Skip to main content
Make the most out of any wiki by using our free sister product,
Blendspace by TES
, to create interactive lessons and presentations!
Pages and Files
Free Stuff for Science Teachers
Slow Motion Videos
Physics Demo Videos
Earth Science Resources
My Children's Podcast
The images below were taken with a variety of microscope techniques. Some were taken with a handheld digital microscope, some with an educational digital microscope, others with a digital camera connected to a microscope, many with a macro lens, and others with a microscope objective used as a camera lens at the end of a bellows.
The problem with photography through a microscope or macro lens is that the more magnified the object, the shorter the depth of field. This means that only a very narrow region of the picture will be in focus at a time. One solution for this problem is to take multiple pictures focusing on different parts of the object and then combine them with a program like Zerene Stacker. Below is a series of unfocused pictures and then the stacked picture. This is followed by several more stacked pictures.
My current setup includes a
device that automates the moving of the camera and snapping of the pictures. I am using a
macro lens on a
camera. I use
software for the stacking and
Strawberry Seeds Photos:
Stacked photo of the tip of a strawberry with seeds:
Another stacked photo of strawberry seeds:
Here's a spider from my front yard in Menifee. This is 60 images stacked in Zerene Stacker.
This is the same spider as above, but the stack didn't work so this is a single image.
This is a spider, 97 images with a StackShot, MPE-65, and Zerene Stacker PMAX.
Here's a bee. This is a stack of 32 images.
This is a stack of 170 images with a macro lens and a StackShot controller. It is a green lynx spider and is capable of spitting venom.
This is a stack of 70 images through a macro lens. The green structures below its eyes are the fangs. there are teeth at the end of those fangs.
This is a tiny little fruit fly barely visible to the naked eye glued onto the end of a needle. This is a stack of 30 images.
This is a red-faced jumping spider (appropriate name, huh?). It's a stack of 119 images.
Here are the fangs of a large, black spider. This is a stack of 40 images taken with a Canon MPE65 macro lens.
This is a "White-Lined Sphinx Moth." It is a stack of 70 images taken with a macro lens at 0.2 mm between shots.
Here's a very small fly that I see on our grape vines at home. This is around 40 images focus stacked.
This is a lacewing. This is a stack of 46 images taken with a macro lens and stacked with Zerene.
Below is a small spider with feathered bristles around its eyes and head. These are likely to detect chemicals such as phermones to find a mate. This image is a stack of 44 photos taken at 5X magnification. The inset shows a closeup crop of the area around the eyes.
Here is a horse fly at around 2X magnification. This is a stack of 77 photos.
This is an insect that looked blue when light hit it at just the right angle. I didn't know why until I saw this stack.
This is a moth. It's a stack of 138 images taken with a macro lens.
This is a mud dauber wasp. They live along the shores of rivers and ponds. This is a focus stack of 85 images.
This is a flying insect magnified around 10 times. This is a stack of 71 images. The reflection is off of a CD.
This is a cranefly. It's a stack of about 100 images taken with a macro lens. You can see the compound eyes and the structures on the antennae that contain sensors to find mates.
Here are the eyes of a mosquito. This is a stack of about 100 images taken with a 10X microscope objective on bellows used as the camera lens.
Here's a spider, 92 images through macro lens.
Here is a wasp or hornet. This is a stack of just over 100 images taken with a macro lens. Below that, is a zoom in on the ocelli
(the simple eyes). Many flying insects have two compound eyes and three simple eyes (ocelli).
Here are two images of a spider's eyes taken with two different microscope objectives. The circles in the eyes are not eyeballs, but reflections
of the objectives in the eyes. There are 8 eyes total, but you cannot see them all in these pictures.
Here's a spider and 2 of its eyes. This is a stack of 30 images taken through a 4X microscope objective.
Here's a small, green fly. This is a stack of about 40 images.
Here is a bee's compound eye. These are stacks of between 50 and 75 images taken with a Nikon 4X achromat objective with a StackShot and external flash.
This is a midge, a small fly that looks like a mosquito (but doesn't bite). The feathery (plumose) antennae have sensors on them and have
more surface area when they are feathery like this so they are far more sensitive.
Zerene Stacker also lets you simulate 3-D with cross-eyed stereograms and rocker pictures. Below is a rocker. It should move back and forth.
This is a hoverfly. They mimic bees and hover around flowers. This is a Zerene stack of 143 images.
This is a spider. It is a single image, not a stack. It just killed a bee caught in its web. See the out of focus legs? That's why I need to focus stack.
This is a Jerusalem Cricket stack of 125 images taken with a StackShot automatic rails and a macro lens. It was dead when we found it
and when we got home, we realized that the parasitic worm below had killed it.
This is the Gordian worm or horsehair worm that killed the cricket above. The young live inside of the cricket absorbing nutrients through
their skin until they eventually kill the host. Some worms control the host and guide it back to water so that the cycle can start all over again.
Here's a video of the worm controlling a cricket and guiding it to water and exiting:
Since it absorbs nutrients, it doesn't have a functional mouth. It has no eyes, but still is able to find a mate.
Here is a colorful moth. This is 99 images focus stacked together.
Here is a closeup of the antenna of the moth above. This is a 119 image stack through a 10X microscope objective.
Here is a crane fly's head and some zooms closer in the picture. This was taken with a Nikon infinity-corrected objective on the end of
a Tamron 90mm macro lens. It's a stack of 39 images on a StackShot.
This is a small spider. You can see all 8 eyes. This is a stack of 50 images taken through a 10X microscope objective.
