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photographing peoples eyes close up

stevoxt

belfast, UK
100 posts

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stevoxt Registered since 07th May 2010
Sun 23-Sep-12 02:41 PM | edited Mon 24-Sep-12 03:57 PM by stevoxt

Hi,

Could someone please help me with a project I have been asked to do for my Tutor at my day centre.

I've been asked to photograph eyes with the aim to get close up and show detail in the eye. My Tutor reads the eye to advise people on diet and health advice.

I cant seem to get this done properly, there is always too much light coming into the eye hiding the detail needed.

My best attempts have been with a small compact camera but this means putting the lens right into the persons eye, so it seems. see example.

I was thinking to do this in a darkened room, to stop the light from outside coming in then using a bit of bounce flash,

I would like to use my D90 with my 70-210D lens to give me a bit of distance, I also have a SB900 flash, if needed, but I'm not too sure on the settings to use for this or is there another way.

I don't have a macro lens.

All the best
stevie



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cwils02

HIXSON, US
823 posts

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#1. "RE: photographing peoples eyes close up" | In response to Reply # 0

cwils02 Gold Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2012
Mon 24-Sep-12 03:37 AM

I could guess along with you. My suggestion would be to talk to an Optometrist or Opthamologist who actually do this for a living. I know that some don't do this, but mine does. It's been a while, & I don't remember the technique.

Charlie

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CharlieS

US
1729 posts

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#2. "RE: photographing peoples eyes close up" | In response to Reply # 0

CharlieS Registered since 29th Aug 2007
Mon 24-Sep-12 12:29 PM

I'm thinking you need a well lit room with lots of indirect lighting and the subject facing a dark or black background. Any light shining into the subjects eye will result in the reflections seen in your reference photo.

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When no one is looking, Pigs can walk on they're hind legs

stevoxt

belfast, UK
100 posts

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#3. "RE: photographing peoples eyes close up" | In response to Reply # 1

stevoxt Registered since 07th May 2010
Mon 24-Sep-12 04:05 PM

Hi Charlie,

Thanks for the suggestion, the people you mentioned do a fantastic job but they have all the proper equipment which gives them the results they need.

Unfortunately I don't have access to this, I know this wont be easy but I would like to try and achieve something half decent

Thanks again
stevie

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stevoxt

belfast, UK
100 posts

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#4. "RE: photographing peoples eyes close up" | In response to Reply # 2

stevoxt Registered since 07th May 2010
Mon 24-Sep-12 04:13 PM

Hi,

That's worth a go, I was thinking of using spot metering with a bit of bounce flash, maybe 1/4 power I'll be doing this on Wednesday so I'll have something to work with, thanks.

stevie

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bbjavelina

angleton, US
104 posts

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#5. "RE: photographing peoples eyes close up" | In response to Reply # 4

bbjavelina Registered since 22nd Jun 2008
Tue 25-Sep-12 10:05 PM

A good start might be to cover that window that was behind the camera in your example.
At that distance I would expect a macro lens would be a big help.

Best of luck to you.

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IanCT

SF Bay, US
253 posts

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#6. "RE: photographing peoples eyes close up" | In response to Reply # 0

IanCT Registered since 15th Sep 2008
Sun 30-Sep-12 06:55 AM | edited Sun 30-Sep-12 07:00 AM by IanCT

Since you don't have a macro lens, if you're trying to get closer (your distance seems adequate already) it may be difficult to get the results you desire depending on how much detail you want to achieve without one.

Have you considered renting a macro lens?

I would stand with my back against a black backdrop if available, with nothing else to either side to prevent possible reflections in the eye. Other than that I think the photo you posted is great, just need to eliminate the light coming through the window.

This was a quick test I shot with my daughter when I received my 105mm f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor. Focus is sometimes tricky - I shot it handheld and I think I moved a smidge when I hit the shutter release.


Click on image to view larger version

Attachment #1, (jpg file)

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stevoxt

belfast, UK
100 posts

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#7. "RE: photographing peoples eyes close up" | In response to Reply # 6

stevoxt Registered since 07th May 2010
Sun 30-Sep-12 12:34 PM

Hi Ian,

Thanks for putting your image in to show me how good a macro lens works on the eye. It's fascinating, the detail and colours inside the eye.

The image I posted is the sort of view I need to capture, without the extra light of course. I tried my 70/210D lens and a bit of flash but it didn't produce what I was after.

The darkened backdrop seems the way to go.

Did you use flash in your image, if so what settings did you use.

