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Ian Rodgers (ian)
Lesser Egret
Username: ian

Post Number: 21
Registered: 04-2003
Posted From: cache1-glfd.server.ntli.net
Posted on Saturday, April 10, 2004 - 12:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear All,

I have just finished reading the excellent book 'Yuan & Ming Blue & White Ware from Jiangxi'. Towards the end of the book there are some excellent examples of the type of photograph which shows the decoration all the way round the outside of a vase as a single photograph, as though the vase had been opened up and stretched flat.

Two questions:

1) How is this done by a professional photographer?
2) Has anyone had any success in doing this with a typical amateur camera setup? I'm sure that achieving even lighting must be a pre-requisite, but can anyone give any other tips?

Regards,

Ian
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Kevin Hawco (kevinhawco)
Golden Pheasant
Username: kevinhawco

Post Number: 174
Registered: 04-2003
Posted From: client-254-p-2-lns.winn.dial.virgin.net
Posted on Saturday, April 10, 2004 - 03:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear Ian,

I'm not a photographer so I'm not certain, but i think this type of shot is done with a specialised type of camera and with the vase on a slowly rotating turntable. I remember hearing a description some time ago of the arrangement, which sounded pretty complicated. Something about a vertical slit in front of the lens and the film must have been moved sideways at the same time at a speed to match the turntable, I think. Sorry I can't help more.

Regards
Kevin
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Kevin Hawco (kevinhawco)
Golden Pheasant
Username: kevinhawco

Post Number: 175
Registered: 04-2003
Posted From: client-254-p-2-lns.winn.dial.virgin.net
Posted on Saturday, April 10, 2004 - 03:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Just as I clicked the Post button I remembered where I had seen it. One of the appendices in the back of Jessica Harrison-Halls book Ming Ceramics, is on photography and briefly mentions the technique. If you don't have the book let me know and I'll post the description - it's not very long.

Kevin
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Claes Zangenberg (claes)
Silver Pheasant
Username: claes

Post Number: 44
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: ti231210a080-1226.bb.online.no
Posted on Saturday, April 10, 2004 - 11:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You can, I guess, actually achieve the exact same effect by using a scanner. But you would have to roll the piece at the exact same pace as the scanner head, so it’s not a practical method.

Cheers,
C.
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David Stevens (dstevens3713)
Peacock
Username: dstevens3713

Post Number: 95
Registered: 07-2003
Posted From: 140.232.203.50
Posted on Monday, April 12, 2004 - 08:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi,
The software provided with my ordinary Canon digital camera included that for "stiching" images together. One takes a series of photos, each overlapping the other a little bit. The software then finds the overlaps and "stitches" the images together. I have not used it for going all the way around an object but have stitched photos of 180 degrees of arc of landscape together with good results. I do not have currently the details with me. Ask me for more information if you'd like and I'll provide it.
David
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Claes Zangenberg (claes)
Silver Pheasant
Username: claes

Post Number: 49
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: ti231210a080-2038.bb.online.no
Posted on Monday, April 12, 2004 - 09:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi! Most cameras do come with a similar program. But the point I believe, is to achieve a flat image of the decoration, and this cannot be done in that matter since the further from the centre of each picture, the more rounded the vase will be and the more incorrect the perspective of the photo. At the very best you could manage a sort of a wave pattern.

The only way to get a flattened image is to take a small trip, say 5 mm or less, in the middle - where the perspective is not off. A scanner can do this, but for obvious reasons, rolling imperial porcelain along your scanner surface, may not be ideal. You can technically also do this by stitching images together, but you would need at least 40-50 photos and then only use the middle of each.
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Kevin Hawco (kevinhawco)
Golden Pheasant
Username: kevinhawco

Post Number: 177
Registered: 04-2003
Posted From: client-1283-p-2-lns.glfd.dial.virgin.net
Posted on Monday, April 12, 2004 - 11:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi

I think the 'stitching together' option that David has suggested would be worth a try. It would probably be most successful if there is not too great a difference in diameter going from top to bottom. If the piece has, for example, a wide body and a narrow neck then you would indeed have to have very narrow slices as Claes has said.

