Imaging specialist, Jean-Claude Stahl, has been getting to grips with our new microscope which can take incredibly sharp pictures of shells as tiny as a grain of sand.
Being able to take high quality, close-up images, is an important part of our scientist’s role in documenting species from the natural environment. With older technology, this was no easy feat.
When taking pictures of very small specimens, depth of field becomes too shallow to cover the whole object. One way around this is to scan an object by taking multiple images from top to bottom, and then combine these images using specialized software – a very time consuming process called ‘image stacking’. It could take between 20–40 minutes to produce just one image with this method.
In order to speed up the process and produce higher quality images, our imaging team now have a new addition, a Leica Z6 microscope and camera.
Using the microscope, the camera can take images of specimens or objects that measure between 1mm and 2 cm, and has the capability to automate and speed up the process by up to five times.
With this new technology, taking sharp images of these tiny shells is made much easier and quicker for the team.