My speciality is live cell imaging using an Olympus IX82 microscope equipped with Bright Field, Dark Field, Phase Contrast and Interference Contrast optics. My particular interest is to inject colour and dynamism into some otherwise rather scientific images to make them attractive as well as informative. Some still images can be seen in the Gallery and film in the Showreels section. I also use an Olympus SZX16 dissecting microscope when needed.


The endoscope is a very fine tube lens. Mine range from four to eight millimetres in diameter and are about 400 millimetres long so they can be inserted into very confined spaces and down tubes such as blood vessels. When filming programmes such as Body Atlas for Channel 4 or The Human Body for the BBC there was a frequent need to show how the body worked that simply could not be filmed for real. It would be impossible to film inside a real beating heart especially in a human. Apart from the many ethical issues, the presence of blood would obliterate any image. So the process has to be recreated for the endoscope as a special effect using real (pig) hearts and animal blood vessels which are produced as a normal part of the meat industry. These real tissues are then animated using saline pressures and other techniques to recreate the action as closely as possible to real life. See the Gallery for some stills and the main Showreel for movie examples.


I have a small model studio with Green/Blue screen where I shoot miniature models of all kinds. You can see more HERE

I specialise in "Dry for Wet" setups and miniature snow effects, shooting elements for use in CGI, particularly powder elements for impacts and explosions.

Finally I have considerable experience in filming silicone rubber models for organic sequences creating a photoreal experience of being inside living things. See more HERE. There are also some show clips from recent work in the Showreel page.


Two RED Epic cameras (5K and 6K) with Canon lenses are the core recording medium.

Time lapse photography uses SLR cameras producing full TIFF sequences of stills (4k and 8K) that can then be turned into a movie stream using software. 

Optics include three microscopes, a range of endoscopes and borescopes as well as macro and telephoto lenses. 

I also have a comprehensive range of Arrisun lighting and specialist metal halide endoscopy light sources.

I use a motion control rig of my own design that can do time lapse and repeat motion control moves. It is not designed as an independent facility but rather to be incorporated into the photography I do and therefore consists of a number of modules that can be configured as needed.


© David Barlow 2014