The Microscapes Collection

Icestation Zebra

Interested in multiple exposure photomicrographs? Visit our new Microscapes Photo Gallery.

This unusual portfolio is composed of multiple exposure photomicrographs intended to resemble alien and/or surrealistic landscapes.


These photomicrographs are constructed on a single frame of 35 mm film using a graduated reticle in the microscope oculars to determine precisely the positioning of the various exposures. A wide variety of chemicals and biochemicals are used to fabricate microscapes including drugs, vitamins, DNA, sugars, and amino acids.

Mount Meatloaf

The microscape illustrated on our banner is a microscape entitled Icestation Zebra and is composed of a multiple of 4 exposures with extensive masking of previously exposed portions of the film. The first exposure is of crystallites of the antibiotic ampicillin which were melt-recrystallized to form the ice cliff-like patterns in the foreground and the mountains in the background.

East Reykjavik

The second exposure is a section of polyethylene sandwich baggie stretched to align the polymer molecules to form a diffraction grating that generates the morning sky effect.

Baghdad, after the Storm

The stars in microscape photomicrographs are actually small spherulites of the liquid crystalline polypeptide polybenzyl-L-glutamate. The moon is the field diaphragm of the microscope defocused with a yellow filter in the lightpath.


By decentering the substage condenser, the "moon" can be placed in any desired position. The microscapes collection consists of about 500 different photomicrographs depicting a wide spectrum of surrealistic imaginary landscapes.

Space Birds

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Last modification: Wednesday, Feb 04, 2004 at 01:14 PM
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Microscopes provided by:
Visit the Nikon website. Visit the Olympus Microscopy Resource Center website.