My dream of arranging diatoms started when I was a senior in high school. The final project in Mr. Baier’s A.P. Biology class at Webster High School was to choose a topic to photograph and present our results to the class. This is when I first discovered the beautiful world of diatoms. At the time, I wanted to learn about what types of diatoms lived in the different water samples. I started by collecting a water sample from the stream that flowed on the school property. I also collected water samples from other types of water all around Webster. I examined the water samples under a microscope and photographed them with the built in camera attached to the microscope. I also did a little research in order to determine what organisms lived in each type of water. While I was doing research, I came across the diatomist Klaus Kemp. After watching a video about him on Vimeo, I was determined to some day make a diatom arrangement, as well. When it came time to choose a topic for my senior capstone, I already knew what I was going to do: finally accomplish my goal of creating a diatom arrangement.
My capstone allowed me to combine everything I learned as a biomedical photography student at RIT. I learned how to properly light and photograph subjects in a studio during my first year photography class. The Science Photography and High Magnification classes helped me to develop the skills and techniques necessary to handle delicate samples and photograph specimens through a microscope. This book is an all-encompassing resource for people who have basic microscopy skills and are interested in learning how to work with diatoms