photomesography

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iconoclastica
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photomesography

Post by iconoclastica »

Photography devided by subject size and required equipment comes in three categories:
  1. life size, reduced while imaging, with ordinary off the shelf camera equipment
  2. small subjects, little reduction or enlargement, with macro gear
  3. tiny subjects, much enlarged, using compound microscopes
But I only know two words to address them: microphotography and macrophotography. Morphologically they suggest to be related in a single typology, however, microphotography refers to subject size and macrophotography to the enlargement factor ('makro' = big). What is the name of the other category then (1) ? Does a beter typology exist?

If the terms were not as wellknown as they are nowadays, gladly I would exchange them for macro-, meso-, and micro-photography, like common practice in many other classifications. Now I feel often ill at ease with especially the term 'ordinary photography'.

Wim°
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rjlittlefield
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Re: photomesography

Post by rjlittlefield »

iconoclastica wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 4:35 am
however, microphotography refers to subject size and macrophotography to the enlargement factor ('makro' = big).
Mmm, not quite. W. H. Walmsley, the fellow who coined the term "photo-macrograph", was clear about its origin:
Photo-macrography. Worcester defined Macroscopic or Macroscopical as "noting an object which, although comparatively minute, is visible to the naked eye or to the eye assisted by a pocket lens," -- usually an inch or more in focus and magnifying less than ten diameters. A delineation or picture of an object thus enlarged would be a macrograph, and if produced by the aid of photography, why should it not be termed a photo-macrograph? At all events I have chosen to coin that word and to define it as a slightly enlarged picture or delineation of a macroscopical object produced by means of a lens and sensitized photographic plate.
So, not exactly the enlargement factor but the size of the subject: "macro" as in bigger than "micro". The commonly used definition that "true macro" means 1:1 or larger seems definitely a mid-20th century invention with its roots in 35 mm film, for which 1:1 or larger corresponds well with Walmsley's definition. The recent popularity of small sensor cameras seems to have been driving the definition back toward the size of the subject, which IMHO is a good change because subject size is what drives all the tough issues of diffraction and DOF.

See viewtopic.php?p=9658#p9658 and viewtopic.php?p=212170#p212170 for more info.

But to your main question, sorry, I don't know a better term for photographing bigger stuff, say the size of a desk or bigger. For the bouquet of flowers sitting on the desk, "closeup photography" seems to be accepted.

--Rik

iconoclastica
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Re: photomesography

Post by iconoclastica »

picture of an object thus enlarged would be a macrograph
I do read this as enlargement [factor], the small object represented by a big drawing. Following this reasoning through would cause me to call an image of a tree or a mountain a micrograph: a picture of an object thas was reduced. And one of a diatom a macrissimograph (sorry, I don't know how to form proper superlatives in Greek words...).

I had never realized that the name photomacrography is thus etymologically much more correct than macrophotography.
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rjlittlefield
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Re: photomesography

Post by rjlittlefield »

iconoclastica wrote:
Fri Aug 14, 2020 12:42 pm
would cause me to call an image of a tree or a mountain a micrograph
For what it's worth, the term "microphotograph" has a long history of being actively distinguished from a "photomicrograph". The former is a very small photograph, intended to be viewed through a microscope; the latter is a photograph of a very small thing that was viewed through a microscope.

But with exquisite lack of symmetry, the analogous distinction for "macrophotograph" versus "photomacrograph" was never made and defended hard enough to make it stick. Most current dictionaries define the two terms as being synonyms. See the OED page images at http://www.photomacrography.net/forum/v ... 4943#p4943 .

So, the terminology makes little "sense"; it just is what it is. If you want to be sure that you're communicating properly, you'll have to use a lot more words to describe what you mean.

--Rk

Beatsy
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Re: photomesography

Post by Beatsy »

I just call the whole lot "photo macro micro" in terms of activity and consider all of it simply "photography" when capturing images.

The terms, photo, macro and micro are too vague for any useful delineation these days (IMO). The overlap of magnification ranges and equipment used in each genre has effectively blended them together when you try to segregate by either of those measures.

I think the better differentiator (if one is even needed) is how the subject or specimen is prepared, handled and (sometimes) supported/mounted.

iconoclastica
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Re: photomesography

Post by iconoclastica »

Beatsy wrote:
Sun Aug 23, 2020 4:41 am
The terms, photo, macro and micro are too vague for any useful delineation these days (IMO). The overlap of magnification ranges and equipment used in each genre has effectively blended them together when you try to segregate by either of those measures.

