FAQs- About the Process

Frequently Asked Questions:

 Q: Do you manipulate the colors in the prints?

A: No, the photographic images are reproduced as originally seen under the microscope.

Q: How do you take a photo with a microscope?

A: I use an Olympus BH2 microscope with a trinocular head to which is attached a Canon 5D (50mp) camera. The digital images are captured directly on a laptop computer.

Q: How did you come up with the idea?

A: I learned the techniques of photomicrography and that some crystals are quite beautiful under the microscope over 30 years ago. I worked as a research scientist for 35 years, and the two disciplines, photography and science, led me to my interest in crystal photomicrography and artistic pursuits.

Q: Why can the same crystal look so different in different photos?

A: I grow the crystals from solution on a glass microscope slide. I can change the solvents used, drying conditions, etc. The remaining variables of time, temperature, humidity, etc. cause the crystal patterns to grow in a variety of patterns, most of which is beyond my control.

Q: Are the crystals colored?

A: No. They are clear to translucent. The color comes from refraction of white light and separation into the colors of the spectrum. Much like a prism or a raindrop can produce a rainbow of color.

Q: How much are the crystals magnified in the prints?

A: It depends on the image and the size of the print. Typically a 16X20 inch image will be magnified 1000 to 3000 times. The original field would be in the range of the size of the head of a pin or smaller.

Q: I’ve never seen anything like these. Why not?

A: There is a unique set of challenges. These include: scientific (figuring out how to grow the crystals), technical (photomicrography has its own set of photographic considerations including depth of field, vibration, lighting, etc.)