Category Archives: Photomicrography

How was this image made?

Thin section of dunite in crossed polarsFirst off, what is this?  This is a photomicrograph of dunite, an ultramafic rock composed almost entirely of the mineral olivine.  The vivid colors were produced by viewing the subject, a thin section of the rock containing birefringent crystals, through crossed polarizing filters. Continue reading

Stacked images: how are they made?

Recent developments in photography have lead to a flood of great images with tremendous sharpness or resolution.  Here’s an example photograph of a spherical cluster of blades of vauxite crystals from the Siglo Veinte mine, Llallagua, Potosi, Bolivia.  The ball of crystals is 1 mm wide.

Vaixite from Bolivia

This photo was produced by combining the sharpest parts of 55 separate photos of the mineral; each image isolated a tiny, crisply focused level.  This photo won an Image of Distinction Award in the 2013 Nikon Small World contest.  But how is this done? Continue reading

Getting magnification: Stacking objectives

Stacking lenses is an excellent way to get higher magnification in macrophotography.  I’ve only recently started experimenting with this technique, but was immediately impressed by the magnification and clarity of the images.

Clued in by a good friend in Seattle, Bruce Kelly, and a post on by Rik Littlefield, I bought a few new toys. Continue reading