ITAP inside a Steinway Grand Piano

Image from and submitted by CharlesBrooks
image showing ITAP inside a Steinway Grand Piano

CharlesBrooks on November 23rd, 2022 at 01:10 UTC »

This is the Action (the moving bits behind the keys) of a Steinway Spirio R Grand Piano.I've posted similar shots before, but you guys wanted a portrait one so here it is! (I guess for phone screens?)

The entire space is only 20mm in diameter, a lot of the rough finish you see is actually the grain of the wood. Each of these keys is machined and then tested with a micrometre to 1000th of an inch. They're also checked for wood density and a whole host of other things.My goal is to take these tiny spaces and have them appear vast, as if the viewer is standing inside.

To do this I need to remove the flags that tell the brain something is small: These are focal compression (something that happens when a lens is far from the subject) and shallow depth of field (only having a small part in-focus).

I use a 24mm probe lens by Laowa, with some of the casing melted off to make it even slimmer. This lets me place the lens in exactly the spot that you might stand (if you were tiny...). This placement, combined with the wide angle of the lens, is what creates the strong leading lines, giving a sense of depth.

However the lens comes with some drawbacks: It is extremely dark (f/14-40), and unusable in still photography past around f/18 (too much blur caused by diffraction), so I need extremely powerful lights (which are hot).Each photo it takes only has a tiny sliver of the subject in-focus, sometimes just a couple of millimetres. To get everything in focus I took 136 shots, moving the focus slightly between each. Each shot was also pixel-shifted which combines 8 photos in camera to increase the resolution so there are 1088 frames making up this photo! Every three or four shots I need to switch off the lights to let the temperature come down, or I risk damage to the piano. This process takes many hours.I run all the photos through something called "Helicon Focus", software designed for photographing insects. This remarkable program finds the in-focus parts of each photo and blends them all together (Helicon Focus is developed by a team in Ukraine who continue to work through all the troubles over there).

The final result is an image that appears more architecture than instrument (at least to me...)Lumix S1RLaowa 24mm Lens @ f/162x Aputure 600D LED lights1088 x 1 second exposuresISO 400

I have a whole host of these photos - feel free to look through my profile, or

The original file size (which I save for printing) is 10774 x 16145 pixels(I print these a couple of meters across for exhibitions)


I go to sleep and this gets 16k upvotes overnight! I guess it really struck a chord...

For those wondering about continuous light instead of flash:

Since these look like physical spaces, I print them really large (see photos at the bottom) and need a lot of resolution. I want people to feel like they're really standing there. To do this I use the "High Res" mode on my lumix S1R. This clever little feature takes 8 photos every time I press the button, shifting the sensor slightly between each, and combines them in-camera for a single 187 megapixel frame. Unfortunately, this feature can't be used with flash (something to do with using electronic shutter instead of mechanical).

People regularly print smaller resolution images at very large sizes (think billboards), but they're usually viewed at a distance. I've noticed that, no matter how large I print, people will walk right up to the image to examine the smallest of details, noses almost pressed against the glass!

I could look at using a medium format camera for this, for higher resolution without the pixel-shifting, but they're not compatible with the current line of probe lenses.

ZaphodBBulbrox on November 23rd, 2022 at 01:17 UTC »

Looks like the Governor’s palace on Arrakis

ZeroOneHundred on November 23rd, 2022 at 01:22 UTC »

Why did I think this was some sort of train station when I was scrolling?

edit: Nice photo by the way!