Through The Looking Glass

So, in an attempt to broaden my creative and scientific endeavours I bought myself a microscope. I’d been taking photos through the lens of a little spyglass that I picked up at a charity shop for a while. I didn’t think that you could just hold a camera up to the lens of another object and it would work as if you were looking through it, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t. Light still reflects off an object and passes through the lens then out of the other end in the same way. Then the camera still picks up that light and records it in the same way. And thus I figured hey, what else has lenses?

What is it? I'll give you a hint. It's not something's head.

And the Gods of Great Ideas reached down and put the word “microscope” in to my brain.

A few days later I was unwrapping it in my living room. 

It’s far too fascinating. It came with a few prepared slides, one of them being the leg of a house fly (pictured above!) and I’d ordered a couple of extra packets of slides and covers so I can pretty much grab anything and put it under the scope. And that’s what I’ve been doing.

Earlier that day I’d managed to cut my thumb and decided to put the blood to good use. I put a drop of blood on to a slide and slipped a cover on top and took a look at what it was like. For some reason, I didn’t expect to be able to see my blood cells still moving about on the slide. I didn’t think the microscope would zoom in that far. But there they were! Moving around and trying to find somewhere to go! But they soon started slowing down. The space in between each cell was closing and I realised that the blood was coagulating.

There is something strangely beautiful yet very creepy about that. I know they’re not dead just yet, they’ve just stopped moving…  But it looked like they were dying and that’s very life affirming. Every part of me is held together with such fragility.

I really need to be more careful with these things.

And then, while cutting things up again, I managed to slide in to my index finger with my craft scalpel. Is it normal for my first reaction to be “I must put this under a microscope and photograph it!”?

I’m sure it is.

I didn’t zoom in as close this time but you can see where the blood had already started hardening and formed cracks. you can’t see those cracks with your eye, but they’re there. It’s amazing, the things that you can’t see.

I’ll be working these images in to some of the corrupted/distorted pieces I’ve been working on lately, and seeing what other applications they have.

Next stop; Telescope.


More photos on my website and tumblr.

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1 Comment

  1. williamstafford

     /  January 24, 2012


    I know you’re just playing around with your equipment (!) at the moment. I look forward to your artistic endeavours with the microscope.


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