I think the better differentiator (if one is even needed) is how the subject or specimen is prepared, handled and (sometimes) supported/mounted.
I agree to that. I am struggling though with the missing term when explaining how I approach the photography of plants.
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rjlittlefield
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Re: photomesography

Post by rjlittlefield »

iconoclastica wrote:
Sun Aug 23, 2020 5:36 am
I am struggling though with the missing term when explaining how I approach the photography of plants.
OK, now I'm curious. Using lots of words, can you explain how you do approach the photography of plants?

--Rik

iconoclastica
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Re: photomesography

Post by iconoclastica »

rjlittlefield wrote:
Sun Aug 23, 2020 7:44 am
OK, now I'm curious. Using lots of words, can you explain how you do approach the photography of plants?
I do everything in the studio against a white backdrop. Here, I distinguish three very different set-ups:
- tiny details (e.g. sporse (c. 50µm), for which I prefer to use the compound microscope;
- just details up to smaller plants, which is (with my equipment) roughly 1:10 (10x) to 5:1 (0.2x), where I use macro lenses, bellows, microscope objectives, all the well known stuff here;
- whole (bigger) plants, ususally against of between glass panes, where normal studio photography rules apply.

All this is not hard to explain, but from here the conversation usually continues and then I lack a quick term for non-micro non-macro photography.

Ah, and this is an example of what I do:

Isoëtes lacustris.jpg
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Beatsy
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Re: photomesography

Post by Beatsy »

I can't see any missing term. If it's not macro or micro (in scale or by approach) then it's simply "photography". And even if you did find a word, (say "close-up" for example), then the next question will always be "what's that then?". As Rik said, you'll need more words...

rjlittlefield
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Re: photomesography

Post by rjlittlefield »

Nice work! Classic design, really well done, but using new technology.
from here the conversation usually continues and then I lack a quick term for non-micro non-macro photography
Well, there is always "close-up", a term that appears in some of the forum titles on this site. That would probably be my personal choice, because it's well known and seems appropriate to what you're doing.

Otherwise, it sounds like you're stuck with inventing a term, or finding a currently obscure one, and explicitly defining it on first use so that for sure the person you're conversing with will know what it means.

Walmsley's introduction of "Photo-macrography" is an example of the general approach.

FWIW...

I personally would have no trouble with incorporating "meso", and then the question becomes exactly how to do that.

One obvious choice is "photomesography" as you suggest. That has a nice parallel construction with "photomicrography" and "photomacrography".

Another obvious choice is "meso photography", as two words. For me, at this moment, this has the advantage of seeming just novel and not pretentious. It is also consistent with "micro photography" and "macro photography", which I think no one would seriously object to using in connection with very small and moderately small subjects. However, at this moment I also have the feeling that next week or next month, after the novelty wears off, I might come to prefer "photomesography" for its precision and lack of ambiguity.

I recommend against "mesophotography" as one word, since as noted above "microphotography" as one word is clearly distinguished by official sources as referring to small photographs, not small subjects.

--Rik

Pau
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Re: photomesography

Post by Pau »

I don't see the need of meso: even the well established terms photomacrography and photomicrography are source of some misunderstandings, confusions and discussions, and they often need definitions and in some cases they overlap (we often do macro with microscope objectives and setups that actually are custom microscopes, for example).
And magnification is also a classic problem (on sensor, eyepieces, screen/print -and what size of them-...)

I highly prefer the clarity and convenience of scale bars
Pau

iconoclastica
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Re: photomesography

Post by iconoclastica »

One obvious choice is "photomesography" as you suggest.
Only that I intended mesography as a provocation :lol: (mikro = small, makro=big, like in combination with 'economy'; so the world we commonly designamte as macro would be left with meso = middle...)

But I guess you're right. I hope that in the past hundred-plus years someone would have coined a clever terminology, only waiting to be revived.
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Scarodactyl
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Re: photomesography

Post by Scarodactyl »

While we're at it, why don't we just take "microphotography"? They might have been first to the table on name conventions, but we're past the point where it has any pressing use in espionage and it's not exactly a wide-spanning hobby. They'd barely miss it. All we'd have to do is stop correcting people when they assume it's the right word.

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