Kevin
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David Stevens (dstevens3713)
Peacock
Username: dstevens3713

Post Number: 96
Registered: 07-2003
Posted From: cpe-66-189-11-245.ma.charter.com
Posted on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 02:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi,
I was unable to stitch together multiple photos of a vase in some quick experimentation last night. I think the verticle profiles produced by the sides of the vase are the problem. I will keep playing around with the method, but do not drop everything to acquire photo-stitching software yet.
David
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Tommy Eklöf (toekl2002)
Golden Pheasant
Username: toekl2002

Post Number: 190
Registered: 04-2003
Posted From: as3-1-3.sre.ks.bonet.se
Posted on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 03:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello all
I have tried to stitch a jar. Not so bad but you probably need a better camera (IXUS V3).
Regards Tommy
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Claes Zangenberg (claes)
Silver Pheasant
Username: claes

Post Number: 53
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: ti231210a080-0505.bb.online.no
Posted on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 06:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Just to prove it could be done, here is a flat scan of a round tea caddy. J-E size limits for photos prevent any larger version. Looks nice, took about 5 seconds, but can only be done with cylindrical objects, and may cause serious damage to porcelain and scanner.

Still, there you have it. I believe it can also be done with a black piece of paper or cardboard with a 5 - 10 mm opening, placed in front of the photographed object. Take 20 – 40 pictures, rotating the object every time – and use photo editing software to put it all together. Should remove most of the wave pattern I talked about above.

Cheers,
Claes.

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Tommy Eklöf (toekl2002)
Golden Pheasant
Username: toekl2002

Post Number: 191
Registered: 04-2003
Posted From: as3-1-3.sre.ks.bonet.se
Posted on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 06:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Well done Claes. Much better than my attempt.
This will really give a new dimension to our collecting :-)
Tommy
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Claes Zangenberg (claes)
Silver Pheasant
Username: claes

Post Number: 54
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: ti231210a080-0505.bb.online.no
Posted on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 06:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes, I will mainly collect cylindrical objects from now on. Much easier to scan! Or perhaps flat plates and tiles.

Cheerio,
Claes.
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Ian Rodgers (ian)
Lesser Egret
Username: ian

Post Number: 23
Registered: 04-2003
Posted From: cache1-glfd.server.ntli.net
Posted on Tuesday, April 13, 2004 - 11:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear All,

I'd like to add my congratulations to Claes for originality, and demonstrating how a bit of 'lateral thinking' can produce surprisingly good results.

I have also tried the 'snap and stitch' method but I have found two problems with this: illumination and perspective. The illumination problems arises becasue it it very difficult to ensure a completely uniform illumination over an area of a curved surface: even the smallest variation will throw the edges of the stitched images into sharp relief. Claes has already talked about some of the issues caused by the distortion in the image when taking a series of photos from close to an object - the edges of the strips do not match. The only ways I can think of reducing this are a) to take the photographs from as great a distance as is practical and b) to try something like Claes' suggestion to take only very narrow strips. I'm not sure I am patient enough to try stitching together 40 or 50 images, however.

Is there software available that can automate this - i.e. take say 40 images, extract the same narrow strip from the centre of each and join these together? (Jan-Erik can say of this is wandering too far off topic to continue.)

To my eyes these 'unrolled' images give an entirely fresh way of looking at the decoration on an object. The fact that they sometimes make stunning 'flat' paintings is a tribute to the skill of the original painters of scenes on complicated round shapes.

Regards,

Ian
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Jan-Erik Nilsson (admin)
Dragon (Board Admin)
Username: admin

Post Number: 912
Registered: 04-2003
Posted From: h96n2fls32o284.telia.com
Posted on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - 01:27 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Eh? I am highly amused and so are most probably everyone else following this experiment. There is another point to this too, and that is that many decorations in many cases probably were drawn on flat papers to begin with. I know many Kangxi decorations were. This way of analysing decoration are definitely giving (back) a new dimension to our way of looking at porcelain. I would love joining you guys in rolling porcelain over the scanner myself, if I got a few moments to spare.

