A still-life photograph in black and white of various found objects arranged in an old metal toolbox.

Untitled (Four Objects in Toolbox), 2012


Photographed at multiple focuses in six sections and reassembled.  (id#885)


61.0 x 114.3 cm. at native resolution.

22.0 x 41.2 cm. reduced for A3Plus format.


Four objects of diverse forms and materials (wood, metal, foam rubber, and leather) in an old toolbox.

A still-life photograph in black and white of two found objects arranged in a rusty old toolbox base.

Untitled (Disc with Crescent), 2012


Photographed at multiple focuses in four sections and reassembled.  (id#879)


79.9 x 59.8 cm. at native resolution.

41.3 x 29.2 cm. reduced for A3Plus format.


Two simple objects in an rough, old metal box.

A still-life photograph in black and white of various found objects and vegetation arranged in a rusty old toolbox tray.

Untitled (Tray with Six Items), 2012


Photographed at multiple focuses in six sections and reassembled.  (id#883)


59.4 x 112.8 cm. at native resolution.

21.7 x 41.3 cm. reduced for A3Plus format.


Five objects of various derivations, and a handful of dried flower stalks, in a compartmented metal tray from a toolbox

Three found objects arranged in a compartmented metal tray.

Untitled (Heel, Rubber, Square), 2012


Photographed at multiple focuses in three sections and reassembled.  (id#871)


31.1 x 91,9 cm. at native resolution.

14.1 x 41.2 cm. reduced for A3Plus format.


Three objects arranged in a compartmented metal tray.

Two beef bones, cut and worn, in a long, narrow black box.

Two Bones in Long Box, 2012


Photographed at multiple focuses in two sections and reassembled.  (id#877)


31.0 x 91.7 cm. at native resolution.

14.1 x 41.3 cm. reduced for A3Plus format.


Two bones, cut and worn, in a long, narrow black box. 

A still-life photograph in black and white of an arrangement of worm casts - the little piles of of mud excreted above the surface of the ground by earthworms.

Worm Casts, 2012


Photographed at multiple focuses in six sections and reassembled.  (id#867)


76.9 x 86.6 cm. at native resolution.

31.6 x 37.8 cm. reduced for A3Plus format.


An arrangement of worm casts - the little piles of of mud excreted above the surface of the ground by earthworms - in a wooden box.

A still-life photograph in black and white of a number of toy balloons, allowed to deflate slowly, arranged in a box, and painted black.

Black Balloons II, 2012


Photographed in multiple focus in six sections and reassembled.  (id#865)


87.2 x 87.2 cm. at native resolution.

31.5 x 31.5 cm. reduced for A3Plus format.


A still life of a number of toy balloons, allowed to deflate slowly, arranged in a box, and painted black. A further elaboration of "Balloons" (id#863).

A still-life photograph in black and white of an arrangement, in a shallow black box, of a number of clusters of bristles from an old scrub brush.

Bristles, 2012


Photographed in multiple focus in six sections and reassembled.  (id#875)


89.0 x 89.0 cm. at native resolution.

31.56 x 31.56 cm. reduced for A3Plus format.


An arrangement, in a shallow black box, of a number of clusters of bristles from an old scrub brush.

A still-life photograph in black and white of a number of toy balloons, allowed to deflate slowly, arranged in a box, and painted black.

Balloons, 2012


Photographed in multiple focus in six sections and reassembled.  (id#863)


87.2 x 87.2 cm. at native resolution.

31.5 x 31.5 cm. reduced for A3Plus format.


A still life of a number of multicolored party balloons, allowed to deflate slowly over the course of several years, and arranged in a shallow box. 

A still-life photograph in black and white of a number of metal glazier's clamps arranged in a shallow wooden box.

Untitled (Glazier's Clamps), 2012


Photographed at multiple focuses in four sections and reassembled.  (id#881)


59.8 x 79.9 cm. at native resolution.

