Arnold Kolb
the process

THE PHOTOMICROGRAPHIC PROCESS
PHOTOMICROGRAPHIC PROCESSThe incredible beauty and intricate forms of nature's materials are revealed through the use of the microscope and the photographic process. Crystals, minerals, chemicals vitamins, bone, pharmaceuticals, plastics, ceramics, metals and alloys all reveal unique forms and patterns that illustrate their remarkable symmetry and detail. Our Creator is indeed the greatest artist of all!

As white light passes through the polarizing microscope, crystalline substances act as a prism which produces an explosion of color. Use of state-of-the-art optics, polarizing prisms, interference techniques, beam splitters, and compensators all aid in revealing the beauty of symmetry that lies beneath the surface of our everyday world.

Depending on their physical nature, materials to be examined and photographed may be melted or dissolved, and then carefully and selectively re-crystallized. Some materials may be sliced to very thin transparent sections for examination. Hard opaque substances such as metals are ground and polished to a mirror finish, and their flat surfaces examined by reflected light to reveal the form of their internal structure.

Arnold F. KolbAfter careful and extensive search of these "inner space" patterns, the artist selects from hundreds of possibilities a composition that is artistically pleasing. A camera on the microscope is then used to record the chosen image. Accurate and pleasing rendition of the image depends on the skill and experience of the microscopist in utilizing the available mechanical features of his microscope, the nature of the subject material, and the correct selection and scientific application of the photographic process. The quality of the artistic composition selected by the artist depends, however, on the creativity of the artist. Like the manager of a stage or theater production, the microscopist brings the characters of his visual drama onto the stage of the microscope. If the members of the "cast" are not properly costumed or suitably placed on the stage, the manager must call for rehearsal or "re-casting". This is done by melting or dissolving the preparation and re-crystallizing or re-creating the artistic scene until a suitable stage presentation is achieved. Then the curtain or camera shutter goes up, and the visual drama is ready for appreciation by the audience.

The photographic film in the form of a negative or a transparency is then photographically processed. From this original 4 x 5 film image, a photomicrographic print is then produced using highly refined photographic printing technology methods of the latest design. These photomicrographs may be made into murals as large as room size if desired. The more magnified the image, the more we are able to perceive and appreciate the beautiful perfection of form and structure revealed as fractal designs of our natural world.

Thus, internal structure and inherent color, rather than external form and applied color, are the key elements in these artistic compositions. They represent the "beauty of inner space" derived from science - to be enjoyed and shared as a stimulating and intriguing artistic form.

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