Jan-Erik
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Claes Zangenberg (claes)
Silver Pheasant
Username: claes

Post Number: 55
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: ti231210a080-0255.bb.online.no
Posted on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - 01:40 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

If you used a piece of cardboard with a narrow opening, all the pictures of the object should be the same width in pixels. If you put all pictures – each as one layer - in a single image in Jasc PSP, or similar image editing software, I guess it should be fairly easy to offset each layer with the same amount of pixels, and then simply set the threshold so the black areas became transparent. [1]

A thought is nagging me, though. I seem to recall from somewhere a few years ago, that I came across a video editing program that could unroll digital film to a long strip. If that could be obtained, you could possibly just place the piece behind the cardboard again and slowly rotate it while filming. [2]

I look forward to seeing the result when J-E starts rolling his items on a scanner too. But in the case of disaster, I would like to point out that this is an art primarily to be practiced by trained professionals only, and if something breaks I shall be the first to say “I told you so”. If his attempt is successful, however, I shall definitely strive to take most of the credit for the idea. Perhaps it can even be made into a commercial idea.

Cheers,
Claes.

[1] I am absolutely convinced it will not work out like that in praxis, though.
[2] Maybe.
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Claes Zangenberg (claes)
Silver Pheasant
Username: claes

Post Number: 56
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: ti231210a080-0255.bb.online.no
Posted on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - 02:07 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Ok, I feel like one of those Tories in the monty python skits that goes on and on until foam starts coming out of their mouth. Anyway, I just realized that with a digital video camera, all you have to do is to take the centre column of pixels and then offset it by a pixel every frame. This should be something that even a moderately skilled programmer can make, and hence there must be such programs on the market. If not, than the film could be split into separate images (many free programs can do this) and then even I should be able to make a program in f ex php that capture the middle pixel column of each and put them together in a new image. If I have time, probably in 2009 or 2010, I shall look into it.
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Timothy Roberts (porcelain202)
Golden Pheasant
Username: porcelain202

Post Number: 197
Registered: 04-2003
Posted From: 216-39-176-43.ip.theriver.com
Posted on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - 02:10 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Dear List,
There is a related art of photography called panoramic photography which can take pictures of wide angles, up to 360 degrees in theory, although many such camera take only 180 degrees of field. I am sure you have all seen such photographs of Paris, taken as early as the 19th century.

I am not aware of any commercially available panoramic cameras of this type, but there are very expensive military cameras made to take aerial photographs from horizon to horizon.

These cameras generally use fixed film, with a moving lens and slit. Making a camera with moving film, as required here, might be a much more difficult proposition.

I am therefore volunteering someone else to make such a camera.
Tim
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Kevin Hawco (kevinhawco)
Golden Pheasant
Username: kevinhawco

Post Number: 178
Registered: 04-2003
Posted From: client-529-p-2-lns.winn.dial.virgin.net
Posted on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - 02:28 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Tommy and Claes, I'm very impressed with both your efforts!

Claes, I assume that the conventional photo of your tea caddy was taken before the experiment. Is it still in one piece? Of course, perhaps you had a pile of pillows on the floor to catch it as it rolled off the end of the scanner!

Kevin
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Claes Zangenberg (claes)
Silver Pheasant
Username: claes

Post Number: 57
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: ti231210a080-0255.bb.online.no
Posted on Wednesday, April 14, 2004 - 02:40 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I thought all precautions had been taken, but as you can see on the scan above, the tea caddy decided to make a sharp left at the end of the scanner and continue along the floor, ramming my wife's beloved bichon frise on the snout. No, don't worry. It was a controlled experiment, conducted by trained professionals. No live animals were harmed during the scanning.
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jessie kelly (linnet9)
Mandarin Duck
Username: linnet9

Post Number: 1
Registered: 01-2005
Posted From: glfd-cache-3.server.ntli.net
Posted on Tuesday, January 11, 2005 - 11:17 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only) Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Having made quite a few visits to the main site since I decided (2004)it was never too late to learn about oriental ceramics, I have just joined the forum.
I do not foresee ever being much more than an attentive bystander but I can say that fish-eye lenses allow the 180degree photos Timothy Robert mentioned
I bought a Nikon 990 (now old hat) 3 years ago and found some excellent websites (MIT for instance) where the use was explained. At the time the cost was prohibitive but 2nd hand lenses appear now at electronic auction.
One thing I have noted here is the voting system and wonder how much it is used.
I have been visiting forums for quite a few years now and so am familiar with group dynamics :-)
I shall enjoy looking and listening (so to speak)I must say I have been very impressed here, this far .

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