31.2 x 41.3 cm. reduced for A3Plus format.


A number of metal glazier's clamps arranged in a shallow wooden box.

A still-life photograph in black and white of an arrangement of a number of dried grappoli (bunches of grapes) in a shallow black tray or drawer.

Untitled (Grappoli), 2012


Photographed at multiple focuses in six sections and reassembled.  (id#873)


96.6 x 96.7 cm. at native resolution.

31.5 x 31.6 cm. reduced for A3Plus format.


An arrangement of a number of dried grappoli (bunches of grapes) in a shallow black tray or drawer. 

A still-life photograph in black and white of a number of small objects arranged in a tray made for the storage of type.

Untitled (Type Case), 2012


Photographed at multiple focuses in twelve sections and reassembled.  (id#869)


113.4 x 135.4 cm. at native resolution.

32.1 x 38.4 cm. reduced for A3Plus format.


A still life of a number of small objects arranged in a tray made for the storage of type. Type cases, used to keep cold (metal) type organized, are a rough (but interesting) analog to some people's brains.

A still-life photograph in black and white of a number of small objects arranged in a compartmented tray for silverware.

Silverware Tray, 2012


Photographed at multiple focuses in nine sections and reassembled.  (id#857)


88.2 x 77.8 cm. at native resolution.

36.4 x 31.6 cm. reduced for A3Plus format.


Similar to an older, analog photograph.  The subject is also a sort of sculpture; one of the original pieces, a piece of foam rubber, fell to pieces and had to be replaced.  Thus this variant.

A still-life photograph in black and white of various objects arranged in a sewing box.

Specimen Box II, 2012


Photographed at multiple focuses in nine sections and reassembled.  (id#859)


80.2 x 50.1 cm. at native resolution.

41.2 x 27.8 cm. reduced for A3Plus format.


Similar to an older, analog photograph. The subject is also a sort of sculpture; one of the original pieces broke off and had to be replaced. Thus this variant. 

A still-life photograph in black and white of an arrangement of small, dried, wild mushrooms allowed to dry, in a shallow black tray, to evoke a school of jellyfish ("meduse" is Italian for jellyfish, in the plural).

Meduse, 2011


Photographed in a single frame, without multiple focus.  (id#887)


26.1 x 45.6 cm. at native resolution.

23.6 x 41.2 cm. reduced for A3Plus format.


This was an initial exposure to serve as the base for a high-definition still life, but the mushrooms crumbled into mere powder before I could photograph the subject in sections.  So with this image I am limited to moderately-sized prints.


An arrangement of small, dried, wild mushrooms allowed to dry, and arranged in a shallow black tray to evoke a school - or a swarm or a cloud - of jellyfish.  ("Meduse", from the name of the snake-haired figure of mythology, is Italian for jellyfish, in the plural.) 

A still-life photograph in black and white of a number of tiny pine cones on their stalks, arranged in a shallow metal tray - actually the lid from my old chemistry set.

Pine Stalks, 2015


Photographed at multiple focuses in six sections and reassembled.  (id#891)


78.0 x 91.1 cm. at native resolution.

31.5 x 36.7 cm. reduced for A3Plus format.


A number of tiny pine cones on their stalks, arranged in a shallow metal tray. 

A still-life photograph in black and white of an array of bean sprouts distributed in a wooden tray and allowed to dry and mold.

Germogli (Bean Sprouts in Drawer), 2015


Photographed at multiple focuses in six sections and reassembled.  (id#895)


91.4 x 91.4 cm. at native resolution.

31.6 x 31.6 cm. reduced for A3Plus format.


An array of bean sprouts distributed in a wooden tray and allowed to dry and mold. 

A still-life photograph in black and white of an arrangement of the tips of many string beans, allowed to dry, in a small, black cardboard tray.

Untitled (Fagiolini), 2015


Photographed in multiple focus in four sections and reassembled. (id#893)


61.5 x 82.5 cm. at native resolution.

