Get ready to experience the awe-inspiring beauty of the inner workings of musical instruments, captured in stunning detail by a talented photographer Charles Brooks. Using exotic probe lenses and specialized wide-angle macro lenses, Charles has managed to create breathtaking photographs that showcase the hidden architectural spaces within each instrument.
Every shot is a masterpiece, achieved through meticulous focus-stacking of thousands of images to ensure every detail is captured in high definition. The end result is a series of photographs that will leave you speechless – each instrument transformed into a unique and mesmerizing concert hall, showcasing intricate details that would otherwise go unnoticed.
Charles Brooks’s collection of photographs is a testament to the beauty that can be found in unexpected places. So come and explore this amazing body of work, and discover the hidden beauty lurking within every musical instrument.
Scroll down and inspire yourself. Check Charles’s Website for more amazing work and information.
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#1 A Rare Cello From 1780
The breathtaking interior of a rare cello created by English luthier Lockey Hill was completed just prior to his tragic execution for horse theft in 1795. This striking photograph reveals the tool marks left by the master maker, as well as new wood and repairs carried out over the centuries, all culminating in a stunning testament to the instrument’s rich history.
Shot with exceptional precision using a Lumix S1R camera and Laowa Probe lens, this photo is the result of stacking 432 images at various focal distances, resulting in a magnificent, cavernous feel that gives the impression of the cello becoming its own recital hall.
#2 The Inner Workings Of A Fazioli Grand Piano, Crafted From More Than 11,000 Parts
Deep inside the action (the moving parts) of one of the world’s finest grand pianos. Fazioli makes around 100 of these instruments a year, each handcrafted with over 11,000 individual parts. Shot with a Lumix S1R and a Laowa Probe lens, 100 images at various focal distances have been stacked together for sharpness from front to back, giving a distinct architectural appearance reminiscent of a concert hall or film set.
#3 A Didgeridoo Hollowed Out By Termites!
A unique view inside an Australian Didgeridoo by Trevor Gillespie/Peckham (Bungerroo) of New South Wales. Didgeridoos are hollowed out by termites, not by hand. Australian legend says that the first Didgeridoo was created when a hollow branch was pointed at the sky and blown to remove the termites. The white termites flew into the air and became the stars, to the sound of incredible music. The rich reds and blacks appear as nebula more at home in the world of astrophotography. Shot with a Lumix S1R and a Laowa Probe lens, 84 images at various focal distances have been stacked together, giving the impression of an organic alien tunnel.
#4 A Pipe Organ Becomes A Bamboo Forest
Super-Octave flutes of the St Marks Church Organ in Auckland, New Zealand. These are the smallest pipes in the organ, responsible for the highest notes. They’re hidden in a chamber in the church tower and are only visible by ascending a series of ladders and platforms.
The organ was built in 1882 and has undergone various refurbishments and expansions since then.
Photographed with a Lumix S1R and a Laowa 15mm Macro lens. 32 images at various focal lengths have been blended together to allow sharp focus and a feeling of space, giving the impression of a golden bamboo forest.
#5 A Bass Clarinet Looks Like An Arthur C. Clarke Spaceship
The inside of a Buffet Prestige Bass Clarinet, photographed in the workshop of Maurice Reviol in Auckland, New Zealand. In this photo, we can see the subtle colors present in the African Blackwood which has flecks of red and brown in its grain, before it fades into the golden glow of light bouncing through the neck.
This instrument is a model 1193 with a low C, a soloist instrument seen in almost every major symphony orchestra worldwide.
#6 Inside The World’s Most Popular Guitar
Inside a Taylor GS Mini, one of the world’s most popular guitars.
This image is made up of 67 individual frames, carefully blended together to keep it in sharp focus from front to back. The result is an image that looks like a large concert hall, an effect heightened by the pickups which are reminiscent of stage lights.
#7 A Pipe Organ Or A Corridor Of Skyscrapers
The pipes of St Marks Church Organ in Auckland, New Zealand. In the foreground are the smallest pipes in the organ, responsible for the highest notes. They’re hidden in a chamber in the church tower and are only visible by ascending a series of ladders and platforms.
#8 Inside A Golden Flute
Inside a 14-carat rose gold flute by Lillian Burkart, one of the most gifted piccolo and flute makers of all time. This instrument has been used extensively as can be seen by the scratch marks from repeated cleaning, something normally hidden from view. Shot with a Lumix S1R and a Laowa Probe lens, 86 images at various focal distances have been stacked together for sharpness from front to back. Photographed whilst under restoration at Neige Music Atelier in New Zealand.
#9 A Cello Once Hit By A Train!
This is an instrument with an exceptional story. Built in Germany in the late 1800s, it was sent to New Zealand sometime prior to 1911. In the late 1920s, it was involved in a car-train collision. Usually, this would be enough to write off an instrument, but since it was the depression, and fine instruments were not readily available, it was painstakingly restored.
