Answering some requests and questions
Thanks to everyone for your great comments, questions and suggestions. I will try to get to all of them, although some things you suggested simply don't look very interesting under my microscope.
First, some answers to your questions that have been e-mailed and posted here:
Q: What photoshop techniques are you using?
A: Auto-Levels (ctrl-shift-L) and Auto-Color Balance (ctrl-shift-B) and it seems to make a difference depending on which I do first sometimes. I will also go in and manually correct it if I don't like what it's done. When a single color predominates, the final result is sometimes not very good. I am also using a freeware program called Noiseware Community Edition mostly because it's free. I am still experimenting with the denoising.
Q: Do you take requests?
A: Yes! See below! However, as I said, sometimes things do not look very good under the microscope even if you think they will. The outside of an orange peel is a great example because it just didn't look like much of anything. I try to only select things I think will either be interesting or beautiful (preferably both) and before you ask, yes I think the dog booger is beautiful in its own way. I am also looking for ideas for theme days.
Q: What sort of things should I request?
Anything that I can break down small enough to fit under the microscope. Most liquids will not work because they have no structure. Soon I'll be experimenting with a blacklight to see if I can get any interesting results with flourescent materials (although I can't make any promises). If it works, I'll be asking for ideas for things which might flouresce under the microscope which wouldn't normally do so when viewed with our eyes.
Q: Are you a scientist?
A: Nope, I was way too much of a slacker, but I love science. I try to keep up with current science as much as I can because the universe is a source of never-ending wonder to me and I want to know how it all works. Professionally, I'm a (sadly currently unemployed) audio engineer, writer and voice-over actor. Here's my professional website: http://www.everyonesvoice.com
Q: Why haven't you shown any microorganisms yet?
A: Because I haven't found any good ones to show you yet. So far I haven't ventured much past the block I live on (although that will change today!) and being in the San Fernando Valley, there's just not much standing water to be found. Many of the ponds and streams here are fenced off, I guess to stop homeless people from bathing in them or drinking the water so finding some is going to be a challenge but I have not given up yet! I also plan on taking a trip to the ocean and bring back lots of samples. Probably just a couple of hours of sample collecting will provide a week's worth of images.
Q: Was that really your booger?
Q: Are you going to do sperm?
A: They would be too small for the microscope to see but I would definitely do so if I had the ability. There is no science without sacrifice!
For Tomorrow: The Big Lots Challenge
Wherein I go to the Big Lots discount store and see how many different things I can buy to put under the scope for $10. Check back for more!
Now, on to today's pictures, mostly requests:
Someone suggested one of my nails. Here is a toenail at 200x
And Lucy graciously donated a piece of her claw as well. Her mouth may be cleaner than a human's but her nails certainly aren't! Shown at 200x
My electric toothbrush at 200x
An eggshell blue styrofoam packing peanut at 200x
Someone requested a potato chip. I don't keep any in the house, but I might try to get some today at Big Lots. In the mean time, here is a Wheat Thin cracker at 60x.