Color In Microscopy

Microscopy allows people to view the world on a significantly smaller scale, and although many of things we see are dyed by people, there are still many subjects that are not or simply cannot be.

There are some subjects that, under certain methods and conditions, can actually show immense amounts of different color without having to dye it. I selected three methods that I captured in these photomicrographs to display just a small idea of what colors can be found.

Each method has their own way to “extract” these colors, and sometimes it can produce more varieties of color paterns than just what’s shown for the same subject.

The three sets of images use fluorescence, differential interference contrast, and cross polarization, respectively. Each of the methods rely heavily on what the subject is to exibit the different colors shown in the image. Some subjects, such as autofluorescent organisms, will have more profound colors than others.

These images show that color can be found in even the smallest of subjects, it’s simply a matter of just finding what method exploits these colors.

Contreras_20160224_1 Contreras_20160224_2

Sambucus Lenticil at 10x magnification. Left image is from blue excitation fluorescence and right is from green excitation fluorescence.


Silicon semiconductor wafer at 10x magnification. Image was taken using the differential interference contrast method.


Dyed hair at 10x magnification. Image was taken using the cross polarization method.

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