Microscopic Images Of Sand Grains Reveal A Fascinating World Of Treasures Right Beneath Your Feet

by • July 16, 2011 • Nature, PhotographyComments (0)2630

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A terrific example of the fusion between art and science, Professor Gary Greenberg’s photos of sand grains reveal a hidden world of wonder that lies right beneath your feet.  Greenberg, who has a Ph.D. in Biomedical Research from University College London, magnifies these grains by a factor of 250 times real life.

But these aren’t just any run of the mill specimens.  Greenberg has spent several years travelling the world and analyzing countless tiny grains with his microscope and an acupuncture needle in his meticulous search of the most complex and beautiful specimens.  What makes these images even more special is the fact that each one can take several hours to produce.  Greenberg explains, “Extreme close up photography normally gives a very shallow depth of field so I had to develop a new process to make the pictures that I wanted. I take dozens of pictures at different points of focus then combine them using software to produce my images. Although the pictures look simple each grain of sand can take hours to photograph in a way that I am happy with.” He also spoke to The Daily Mail about the beauty of these overlooked objects, “It is incredible to think when you are walking on the beach you are standing on these tiny treasures. Every time I look through my microscope I am fascinated by the complexity and individuality created by a combination of nature and the repeated tumbling of the surf on a beach.”

I have the same fascination with sand grains as well, which is why I attached the the very bottom image that I took myself at Herring Cove Beach in Provincetown, Massachusetts last year of sand grains in the palm of my hand.  The main difference between me and Professor Greenberg, however, is that while he manages to take this fascination to a deeper more complex level, I manage to head over to the Boat Slip, get blitzed on Mai Tais, and go skinny dipping in the bay getting sand grains stuck in my butt crack.  To view more of Gary’s sand images as well as to purchase your own prints be sure to visit his website at SandGrains.com. His book A Grain Of Sand is also available for purchase on Amazon.

SEE ALSO: Snowflakes Under Electron Microscope

Source: Daily Mail

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