All the best
stevie

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IanCT

SF Bay, US
253 posts

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#8. "RE: photographing peoples eyes close up" | In response to Reply # 7

IanCT Registered since 15th Sep 2008
Wed 03-Oct-12 11:30 PM

Hi Steve,
I did use flash (you can see it in the top left of the pupil, amongst the reflection of my daughters hair.

Settings were 1/100s, f/5.6, ISO 200, Spot Meter, Flash was an SB-700 in iTTL.

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bbjavelina

angleton, US
104 posts

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#9. "RE: photographing peoples eyes close up" | In response to Reply # 0

bbjavelina Registered since 22nd Jun 2008
Thu 04-Oct-12 03:04 PM

With the lens you have, have you tried an extension tube? You'll lose a little light, but you should be able to back up some and still be able to get the focus.

A lot less expensive than a new lens.

Best of luck to you.

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stevoxt

belfast, UK
100 posts

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#10. "RE: photographing peoples eyes close up" | In response to Reply # 8

stevoxt Registered since 07th May 2010
Thu 04-Oct-12 07:56 PM

Thanks Ian those settings will give me a good starting point, were you in manual mode or does it matter.

All the best
stevie

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IanCT

SF Bay, US
253 posts

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#11. "RE: photographing peoples eyes close up" | In response to Reply # 10

IanCT Registered since 15th Sep 2008
Thu 04-Oct-12 08:00 PM

Yes I was - I usually want to independently control shutter/aperture when using the macro lens.

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stevoxt

belfast, UK
100 posts

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#12. "RE: photographing peoples eyes close up" | In response to Reply # 9

stevoxt Registered since 07th May 2010
Thu 04-Oct-12 08:02 PM

Hi bb,

Are you talking about my 70-210 lens, and what make or type would be more suited. I've never used extension tubes before, I didn't even think about them, thanks

All the best
stevie

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stevoxt

belfast, UK
100 posts

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#13. "RE: photographing peoples eyes close up" | In response to Reply # 11

stevoxt Registered since 07th May 2010
Thu 04-Oct-12 08:05 PM

Hi Ian,

Thanks again, I've a SB900 I'll be using. Have you used extension tubes before

Cheers
stevie

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IanCT

SF Bay, US
253 posts

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#14. "RE: photographing peoples eyes close up" | In response to Reply # 13

IanCT Registered since 15th Sep 2008
Thu 04-Oct-12 08:07 PM

No, not yet.

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bbjavelina

angleton, US
104 posts

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#15. "RE: photographing peoples eyes close up" | In response to Reply # 12

bbjavelina Registered since 22nd Jun 2008
Fri 05-Oct-12 01:11 PM

>Hi bb,
>
>Are you talking about my 70-210 lens, and what make or type
>would be more suited. I've never used extension tubes before,
>I didn't even think about them, thanks
>
>All the best
>stevie


Yes, I was reffering to the 70-210. Seems it would give you a comfortable working distance and all you need then is the ability to close focus.

You may even get enough working distance to use an on-camera flash.

I don't have much experience with the tubes, but do have a Kenko set that provides the electrical contacts from lens to camera.

Best of luck.

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km6xz

St Petersburg, RU
3404 posts

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#16. "RE: photographing peoples eyes close up" | In response to Reply # 15

km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009
Mon 08-Oct-12 05:45 PM

You might do some research on Iridology and the best known practitioner Bernard Jensen. He perfected the photographic techniques in the 1950s and has a few books on the subject.
Also be aware that it is bordering fully or partially on quackdom and there is not affirming studies that support it. The worst contraindication is that the believers claim the eye's iris reflexes the general state of the body and zones in the iris reflex specific organ current state and history. The only problem with that is the the iris markings are a phenotype that forums in in the embryo and does not change in later life.
If the iris was so not so individual and stable throughout life it would be useless for identification which it is in ever increasing ways such as the biometric passport control eye scans.
I would be very wary of a tutor who believes in such pseudoscience. He can't present any controlled studies that support it.
It is a fun parlor game but is not something to base a diagnosis on.
I studied enough to conclude that for the claims of success, it requires a willingly duped subject, usually with enough money to attract quacks.
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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stevoxt

belfast, UK
100 posts

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#17. "RE: photographing peoples eyes close up" | In response to Reply # 16

stevoxt Registered since 07th May 2010
Mon 08-Oct-12 08:35 PM | edited Mon 08-Oct-12 08:38 PM by stevoxt

Hi Stan,

Wow, you opened my eyes to a lot of info there.

Thanks for the pointer to Bernard Jensen, I should pick up some tips there.

All the best
stevie

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cwils02

HIXSON, US
823 posts

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#18. "RE: photographing peoples eyes close up" | In response to Reply # 16

cwils02 Gold Member Nikonian since 19th Apr 2012
Mon 08-Oct-12 09:38 PM

Stan,

Seriously, you're such a killjoy stating facts and such.

