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Old 07-05-2011, 11:05 PM
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Default Common as sand

Viewed at a magnification of over 250 times real life, tiny grains of sand are shown to be delicate, colourful structures as unique as snowflakes.


"'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.'

Prof Greenberg, who searches through thousands of tiny rocks with acupuncture needles to find and arrange the most perfect specimens, then uses a painstaking technique to create his images.

He has spent five years searching the globe for remarkable sand grains like these to photograph.

He said: '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."

Last edited by MichaelKellough; 07-05-2011 at 11:08 PM.
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:16 AM
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Default Re: Common as sand

Preety cool! Some appear to be micro-fossils.
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Old 07-06-2011, 01:55 AM
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Default Re: Common as sand

Is this the prof from Florida who is the world's foremost expert on sand, and on beaches?

Very spectacular photo, or photomontage.

Howeffenefer.....most grains of sand are a tad more prosaic than those jewels shown there. It's a bit more difficult to get so entranced out of a collection of ground-up arkose, or indurated mudstone, or feldspathic schist, or even well-worn quartzite.

Still in all, a gorgeous pic!
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Old 07-06-2011, 02:32 AM
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Default Re: Common as sand

Truly amazing!
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Old 07-06-2011, 03:48 PM
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Default Re: Common as sand

Michael, thank you SO MUCH for this marvelous image and link!

I have always loved rocks, big and small, and...

um...

(c'mon hasslefactor, just spit it out!)

... have never once come home from any beach without a collection of carefully selected tiny grains of sand.

In other words...

I can't wait to share this with everyone in my family.
It's the vindication I've been waiting for my whole life.

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Old 07-06-2011, 04:14 PM
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Default Re: Common as sand

Thanks, Michael.

I've always wanted a really good microscope, now you've given me just one more reason.

.
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Old 07-06-2011, 04:25 PM
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Default Re: Common as sand

A lot of those bits of "sand" are microorganisms - foraminiferans and diatoms. They both make shells ("tests") out of silica. The tests are often extremely detailed in structure. Apparently people used to make microscopic art from diatoms back in Victorian times. They'd arrange individual diatom cells on glass slides to make pictures. The art form has been re-invented recently by a guy named Klaus Kemp: Microlife Services - Diatom specialist

Here are some images:







Or this one made of the scales from butterfly wings

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Old 07-06-2011, 08:54 PM
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Default Re: Common as sand

Great links, Peter!

The Victorians really knew how to put the "craft" in their crafts, didn't they?
It's such a strange marriage, too - all that fine workmanship in service of complete kitsch.

I wonder what they would think of today's big box craft stores like Hobby Lobby or Michael's....

Would they be breathlessly rapturous over the mountains of pre-assembled faux ephemera that fill the scrapbooking aisles?
Or would they just be disappointed that such large shops do not offer a respectable inventory of exotic butterfly wings to "paint" with?
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:59 PM
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Default Re: Common as sand

If I know Victorians (and I'm pretty sure I grew up in the midst of them - Kingston never really left the mid 1800's) I'm sure they'd be very snooty about today's hobby/craft stores.

On the other hand, they were snooty about almost anything.

"Faux ephemera." Love it!
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