The Biophilia Project: How it’s Done
Macrophotography has always intrigued and challenged Robert. While it opens up a subtle and elusive world, it also compromises detail by imposing a limited depth of focus. So, years ago, in an attempt to overcome this problem, Robert starting playing with an idea – take several exposures of a subject, while sequentially focusing and producing exposures from a point nearest the lens, to a point furthest from the lens. The resulting images would then be combined using masks in Photoshop, allowing him to hide areas of soft focus and combine areas of sharp focus.
Brilliant. And yes, tedious.
But the end product? A close-up with a depth of field and level of sharpness never before achieved.
Today, Robert employs specialized software and hardware, state-of-the-art camera gear and a great deal of painstaking retouching to achieve his superior results. This technique is called focus stacking.
All images in The Biophilia Project are focus stacked. In some cases, these stacks are assembled as a panorama, creating final images composed of dozens to hundreds of digital captures. And because Robert’s aim is to catch micro-details and produce macro-prints with extraordinary depth of focus and resolution, most images are shot at a magnification ratio of 1:1 or greater.
The work continues. The Biophilia Project is not finished. As long as Robert continues to feel inspired by the process and the subject , as long as he continues to believe that there is a bit of magic involved, he will continue to introduce us to new, captivating work.
But enough about the technique. Robert really wants us to explore. He asks us to look closely at the individual images, to set aside the objective context of leaf or petal or feather, and to allow the varied elements to work together as a single subject.
Line, colour and texture… one subject. Allow yourself a few moments to detach and experience the curative qualities of nature.