Actually, I appreciate your "get", and your info onthe subject.

Charlie

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mkbee1

West Valley, US
664 posts

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#19. "RE: photographing peoples eyes close up" | In response to Reply # 0

mkbee1 Registered since 26th Nov 2012
Sun 06-Jan-13 03:57 PM

Steve:

Late to this topic, but, have you solved the problems yet? If so, what did you do?

If you are still around, my belated input starts with some questions:

What didn't work with the photo example you posted? Did it need to be larger/closer?

Were you working at minimum focusing distance? Iirc, my 70-210's was ~6-7 ft.

What was your F/stop?

Carl



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stevoxt

belfast, UK
100 posts

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#20. "RE: photographing peoples eyes close up" | In response to Reply # 19

stevoxt Registered since 07th May 2010
Sun 06-Jan-13 05:27 PM

Hi Carl,

The pic I posted would have been ideal if the background light wasn't there. That was my problem when I was trying to do this.
I was using a small compact camera which meant putting the lens right into the persons face, it felt uncomfortable.

I tried my 70-210 lens, cant remember what settings but the end result wern't as sharp compared to the compact camera.

Either a macro lens or extension tubes are needed, I haven't got either so we've sorta forget about this project, for the meantime.

If I get back to doing it again with success I'll put some pictures on to show you.

All the best
stevie

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gkaiseril

Chicago, US
6739 posts

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#21. "RE: photographing peoples eyes close up" | In response to Reply # 20

gkaiseril Gold Member Nikonian since 28th Oct 2005
Sun 06-Jan-13 09:15 PM

You should also defuse your light source and block any background light sources that the reflective surface of the eye can pickup and show.

George
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mkbee1

West Valley, US
664 posts

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#22. "RE: photographing peoples eyes close up" | In response to Reply # 20

mkbee1 Registered since 26th Nov 2012
Mon 07-Jan-13 01:17 AM | edited Mon 07-Jan-13 01:20 AM by mkbee1

Steve;
What is the detail needed that is not shown in the posted photo? Is the iris not dilated enough? Are you trying to see deep into the eye, like the retina?

IIRC, there is or used to be, a lens...the Micro Medical Nikkor...that would probably do what you wish. But,it is likely very expen$ive.

In your stable of lenses, there are at least two that will help you achieve what you want.

While neither are Macro, your 18-105 and 70-210 can get you close at minimum focusing distance, maybe close enough.

If not, a good-quality and relatively inexpensive "Close up" diopter can get you close enough, with a bit more working distance. Buy it for your largest lens diameter, and invest in step-up rings for the others.

Amazingly sharp, but you have to keep them clean.
Next, comfortable seats for your subject, patient, victim,...choose one...and yourself!

Tripod,and the MLL3 Ir release,or a copy.

Dimly-lighted room, not dark, to promote better eye dilation, and a well-diffused flash. Small aperture, at least f/11, to provide enough DOF. Focus carefully.

Orient the seats so windows, doors, etc. ,don't leave a reflection in the eye. Then experiment, so the flash doesn't do the same.

People get antsy: so...like in debate, Be Brief, Be Brilliant, BEGONE!

Good Luck!
Carl


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stevoxt

belfast, UK
100 posts

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#23. "RE: photographing peoples eyes close up" | In response to Reply # 22

stevoxt Registered since 07th May 2010
Mon 07-Jan-13 12:45 PM

Hi Carl,

Thanks so much for running through that set up for me, a "close up" diopter, do you mean a Nikon 5T or Canon 500D.

The picture I posted shows enough detail it's just the extra light at the top of the eye that spoils it.

What you have explained to me is the info I needed to give me a good idea on how to go about this.

Looks like I need a few more bits and pieces, but it's stuff I can use again.

All the best mate
stevie

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mkbee1

West Valley, US
664 posts

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#24. "RE: photographing peoples eyes close up" | In response to Reply # 23

mkbee1 Registered since 26th Nov 2012
Mon 07-Jan-13 03:09 PM | edited Mon 07-Jan-13 03:14 PM by mkbee1

Steve;
The Nikon or Canon close up lenses are expensive, highly-corrected 2 element creations that work very well. Their advantage: EVERYTHING works; AF, metering, etc. But there is also some marveous work done with the better-quality single element "close-up fiters", too.
I'm not really sure how they work, but RAYNOX close-up lenses seem to be well-regarded.

Just avoid the $4.98 or similar "bargains",and buy from a good manufacturer, like B+W, Tiffen, or Hoya. A relatively minimal investment.

