Polarized light photomicroscopy.

In the early 1980s I was running the photo department at a scientific research establishment. This involved a wide variety photo techniques to record a range of subjects.

However, polarized light photomicroscopy wasn’t used for anything work related. Having seen the results of other people I decided to investigate the technique. In those days that meant researching in literature rather than simply Googling as you would these days.

Now I will admit that I am writing this from memory, I have googled the subject and what I have found matches my memories of the technique.

I applied drops of a Sodium Thiosulfate solution to some microscope slides and left the solution to evaporate so that crystals would form.

I mounted a polarizing filter between the light source of the microscope and the slide stage. Once the Sodium Thiosulfate had crystallized I put one of the microscope slides on the stage and put a second polarizing filter above the slide. When you rotated one of the polarizing filters the colour of the crystals changed.

The first photo shows what I found to be a fairly typical example of the crystals.

polarized light microscopy

This photo shows small patches of colour against a mostly dark background. I’m guessing that this is a result of the orientation of the polarizing filters.

polarized light microscopy

A favourite.

Between film and digital I have photographed hundreds of species of birds but there’s something about the European Robin. Confiding and sometimes so tame you have to be careful not to step on them, some are real characters.

Beloved weekly photo challenge. The photo below is a film shot from the 1980s that I  came across in my slide files recently.

Eurasian Robin, Cheshire, England