Fully-focused colour composite images

Micropalaeontologists at the Museum are developing imaging techniques that employ digital technologies to overcome the limitations of light micrographs.

These digital imaging techniques involve:

  1. Taking a sequential series of images per specimen, at different focal plane depths, so that each ‘image slice’ captures a different aspect of the specimen’s morphology in focus.
  2. Building up a composite image by combining the areas in each image slice that are in focus.

The resulting composite image is a true-colour image of the specimen viewed in transmitted or reflected light, with full focus throughout the field of view.

Imaging equipment used:
  • Zeiss Axiocam HR camera
  • Allen Compact Digital Microscope
  • Kontron ProgRes camera scanner
Dedicated software used:
  • Syncroscopy AutoMontage – for perfectly focused 3D images
  • Axiovision

Benefits of fully-focused colour composite images

These images do not completely replace other methods of illustrating specimens but they are the most realistic and representative view of what a micropalaeontologist actually ‘sees’ through the microscope tube.

The images are particularly useful when illustrating previously unillustrated or poorly illustrated type specimens.

The technique has the added benefit of not altering the original specimen, unlike gold palladium coating for scanning electron microscopy, for example.

Interested in using our digital imaging facilities?

To enquire about accessing our collections or research facilities please get in touch.

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