30.8 x 41.3 cm. reduced for A3Plus format.


An arrangement of the tips of many string beans, allowed to dry, in a small, black cardboard tray.

A still-life photograph in black and white of an empty, square wooden tray, painted black, and illuminated from upper left.

Untitled (Black Box), 2015


Photographed in multiple focus in six sections and reassembled.  (id#897)


91.4 x 91.4 cm. at native resolution.

31.6 x 31.6 cm. reduced for A3Plus format.


An empty, square wooden tray, painted black with a distinct texture, and illuminated from upper left. 

A still-life photograph in color of a number of multicolored party balloons, allowed to deflate slowly over the course of several years, and arranged in a shallow box.

Balloons (Color), 2012


Photographed in multiple focus in six sections and reassembled. (id#864)


87.2 x 87.2 cm. at native resolution.

31.5 x 31.5 cm. reduced for A3Plus format.


Probably a shock to see, in the midst of all this sombre monochrome. Ordinarily I conceive these still-life images in monochrome, and so convert my color files to black-and-white, but this time I wanted to have it both ways.

Deep Focus, High-Definition Still Life


Photographs made in high definition and deep focus, by a highly laborious procedure that I have devised.  In order to equal (or surpass) the image quality of a view camera photograph, I do two things, to put it briefly:  I photograph the subject in sections, eventually to reassemble the whole, and I photograph each section in a succession of precise focuses, from nearer to farther in depth, and then combine the sharpest parts of all those exposures into one image that is maximally sharp everywhere.  The final step is the reassembly of the sections as mentioned.  In this way I avoid the fall-off in depth-of-field of an image made at a single compromise focus (a tendency especially severe when one works close to the subject), and also create an image of much higher definition than a single frame could yield.


Image sizes are given in these terms:  the first size is at the photograph's native resolution of 300ppi (pixels per inch).  The second size is that of the photograph reduced to fit on a sheet of A3Plus artist's paper, which measures 32.9 x 48.3 cm., or 13" x 19".  On such paper the image size may not exceed 31.21 x 41.3 cm..  The A3Plus prints themselves are printed personally by me, one at a time, with the archival pigments of the Canon Pixma printer, on heavyweight artist's paper.  This is generally William Turner 310 gsm. from Hahnemuehle, the fine old German papermaker.


While I am fond of the intimate scale of photographs you can hold in your hands (as with the A3Plus format), these images were meant to be printed (and seen) a bit large, or quite large.  At native resolution of 300ppi, these images average about 70 x 90 cm. (around 28" x 36", an area almost five times larger than on A3Plus), and are sharper than the human eye can perceive.  They could well be 140 x 180 cm. (at 150ppi) with little or no perceptible loss, but as a matter of principle I will not release any prints larger than their native dimensions.  Sized to fit the A3Plus format, they of course lose nothing - in fact they are crystalline.  (I have always admired the passionately-observed hyperrealism of the Van Eycks, for example.)  


I have divided each edition between prints made reduced to A3Plus, and prints at the larger native dimension.  That is, for example, of an edition of ten signed and numbered prints, I may make five on A3Plus artist's paper and five at native size, or four and six, or seven and three, etc., but never more than ten in all.  The photographs in this section of the site are limited to editions of ten signed and numbered prints.


For more information about the procedure (and about what brought me to it), see the last menu item, "Deep-Focus Still-Life - Essay", whose full (neo-Victorian) title is "Deep-Focus, High-Definition Still Life with the Digital Camera – An Introductory Essay".  Grouped with the Artist's Statements are two related articles.  "High-Definition, Deep-Focus Still Life" goes into a bit more depth than the above essay.  "Step by Step Instructions" is just that, and tells you more than you probably want to know.


© 2014 Allen Schill.  All rights reserved.  No part of this document may be reproduced or used without prior written permission from the author. Anyone is welcome to link to it, or to quote brief passages, but I would like to be notified.

© Copyright Allen Schill

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