The Micropolitan Museum exhibits an unworldly spectrum visible only through the lens of a microscope. Painter Wim van Egmond photographs spectacular microscopic masterpieces with ethereal color palettes. To capture these hidden treasures, he uses a Zeiss Standard light microscope and an old Zeiss Photo-microscope. Several methods of illumination are employed: bright-field, dark-field, phase contrast, differential interference contrast, and Rheinberg illumination.
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Van Egmond's Insectarium offers such specimens as the iridescent butterfly wing, whose tiny scales possess a microscopic texture that refracts light. Here we find lavender blue and green.
The delicate wing of the mosquito, on the other hand, is covered with ting feather-like structures. Deep greens, golds, and aquas are apparent.
The Botanic Garden presents the vibrant red of grains of Lily pollen.
The stem of the Mare's Tail, an aquatic flowering plant, offers dazzling purples and violets.
The pine needle is ablaze with dark blue, light blue, bright red, and orange.
The Freshwater Collection offers such things as the common water-flea (Daphnia longispina), which displays a palette of blues, orange, and green.
Green Algae (Micrasterias rotata) offer brilliant greens and blues.
The water mite, a relative of spiders, is found in ponds and offers brilliant oranges and browns.
The Marine Collection offers such creatures as the Obelia, a tiny relative of the jellyfish, with a brilliant yellow center.
Red algae (Rhodophyta) sport a distinctive, deep red.
Thanks to Wim van Egmond for inviting us into the astonishing world of microscopic color.
About the Author, Craig Conley
Craig is an independent scholar and author of dozens of strange and unusual books, including a unicorn field guide and a dictionary of magic words. He also loves color: Prof. Oddfellow
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