclipse is looked at through multiple 'pinholes' such as tree leaves. You can see the images are projected onto the sides of a house in that specific picture.
Here's more, including some people doing it with their hands:

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8152/7247996352_028be649b4_z.jpg
http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8163/7253084528_816cf5e0f9_z.jpg
http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7215/7241270232_f294593cdc_z.jpg

 I've seen the same affect done with a cooking spoon with little holes in it.   With the spoon in the same shot so you can see. Basically the light streaming through acts like a pinhole camera of the eclipse when you are in the path of the eclipse. It works. I just need to simulate an artificial sun with a moon obscuring it.  You may have to do a time exposure to get enough light into the camera but I dont see how its 'multi exposure' like you say...

Water globe/Digital Warping: I was hoping to produce it 'naturally' as I can before resorting to computer cgi, but if i exhaust all options I will do that.

Ripple Tank: That's what I'm looking for! ... now to find a cheaper one. Really I just need the motor/paddle part as I can get the rest separately.  Do you think a university or school may be willing to lend us one?

Double Slot: Noted. Monochromatic. I'm sure I have enough nerd friends to find lasers.  Small slots I am assuming?  Again we're looking at a 'large' spread though we could just move it further back.

Prism in a box: I dont understand. you mean confine it in a box with an entry/exit like it were in a camera?  And I love those kind of rainbows too. If I could produce one of THOSE babies on a budget... do a few different chemicals maybe.  As for photoshop... well, see above. I want to try and do this as 'natural' as possible. I dont need a big spectrum like that though. Just  a simple band of colors will do fine. 

Thank you so far for your feedback! I am remembering much now and this will definitely help!

RD

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Re: Needing help with ideas for book project
« Reply #9 on: 26/01/2013 08:55:31 »
Double Slot: Noted. Monochromatic. I'm sure I have enough nerd friends to find lasers.  Small slots I am assuming?  Again we're looking at a 'large' spread though we could just move it further back.

  As for photoshop... well, see above. I want to try and do this as 'natural' as possible. I dont need a big spectrum like that though. Just  a simple band of colors will do fine. 

Those parts of the model not illuminated with the diffraction-pattern or spectrum will be in darkness, if you add a light to illuminate the model it will wash-out the diffraction-pattern / spectrum. Even if the laser/spectrum is the only light source, the exposure-time required to photograph it is likely to too long for the model to keep still (tens of seconds) and the image will be blurred by their movement   

I had a look at the leading Science photo library and images which include a some sort of spectrum and a human are photoshopped, (and naff),  ...

http://www.sciencephoto.com/media/2648/view

http://www.sciencephoto.com/media/308335/view

If someone had previously achieved this feat you'd have some reason for optimism.

Re: "further back". Light intensity falls off according to the inverse square law : doubling the distance quarters the light intensity (and quadruples the camera exposure time).

PS: here's examples of the side-projector concept I suggested in my first post ...


https://6mastersdegreesofseperation.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/art-of-projection/

As the model's windblown hair is frozen, not blurred by a long exposure, their slide-projector must either be exceptionally bright or have a flash-tube incorporated into it. 
« Last Edit: 27/01/2013 06:02:50 by RD »

CliffordK

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Re: Needing help with ideas for book project
« Reply #10 on: 26/01/2013 09:31:12 »
I imagine you could make a wave machine easy enough.  You'd just need a small motor with a variable speed eccentric shaft.  Do you have any extra parts from an old toy train set?  You might even be able run the wave generator by hand.

Back in High School, we had a strobe light that was used with the wave machine (variable frequency).  Although, perhaps the classroom demo was showing movement, rather than a static wave.  A fast shutter speed on your camera might work similar to what we had with the strobe (for a single snapshot).

techmind

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Re: How can I achieve these science/art crossover photos?
« Reply #11 on: 26/01/2013 23:45:32 »
Photographing a /real/ spectrum rarely ever works well. With film the results were hideous, and with digital you'll still struggle to get the colours to ever look "right".
Historically, spectrum images were often painted in (and still looked wrong).

The fundamental problem is that ordinary films and cameras don't see colours quite the same way as the eye, and while you get away with something that looks okay for "normal" images, a monochromatic spectrum is very challenging.

Even if you could capture it properly with a $40000 video photometer camera, you'd still struggle because it'll push the gamut limits of your display or printing processes.

You will likely have to "fake" a spectrum in some way... but please try and base it on a non-faked image, so you don't make some silly error like having the colours go the wrong way or at plainly the wrong angle!

Averp

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Re: How can I achieve these science/art crossover photos?
« Reply #12 on: 27/01/2013 18:02:14 »
Techmind: Noted. Thanks for the warning! This kind of stuff is good to know for sure when we get to the photography process.

CliffordK: That's what we're thinking of.  We're looking about in our techy friends.

RD: I know the model wont be fully illuminate. That will be part of the picture :)  I think it will be a cool effect.

Thanks everyone for the ideas and critiques so far. You do still give me much to think about when we go into this.


RD

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Re: How can I achieve these science/art crossover photos?
« Reply #13 on: 27/01/2013 18:45:24 »
RD: I know the model wont be fully illuminate. That will be part of the picture :)  I think it will be a cool effect.

There is an optical phenomenon called "Newtons rings" ... http://www.sciencephoto.com/media/92605/enlarge

It could look similar to this ...

http://weheartit.com/entry/14484554?group=A&imgres=

but with concentric circles of varying thickness instead of equally spaced stripes.

However IMO the only way you are going to have a chance successfully photographing these type of patterns on a person is to photograph the optical effect on slide film, (if they still make it), then project the slide onto the model.

The multi-coloured interference pattern of oil on water ...  http://www.sciencephoto.com/media/3014/enlarge  may be worth a try, (again photographed on slide film and projected onto a naked fit-bird), [ very '60s  :) ].
« Last Edit: 27/01/2013 18:56:08 by RD »

Averp

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Re: How can I achieve these science/art crossover photos?
« Reply #14 on: 28/01/2013 01:13:24 »
Oh , I like those ideas. I'll write them down and pitch them to the photographer. He's got a few good ideas.  I like the Newtons' Rings idea as well.  We'll see what we can do. He has fancy equipment. If anything we can probably find something else.  He can also do double-exposures too with his camera and all sorts of tricks.

Thanks!

RD

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Re: How can I achieve these science/art crossover photos?
« Reply #15 on: 28/01/2013 11:11:56 »
Fractals ? ( they're scientific ), those below were created in the free image editor "GIMP".
[ It is possible to have a 35mm slide made from a computer image (jpg gif png etc) ]
« Last Edit: 28/01/2013 11:21:44 by RD »

 

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