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"Micro-muscles" made visible by polarized light

 
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Charles Krebs



Joined: 01 Aug 2006
Posts: 5805
Location: Issaquah, WA USA

PostPosted: Fri May 11, 2007 9:13 am    Post subject: "Micro-muscles" made visible by polarized light Reply with quote

Here are a few more images that were made using crossed-polarized light to delineate some of the musculature of these micro creatures. The first image is a very small mosquito larva (possibly a first or second instar).
The second is a small marine amphipod found in a sample of seawater and algae. (The eyes are very interesting in these creatures, and quite different in appearance from the freshwater relatives I've looked at).
The third image is a very close look at a single leg section of a freshwater amphipod. (If I oriented the polarizers a certain way I obtained this blue/white coloration of the muscle tissue... which I really liked).

Crossed polarizers really add another dimension when examining these subjects. These muscle structures are very transparent and scarcely visible in "normal" brightfield.

One difficulty photographing with this method can be the extreme dynamic range between the brightest parts and the darkest parts where you want to preserve detail. With this type of subject I seldom adjust the polarizers to full "extinction" since then all you can see are the brightly illuminated muscles with no real sense of context. So the polarizers are adjusted while doing test shots and checking the histograms. (These must have been a real pain to do with film!). Even working this way, it is sometimes necessary to take a darker exposure of extremely bright parts and "layer" it into the final image in order to avoid "blown-out" highlights.



Olympus 10/0.40 S Plan Apo, Canon 350D. Brightfield with crossed polarizers. Multiple image z-stack combined with Helicon Focus.



Olympus 4/0.16 S Plan Apo, Canon 350D. Brightfield with crossed polarizers. Multiple image z-stack combined with Helicon Focus.



Olympus 10/0.40 S Plan Apo, Canon 350D. Brightfield with crossed polarizers. Multiple image z-stack combined with Helicon Focus.
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Wolfgang Bettighofer



Joined: 11 Mar 2007
Posts: 58
Location: Kiel, Germany

PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2007 3:26 pm    Post subject: Re: "Micro-muscles" made visible by polarized ligh Reply with quote

Unbelievable! This shots are definitely from outer space! Very nice work, thanks for posting,
Wolfgang
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gpmatthews



Joined: 03 Aug 2006
Posts: 1038
Location: Horsham, W. Sussex, UK

PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2007 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wonderful Charlie - as you know I have tinkered with polarised light with a number of different subjects, but never was able to produce such dramatic shots as these.
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Graham

Though we lean upon the same balustrade, the colours of the mountain are different.
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