Almost exactly a month ago I posted a photo of a sow bug (order Isopoda) on my blog that I created from a stack of 57 separate images. But I was really unsatisfied with the photo and decided it was time to invest in more equipment. I ordered a 4X microscope objective off Ebay and started building a precision focusing rail out of a Zeiss Microscope Focus Arm.
The focusing rail is now functional. The trickiest thing was figuring out how to provide soft, even lighting to a tiny specimen positioned only 14mm from the front of the lens while simultaneously avoiding lens flare. I also needed to find a suitably photogenic subject. Given that it was snowing on the day I took the photo below, a trip to the garden to look for tiny insects wasn’t an option!
I had an epiphany yesterday morning while eating a small tub of yogurt and a banana. I finished the yogurt and realized that it was made from thin white plastic and was the perfect size and shape to fit over both the microscope lens and a specimen. All I had to do was to cut a hole in the bottom to insert the subject. Meanwhile a couple of fruit flies started to buzz around my banana...”aha” I thought, “my specimens have arrived!”
Below is one of the photos resulting from a meeting of yogurt container and fruit fly.