Category Archives: Photomicroscopy

0.6 Gigapixel photomicromosaic Curcurbits stem cross-section

This image is a 42-frame micromosaic taken with the Canon 5D MkII and a research trinocular microscope at magnification x50.  It is the cross-section of a Curcurbits stem, an image I have done before, but not at this magnification.  The resulting 42-frame mosaic came out at 25,000 x 23,000 pixels and is the largest photomicromosaic I have assembled to date.  Well I guess Photoshop CS3 did the assembling using the Photomerge function, which also does a superb job on the blending as well.

Be warned – it took over an hour for Photoshop to put this together for me and I run a Quadcore 2.5GHz Intel machine with 8 Gig of RAM and Windows 7 64-bit.  So it is not a lightweight system and yet it took this long to assemble.  Just flattening the final image took nearly half an hour!!

These massive mosaics are great fun (I wish I had enough clear skies to put together massive deep-sky mosaics – but even the mini-WASP array won’t help me out too much with that problem) – but in future I will try to stick to mosaics of about half this size, so around 20-frames.

Lily ovary cross-section – 31-frame photomicromosaic

This is a photomicroscopy image of the cross-section of a Lily ovary.  But this is a microscope image with a difference!  This is a 31-frame mosaic taken with the Canon 5D MkII – so the original image is a massive 20,000 x 20,000 pixels in size – that’s a 0.4 Gigapixel image in real money.  My computer struggled with even the simplest Photoshop action with that size of image so I won’t go beyond 6 x 6 frames for any 5D MkII mosaic in future.

Photomicroscopy – Dragonfly eye region



We are fortunate in that the cat is no good at catching birds.  However, if you know cats this just means that she will specialise in hunting some other poor creature.  In our case the other poor creature happens to be Dragonflies, which I would have thought were far more difficult targets than birds.  However.  Not wishing to waste her latest victim I brought the Dragonfly indoors for some focus-stacked photomicroscopy, and even some focus-stacked photomicromosaic work with two or more separate frames stitiched together.

Using the research trinocular microscope with the Canon 5D MkII, a series of focus-stacked images were taken and the stacking carried out using that most fantastic of programs – Helicon Focus.  This really is a powerful software package, and if you are into photomicroscopy it is a must-have piece of software.

I took several images of the Dragonfly eye region as this is the most fascinating part to look at under a microscope.  The eyes are huge in the Dragonfly, they almost totally encircle the whole head.  They are also effectively split into two regions, the upper region has a red hue, and the lower region has a yellowish hue.  Whether this is some adaptation to its long life as an underwater hunter or not, I do not know (I guess I’d better look it up now).

Whatever – it never fails to amaze me just how complex tiny little creatures like insects are when you get to look at them at their scale-size – it’s just incredible.