Photomicrography and Scientific Imaging

Course Details


This course will provide the theoretical foundation and the practical tools for the student to perform scientific imaging solutions of a wide variety of subject matter ranging from transparent to opaque, from glossy to textured, at magnifications ranging from whole objects to the limits of the light microscope, using a wide variety of illumination methods and illuminating wavelengths.

  • This course will provide the theoretical foundation and practical tools for the student to create scientific images for a wide variety of subject matters, at a wide range of magnifications, using wavelengths from ultraviolet C through near infrared.
  • Scientific imaging standards: What goes into a well-crafted scientific image? What standards should be used? How can I include scale bars in my photomicrographs? How can I calibrate my eyepiece graticule?
  • Operations of cameras and lenses, including the most important settings, what they mean, and how to employ them wisely: ISO, shutter speed, aperture, white balance, and resolution.
  • Magnification: standard photography (infinity – 1:10), close-up photography (1:10 – 1:1), photomacrography (1:1 – ~10X), and photomicrography (~10X – 1000X). Each modality has its unique challenges.
  • Illumination: Illumination depends on camera and microscope instrumentation, but also on the qualities of the specimen, such as transparency, surface texture, reflectivity, and even crystallinity. Specimen lighting strategies include transmitted and reflected light, balanced, modeling, raking, specular or axial illumination, crossed polarizing light, fluorescence, and other contrast-enhancing methods.
  • Image processing: Image processing enables the scientific photographer to enhance the image by adjusting contrast, white balance, rectilinearity, and other qualities, while avoiding manipulations that distort or otherwise misrepresent the image information.

Upon satisfactory completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • You will gain an basic understanding of image formation in both the camera and the microscope
  • Create an elegant portfolio of scientific imaging

Science professionals who have a need to accurately record and visually communicate images of scientific importance. Forensic scientists, medical personnel, conservators and curators, industrial scientists in industry and quality control, government; others.

Students are encouraged to bring interesting objects.

All instrumentation, materials, and supplies necessary for successful completion of this course will be provided onsite by Hooke College of Applied Sciences.

  • Olympus BX51 polarized light microscope
  • The McCrone Atlas of Microscopic Particles, a free online reference aid to substance identification.
  • Modern Microscopy, a free, peer-reviewed online journal for the professional microscopist.
  • Professional level photographic studio (electronic flash, soft boxes, scrims, etc.)
  • Stereomicroscopes, compound polarizing, and fluorescence microscopes
  • Advanced macro illumination modules
  • A variety of subjects to photograph (students are encouraged to bring interesting objects as well)

Knowledge of photographic principles and microscopy, and experience with Adobe Photoshop will be helpful, but are not a prerequisite.

Students are expected to successfully complete a variety of tasks in the form of hands-on exercises, laboratory exercises, identifications of unknowns, and quizzes. In addition, the students are required to have 100% attendance during the course, participate in class, complete a student evaluation form and pre- and post-course assessment forms.

The student is notified at the end of the course whether or not they have successfully completed the requirements of the course based on:

  • 100% Attendance
  • Class participation
  • Completion of all course material
  • Completed and signed student evaluation form

Upon successfully meeting these requirements, a student is awarded a certificate of completion and CEU credits, if available. Those who have not successfully passed the course requirements do not receive a certificate or CEU credits.

Please see our General Policies page for information related to course registration and cancellation.

Upcoming Dates


February 25, 2020 - February 27, 2020
$1295 | 2.0 credits
T - TH | 8am - 4pm
Instructor: Joseph G. Barabe
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