Cross Sections of Photographic Paper and Film

SEM Kodak X-Ray FilmPhotographic Color Paper Layers



My first blog post features images by David Malin who is a scientific photographer who is most known for his astrological images working with the Angelo-Australian Observatory (Australian Astronomical Observatory). Malin helped develop methods to extract faint details from photographic plates used in the creation of true-color photographs of deep space objects. He accomplished this by imaging in three monochromatic wavelengths then combining the images before the rise of Photoshop. After retiring from the AAO in 2001 he is currently focusing on his business David Malin Images which is an extensive library of scientific photographs. His work is extremely unique because it spans both silver based and digital scientific imagery.

The two images above, that I received from Malin, are excellent examples of scientific photographs that I find very intriguing. The Scanning Electron Microscope image (left) is a cross section of X-Ray film that clearly shows the different layers of emulsion and adhesive, as well as the base of the film. The photographic paper cross-section (right) is a developed piece of photographic paper that has been imaged at 1300x magnification to show the different layers of the light sensitive paper.

I chose these images specifically because it demonstrates an insight into analog photography that most people do not appreciate today. Scientific photography differentiates itself from other types of photography because its imagery documents and provides new insight to further our understanding of the subject. Scientific photography achieves this by utilizing standardized imaging practices such as documentation, globalized editing, and is technically well done.

David Malin Images: David Malin, David Miller, Akira Fujii, Australian Astronomical Observatory

Author: Geoffrey Sasaki

Geoffrey Sasaki is currently a Second Year Photographic and Imaging Technology Major at Rochester Institute of Technology. He is very interested in GIS and Remote Sensing as well as silver based photographic practices. He is most looking forward to learning wet plate collodion development. This blog will highlight students work in Applications of Scientific Photography a class taught by Michael Peres (Microscopy) and Bob Rose (Exploration of Photographic Technology).

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