Tuesday , September 29 2020
Do you want to gain the skills to obtain professional quality images through the microscope?

Book Review: Practical Digital Photomicrography: Photography Through The Microscope For The Life Sciences by Dr. Brian Matsumoto

Have you ever wanted to photograph through the lens of a microscope? Have you ever wanted to capture the world that exists inside the lens on a microscopic? Practical Digital Photomicrography is a book whose goal it is to give you an introduction to digital photography through the microscope.

In Practical Digital Photomicrography you will examine the techniques and equipment that you need to obtain high quality images of biological subjects and how to properly enhance the images to bring out the best. Practical Digital Photomicrography is 200 pages in length and divided into 14 chapters.

Chapter 1, "Introduction to the Microscope," introduces the fundamentals of using the microscope. Here you will take a look at the controls that are used most frequently as well as how to properly use them. You are introduced to some of the developments in microscope technology and what makes a scope appropriate for photography. You will also look at illumination, the use of an oil immersion objective, as well as how to troubleshoot problems.

Chapter 2, "The Lens," continues your instruction on the microscope, but now focusing on the lens and main body. Through an understanding of light's interaction with the specimen and the microscope, you will soon be able to decide which lens to use and what kind of magnification is needed to discern fine structures in your subject. This chapter will look at the objective lens, depth of focus, both the course and fine focus capabilities, as well as the stage of the microscope.

Chapter 3, "Selecting Microscope Accessories," can help you to enhance the microscopes abilities. These not only include additional objectives, eyepieces, and magnification changers, but also the use of stereomicroscopes. Here you will not only see why you may need these extras and what they can do for you, but how to compensate for the problems that some of these additions may introduce.

Chapter 4, "Digital Concepts," are important to understand for photomicrography work if you want to capture clear images. In this chapter you begin with the pixel and what it means to photography. Then you look at other concepts like light intensity, bit level, color, as well as a brief introduction to the camera itself.

Chapter 5, "Digital SLRs," now gets into the heart of the camera and how to use it. The focus is DSLRs, and how the camera works with a microscope. Here you will look at mounts, adaptors, avoiding vibration, achieving accurate focus and framing, along with several types of cameras.

Chapter 6, "Advantages of a Dedicated Digital Camera," are more flexibility and versatility, especially with regard to working with microscopes. A dedicated camera is one that must be run by a computer and is not for hand-held use. In this chapter you will look at how dedicated digital cameras work, how they are mounted, and what kind of control they bring to your work.

Chapter 7, "Using the Camera," now gets into setting up your specimens for use with your camera. You will look at illumination, color balancing, color vs. monochrome, white balance, and exposure.

Chapter 8, "Improving the Image," is something that you may need to do when your subject does not have good contrast. Many times samples in native states are transparent and you need to bring out the image. Here you will look at working with stained samples, special illumination techniques, fluorescence, and the use of phase differences to bring out the best your subjects.

Chapter 9, "Improving the Image with Software," is what you will explore once your image is captured. In this chapter you will learn how to enhance the image features and bring out fine details. In Adobe Photoshop, the basic techniques are described for bringing out the best in your image.

Chapter 10, "Buying a Microscope," can be a significant expense and so it is important to choose a reputable vendor as well as a quality manufacturer so as to not only get a quality product, but also one that you can acquire an extensive line of accessories. Here you will see what to look for in a microscope, buying new or buying used, as well as what some manufacturers products bring to the table.

Practical Digital Photomicrography is a very targeted book that focuses on the biological sciences. It is very well laid out and presents the material in a logical sequenced manor beginning with the microscope following through to the camera, the setting up your samples, and finishing with post processing to enable you to get the best images.

Practical Digital Photomicrography is also laced with high quality photos of images as well as descriptions of how to set up to take the shots. This book will be very beneficial to those in the life sciences including educators, students, as well as photographers who want to capture these types of images. If you want to gain the skills to obtain professional quality images through the microscope, then I recommend this book.

About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.

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