A new blog just sprung into life. Macromite’s Blog:
This blog will be devoted to mites and mite art. My original Mite Image
Gallery was hosted by the University of Queensland until I left there
in 2003. Since then it has been lying dormant on a variety of computers
in a much colder land. Many of my images continue to be available on
the web (e.g. in interactive keys) and, if you are fortunate enough to
live in Australia, you may have seen some of them at the recent
Ornamentamology exhibit created by the Jewellers and Metalsmiths Group
Queensland, but amazingly, there doesn’t seem to be a site devoted to
appreciating the often bizarre beauty of the Acari. Now there is.
This person puts me to a shame when it comes to enhancing and coloring images from scanning electron microscopy (SEM). I rarely ever mask the background out, for example, mainly because it is a pain even for simple, bare contours. I can’t imagine the work that went into masking each of those hairs on the legs and the feather-like hairs on the body to produce the image above (from this post). Notice how the true cuticle of the mite’s body peeks at varous points in salmon color through the light pink of the covering dirt, requiring a lot of masking work also.
It is not all post-production, however. Having worked extensively with scanning electron microscopy I can tell you that, giving the quality of the original images he starts with (sometimes a full set just for a single final image), there was already a lot of work in both specimen preparation and flight-hours at the microscope.
And if I stop drooling over my keyboard from looking at the images and read the text on each post, I may even learn something about mite taxonomy.
- Tom Waits