It has since been through the hands of many luthiers, most of whom have signed their work. We can see signatures inside from 1911, 1930, and 1988, documenting generations of repairs from New Zealand craftsmen.
#10 The Bass Strings Of A Steinway Grand Piano
The bass strings of a Steinway grand piano. These strings are so tightly wound that they exert more than 20 tonnes of pressure on the frame. Shot with a Lumix S1R and a Laowa Probe lens, 720 images at various focal distances have been stacked together, giving this photo an incredibly wide depth of field and an exaggerated sense of scale, as if you’re standing under the cables of some giant suspension bridge.
#11 100 Years Of Concerts Turned This Saxophone Green
The interior of a stunning CG Conn C-Melody saxophone, made in 1924. The green oxidization of almost a century of concerts is clearly visible. Unlike every other saxophone out there, the C Melody saxophone (which is bigger than an alto, but smaller than a tenor) plays in concert pitch. This has some obvious practical advantages, such as being able to play from music written for piano, flute, or violin without having to transpose. But despite this, the instrument has all but fallen from usage since its heyday in the early years of the 20th century.
#12 A Grand Piano Looks Like A Laundromat From Dune
Another shot from the inside of a Fazioli grand piano. This tiny space is only 2 centimetres wide.
#13 A Heavily Repaired Double Bass From 1860
The inside of a heavily restored double bass by Charles Theress, circa 1860, one of the finest bass makers in the history of the instrument. Photographed in Wellington, New Zealand, with the aid of its present owner Matthew Cave.
This bass has been resident in New Zealand Symphony Orchestra for decades, first brought over in the 1970s, then passed to Matthew in the early 2000s. It was almost lost when the ex-principal of the orchestra was traveling with two basses and the wrong one was sent to Sotheby’s Auction House (this bass rather than a cheaper French instrument he was intending to sell). He only realized when Sothebys called saying the quality of the instrument was far better than they expected…
#14 The Seven Moons Guitar From Chile
Inside a unique instrument by Chile’s greatest modern luthier Roberto Hernández Cespedes. Roberto fuses pre-Columbian techniques with modern construction methods to create instruments that are literally national treasures. Many are housed in Chile’s most important museums.
This guitar is named ‘Siete Lunas’ or Seven Moons, in reference to the seven sound holes, a signature motif of Roberto’s work. The instrument is made from French Walnut and German Spruce.
Shot with a Lumix S1R and a Laowa Peri-Probe lens, 94 images at various focal distances have been stacked together for sharpness from front to back. Photographed in Roberto’s workshop in Maipu, Chile.
#15 The Carbon Fibre Action Of A Kawai Grand Piano
The action (moving parts) of a Kawai grand piano. In stark contrast to other manufacturers such as Steinway, Kawai use a carbon fiber-resin composite for their actions. This is one of the most significant developments in piano technology in a century. It allows for faster repetition of notes. Shot with a Lumix S1R and a Laowa Probe lens, 82 images at various focal distances have been stacked together, giving this photo an almost Kubrickesque quality that appears more science fiction than classical music.
#16 A Flute Made From New Zealand Black Maire Wood
Inside a fine wooden flute made by Maurice Reviol in New Zealand. It’s carved out of Black Maire, a native New Zealand timber considered exceptionally good for woodwind instruments. Photographing this small, dark space was extremely challenging. This image is comprised of 728 individual frames, shot using a combination of focus and exposure bracketing, painstakingly blended together, to render this tiny space vast.
#17 A Violin From The 1800s
The inside of a violin from the 1800s has the label ‘Hopf’ but it’s likely this was an early counterfeit! Details in the bass bar and the way the neck is joined give it away.
#18 Inside A Steinway Spirio R Self Playing Piano
Electronic and acoustic components are fused in the action of a Steinway Spirio R grand piano.
#19 Inside A Steinway Grand Piano
Wippen cushions and capstan screws of the world’s most successful and renowned piano manufacturer, Steinway. These finely tuned mechanisms power the keys of a line of pianos that have been played by more great pianists than any other. Shot with a Lumix S1R and a Laowa Probe lens, 63 images at various focal distances have been stacked together, giving this photo a film-set quality that appears more at home in a Kubrick film than inside an instrument.
#20 A Japanese Saxophone From The 1980s
Inside a 1980s Yanagisawa T4 Saxophone. Photographed whilst under restoration at Neige Music Atelier in New Zealand. Shot on a Lumix S1r with a Laowa 24mm probe lens. 88 images have been stacked together creating something that looks like a cyberpunk subway station, an effect heightened by the removal of the keys as part of the restoration process.
#21 The Exquisite Architecture Of Steinway
Wippen Spoons and springs of the world’s most successful and renowned piano manufacturer, Steinway. These finely tuned mechanisms power the keys of a line of pianos that have been played by more great pianists than any other. Shot with a Lumix S1R and a Laowa Probe lens, 106 images at various focal distances have been stacked together, giving this photo an almost Kubrickesque quality that appears more science fiction than classical music.