Botanical Samples

Botanical samples tend to, on average, have an increased width compared to human specimens due to the differing cutting techniques used. Observing botanical samples through the use of photomicrography allows researchers to observe the development of plants. There are a plethora of plant species, and all of them grow differently. This differing growth can be observed through cross sections of plants through the microscope and microphotography. Through various techniques, distinct features of plants can be illuminated and brought forth. Two examples of these lighting set-ups are darkfield (Fig. 2) and fluorescence (Fig. 3). The darkfield lighting technique uses scattered luminance to light only the subject, therefore producing a dark background and bright subject matter. The fluorescent method takes advantage of the naturally occurring fluorescent aspects of the plant life, thus lighting up the parts of the sample that reflect this specific area of the spectra.


Figure 1: The image above visualizes normal Kohler Illumination.


Figure 2: This image shows the darkfield technique.


Figure 3: The image above illustrates fluorescence.

The Scientific Image

Hello all, this is Karla Mueller. I am a second year student in Biomedical Photographic Communications. Among my interests are taking pictures (naturally), being outside, & hanging out with friends. To me, a scientific image is an image that is taken for analytical reasons, to draw more information out of a subject visually, & sometimes with variations of light other than standard full spectrum light. However, I believe that there is still aesthetic beauty in scientific images, for nature itself is beautiful to me. I requested permission to use an image of cross-polarization, one of the most beautiful ways to bend light for scientific applications, but the photographer has not yet responded to my inquiry.

(Note: I apologize for posting so late, there were a lot of problems with my sign-in information)