“Science can be beautiful. Art can be scientific.” This latest episode of the PBS series Off Book, titled “Seeing Beyond the Human Eye“, looks into how science and photographic techniques are helping transform how we see the world.
Technology defies the boundaries of human perception. From photomicrography to astrophotography, size and distance are no longer barriers, and through slow-mo and timelapse, we are allowed to see time and humanity in a new light. Through our curiosity and thirst for the unknown, the beauty of the universe can now be explored beyond the limits of the naked eye.
Photographer Clemens Wirth wanted to dive into microscopy, so he attached his Canon 5D Mark II to a monocular microscope using an adapter and pointed it at one small drop of water. He was amazed to find out how much activity goes on inside ordinary water, and how detailed that tiny world is. This short film, titled “Micro Empire”, is a beautiful combination of Wirth’s footage and audio by Radium Audio.
Less than a year ago when I was a grad student at Berkeley, I heard a guest lecture by Professor Daniel Fletcher in which he discussed his CellScope project. His group aims to transform cell phones into light microscopes to aid in disease diagnosis in developing countries. Turns out the concept can be used for more than medical purposes.
Inspired by the CellScope, Nokia hired Aardman to create the world’s smallest stop-motion film using the Nokia N8 cell phone. The result is “Dot”, a stop-motion film starring an uber-small 9mm tall girl. Aardman had to create 50 different versions of the girl for all her various poses, and spent about one day making every four seconds of the video. Read more…
ASPEX, a company that manufactures scanning electron microscopes (SEM), recently launched a “Send Us Your Sample!” campaign. All you need to do is fill out a form and send it into the company with the sample you’d like photographed, and the company will publish the resulting photograph online and notify you via email when it’s up.
The photographs above show the torn edges of a piece of paper. You can see previously completed requests in this gallery.
Ever wonder what a vinyl record looks like under an electron microscope? Okay, probably not. Luckily, there’s people who do, including Chris Supranowitz, who created a number of electron microscope images for a course at the University of Rochester.
Here’s a photograph of the record grooves captured by Supranowitz at 500x magnification. Those dark chunks you see are dust particles.
This one was shot at 1000x magnification. The record begins to look like the Grand Canyon.