Face Cartography with a Robot

robophotPublished: April 16, 2014
Published: April 16, 2014

Daniel Boschung cartographies faces. The composed mega portraits are irritating.

‘The Machine View’ is the Swiss publicity and coverage photographer’s newest project. He cartographies faces. Instead of taking pictures himself, he removes himself out of the process by delegating the work to an ABB industrial robot driven by a control software, which was written exlusively for this task. The standardized portraits have a surprising impact.

Each picture consists of about 600 single shots with a size of 900 million pixels. The result is hyper realistic. A stubble turns into a trunk, a wrinkle into a canyon, the nostril into a cavern. These facial landscapes are dismaying – why? ”Emotions are completely missing. Emotions show up only briefly while Macro photography takes half an hour. The person has to stay motionless while being photographed by the robot” explains Boschung.

Boschung uses a Canon EOS Mark ll camera with a 180mm macro lens, which he transformed into a telecentrical lens. For his flash installation his uses the Scoro S 32000 RFS 2 from broncolor, one of only a few flash generators able to cope with these extraordinary demands. Boschung’s requirements were short flash frequencies, constant light temperatures and short loading cycles. Other flash lights tend to overheat, have to be cooled with ice packs and exhibit variable colour spectrum.

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