This is the third in a series on laboratory photography in the Department of Earth Sciences at Wooster. In a comment on a Fossil of the Week post last month, Wooster Geologist Alumnus Dr. Bill Reinthal asked if I could describe how we make our blog and other photographic images. I started last week with a post on our macrophotography equipment and techniques. You may want to read that post first for our general photographic processes. Next we had a post on our microphotography using a dissecting microscope with reflected light. This last post is on our microphotography through a petrographic microscope using transmitted light. As I cautioned before, I am not a professional photographer, and my departmental colleagues do plenty of their own excellent photography.
Above is an image of a thin-section cut from an oolitic limestone, the Middle Jurassic Carmel Formation of southwestern Utah. (You may see a theme here! I’ve used the same rocks and fossils in this three-part series to compare the various photographic techniques.) This photograph was taken with the equipment described below. I added the scale later with Adobe Photoshop.
This is our petrographic microphotography station in Dr. Meagen Pollock‘s petrology lab. On the left is a Mac computer running the imaging software from Lumenera (Infinity). Again our wonderful Geological Technician Nick Wiesenberg has written a detailed, easy-to-follow guide to using the system. On the right is the petrographic microscope with a thin-section on the stage.
The camera is an Infinity 5 (5.1 Megapixel). It makes fantastic images.
Here again is that Carmel Formation oolitic limestone, this time seen as an acetate peel. Note the differences between the thin-section (top image of this post) and the peel of the same rock. They both show unique details. This is why I like to make both peels and thin-sections of carbonate rocks I’m studying.
These three entries on our laboratory photography systems (macrophotography, microphotography part 1, microphotography part 2) are designed to show our current and future students what we can do in our department. Who knows how long this blog will survive in cyberspace, but maybe someday future Wooster Geologists will arrive here and marvel at our Old Ways!