Beneath the microscope

Down the corridors of BITS Pilani Goa

After developing the initial ideas of the project from the comfort of my home, where I used a borrowed school microscope to capture some initial images of the indigo dye mixed with household substances and photographing them using my iPhone (the only lens that would match with the eyepiece of the microscope), I took to BITS Pilani to move into a more of a controlled environment with high-grade equipment and access to more potent substances.

I created two batches of indigo mixed with a range of chemicals with the intension of documenting their behaviour overtime when stored at polar environments: +37C and -20C. After documenting the slides at conception, I stored one batch in a oven-like heated box and the other in a cold room, and returned the following day to document the reactions.

Reduced Indigo with (CH3)2SO:

0 hours (at conception) 19 hours later after being stored at +37C

Top : photographed through the Zeiss Primo Star inbuilt camera

Bottom: photographed through the eyepiece using my iPhone

As you can see from the examples above of the same slide the reactions after being exposed to difference environments are vastly different (this was the most extreme difference in states I found from my samples).

The cropped sensor of the inbuilt camera and rectangular perspective completely lost all character as a stand-alone image for me, so I was back to capturing the images through the eyepiece to retain that globe like frame.

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Meesha Holley 2021 ©