Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Photographing Objects

One of the main outcomes of this project to investigate the Cook-Voyage collections at the Pitt Rivers is a new website, to replace the existing Forster Collection and Pacific Pathways sites.  High quality images will be taken by the Pitt Rivers' photographer, and I will supplement these with digital microscope images of materials.  Taking photographs through the microscope is relatively simple with the right adaptors for the camera.  We're using a Canon Eos 60D, which allows us to connect it to the computer using the Canon Liveview software, and to take pictures remotely, which minimises vibration.

A microscope with camera attached

A single image of a microscope slide or a sample from an object may not capture all the detail we need - the focal depth is sometimes too great for a single image and parts of the field of view may be out of focus.

A single image of a feather from the Tahitian Mourner's costume, x40.  Parts of the image are out of focus

Using Helicon Focus software, we can take a series of images of a sample, adjusting the focus of the microscope slightly each time.  The software then merges the images together, creating a final image which is in focus through the whole depth of field, with no blurry areas.

10 images of the feather were taken as the microscope focus was slightly changed.  The images were stacked together using the software to create this final image.