Chances are, you will not be using the item a lot, so it might meet your needs. But, if you find the quality is not what you want, or you are doing close-ups all the time, you may want to spend the money for more expensive items, or as an alternative, buy a good set of extension tubes. Kenko comes to mind, but there are others that are less expensive, and will do just as well for occasional use. But read the description...sometimes ad departments will get overly-enthusiastic in their list of capabilities. Con't be overly enthusiastic and use all three tubes in the set, then wonder why your excellent 70-210 causes the combination to droop!

Just don't be in a real hurry to either buy what you may not need, or sell the equipment, once you have it...I sold both my Nikon 6T, and AF 25mm extension tube after several years of non-use, thinking I'd have no more need for them...then I got interested in Macro photography again! Oh well; live and learn!

Good luck to you!
Carl

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elec164

US
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#25. "RE: photographing peoples eyes close up" | In response to Reply # 0

elec164 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009
Mon 07-Jan-13 08:01 PM





You’ve gotten some good information so far; here are my thoughts.



The eye is roundish and highly reflective due to the constant bathing in fluid. Normally catch lights are desired, except in your circumstance. Unfortunately being a highly reflective round surface means the family of angles is huge and trying to eliminate them would be akin to herding cats; darn near impossible. A source of light anywhere in front or to the sides is most likely going to cause a spectral highlight.



My thought is that if you can’t beat it, control it. The normal practice is to diffuse and make the source larger to minimize shadows and harsh lighting. But in this case I don’t see harsh lighting as being too much of an issue; and your diffused light source would need to be huge to cover the family of angles. Making the light source as small as possible helps you control the catch light size as well as the placement.



This is the setup I devised. I used index cards with the face blackened out with a small hole cut in it. I used the Nikon supplied diffuser covered with a black microfiber cloth to minimize any light spill and taped the index card to the front. I then placed it as on axis to the lens as I could. I would have liked to get the flash a little further forward, but I don’t have a boom for my light stand and didn’t feel like resetting up with the tripod legs entangled (I was doing this by myself as the subject and photographer which was a pain!!).

Click on image to view larger version


And this was the result. Although there still is a catch light, it is in the pupil area which is not detrimental to your task I believe. If you are the photographer with a separate subject and want to take the time, you could probably even use a small GOBO to block that light source and eliminate the spectral highlight without impacting the overall illumination.

Click on image to view larger version



Hope this helps.



Pete

Attachment #1, (jpg file)
Attachment #2, (jpg file)

Pete

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mkbee1

West Valley, US
664 posts

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#26. "RE: photographing peoples eyes close up" | In response to Reply # 25

mkbee1 Registered since 26th Nov 2012
Mon 07-Jan-13 08:48 PM | edited Mon 07-Jan-13 08:58 PM by mkbee1

Yo, Pete;
Great solution! Did you completely cover the whole diffuser with black microfiber, or make a small hole in it just behind the one in your index Cards? And what power was your flash set on? Inquiring minds (nosy people?) want to know!

Carl

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stevoxt

belfast, UK
100 posts

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#27. "RE: photographing peoples eyes close up" | In response to Reply # 25

stevoxt Registered since 07th May 2010
Mon 07-Jan-13 10:29 PM

Hi Pete,

Brilliant, that's the result I'm trying to achieve.
I've a lot to work with now, just need a few items to get me going.

Thanks for taking the time to show me that.

All the best
stevie

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stevoxt

belfast, UK
100 posts

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#28. "RE: photographing peoples eyes close up" | In response to Reply # 24

stevoxt Registered since 07th May 2010
Mon 07-Jan-13 10:36 PM

Hi Carl,

Good advice, much appreciated.

All the best
stevie

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elec164

US
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#29. "RE: photographing peoples eyes close up" | In response to Reply # 26

elec164 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009
Tue 08-Jan-13 05:10 AM

No, I just wrapped it around the perimeter leaving the face of the diffuser open. Originally I just held the card up there but noticed my hand reflected in my eye. I then put on a wool glove to mask my hand, but noticed the spill from behind the card so wrapped the cloth around it and taped the card to it this time instead of holding it. The hole in the card was about ½ an inch in diameter.

The flash was set to TTL with a minus 1 2/3 EV.I originally had it just on TTL, but there was these weird flecks of white scattered around the catch light so I dialed in the minus EV to see if they would disappear, they did. But then that made me have to recover the lowered EV in post.

The flash was attached to the camera via an SC-29. The camera was set to M mode with 1/200 shutter and f/32. The ISO was set to 200, only because evidently that’s what it was set to last time I used the camera, otherwise I would have preferred 100.

Pete

Pete

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G