A typical ant with compound eyes and ocelli visible.
Here's a wasp stack. This is 84 images taken with a 10X microscope objective as the lens.
Here's a closeup of the wasp's eye.
Here's another crane fly taken with a 4X microscope objective as the camera lens.
Here's a stack of a black beetle. This is 125 images through a 5X objective.
Housefly with compound eyes and ocelli. This is a stack of 2 images taken in the field with a macro lens.
Same fly as above but from a different angle. This is a single image, not a stack.
This is a mealy bug. Each bug was stacked separately and then stitched together in Photoshop.
Here's another ant. The objective was crooked, so parts of the image are good and other parts are not.
This is the larva of a carpet beetle. It's a stack of 130 images taken through a microscope objective on bellows.
This is a bee with its tongue (technically, a "proboscis" sticking out. The bee was actually found dead this way and arranged in a flower for a stack of 50 images.
Here are some closeups of the center part of a bee's tongue (proboscis). These were taken with a microscope at the end of a bellows as the camera lens.
They are between 50 and 60 images each.
Here is a crop of a closeup of the bee's eye.
This is a winged fire ant. The winged ants spread the colony across long distances. The stinger is slightly visible. This is a stack of 60 images.
This is a small jumping spider. It is a single image taken in the field. The very narrow depth of focus of this lens is visible in the rock below.
This is a camelneck fly and it is very tiny. It's a stack of 78 images taken through a 4X microscope objective.
This is a shield bug stack of 50 images with a macro lens, extension tubes, and diopter.
This is a red damselfly stack of 160 images.
Below is an iridescent fly. This is a stack of 50 photos taken through a macro lens with an enlarger lens attached to it. It had been
dead for a very long time. That is the reason for the damage to the eye.
Here's the same fly, but at higher magnification. This is a stack of 165 images taken through a 10X microscope objective on bellows.
This is a very young funnel spider taken in the field, single image. It is standing in a defensive position and its 8 eyes are visible.
Praying mantis stack of 3 pictures taken outside with a macro lens.
Honey Bee's eye
Crane fly (5 stacked images with Macro lens) and close-up of crane fly's head (88 stacked images through microscope)
Here's a small spider's head and you can count 8 eyes!
Bee's head taken with a 4X microscope objective as the camera lens at the end of a tube, stack of 47 images.
The eye of the bee above taken with a 10X microscope objective as the camera's lens.
A dragonfly that was caught in a spiderweb
Same dragonfly, different technique
A damselfly stack of about 50 photos taken with a macro lens.
A blue beetle approximately 0.4 cm long (has water droplets all over it)
This is a grasshopper taken with a macro lens on extension tubes. This is a stack of about 45 images.
Same grasshopper, but this time with the camera lens reversed and a stack of about 12 images.
Here's the grasshopper's eye. This was taken with a microscope objective attached to the front of the camera lens. It's a stack of 15 images.
This is a wasp. The photo is a stack of 50 images taken with a Tamron 90 mm macro lens.
Here's the same wasp above, but with 68 mm of extension tubes added, some cropping, and some photoshop sharpening.
Here are stacks of pictures of a caterpillar taken with a Casio Exilim and a Raynox diopter. The first is a stack of 4 pictures and the second is a stack of 2 pictures.
Here is a stack of a grasshopper. This was taken with a macro lens on extension tubes with a diopter lens snapped on.
Here's the same grasshopper zoomed in a little. This is with a macro lens and extension tubes, a stack of 10 images.
This is a black widow's face. This is a stack of images taken with a 10X microscope objective on the end of bellows used as the camera lens.
This is a funnel spider. They make huge webs with a funnel at the bottom. They just wait for something to crawl onto the web and run out of the funnel to attack. This is a single image, not stacked.
A honey bee drinking pollen through its proboscis.
A small, colorful spider (single image macro lens).
A butterfly's head
An aphid on a rose.
This is a Damselfly's face. It's head was too wide for one shot, so I stitched together two stacks and the alignment was not perfect.
An iridescent fly
The scales on a butterfly's wing
Male Carpenter Bee, approximately 3 cm long
Dragonfly's face, stacked with a regular macro camera lens
Small fly with a nearly transparent eye.
Here's a closeup of the compound eye of the fly above. You can also see a simple eye (ocelli) surrounded in orange.
Little white spider. See the smiley face?
Stack of about 3 pictures of a damsel fly taken handheld with a macro lens.
Ladybug's compound eye at 40X stack of 35 images
A small, colorful beetle through the microscope:
Stacked photo of an ant's eye (with poor lighting):
Stacked photo of an ant's head:
Stacked photo of an ant with some of the supporting unfocused pictures:
Very large black ant's head
Hornet's head and shoulders (above)
Hornet's stinger (below)- Notice no barb so it can sting repeatedly. The drop of liquid is probably insecticide, not venom. These came from the awnings of my house.
Another hornet's eye
This is some sort of beetle. It has some strange feature behind its eyes.
This is a closeup of the feature behind its eyes
This is a closeup of its compound eye.
This is a stack of a long dead and dirty bee taken with a macro lens on extension tubes. Look at how fuzzy it is!
A small wasp.
The simple eyes (ocelli) of the wasp above. This picture was taken with a microscope objective on a bellows.
Underside of a black widow spider
A chain of diatoms taken through a microscope:
Same type of diatoms, different microscope
Another microorganism from aquarium water
Images below this line are not stacked.
Pictures taken at Family Science Night at Evan's Ranch Elementary School
Reproductive parts of a small flower
Rose Leaf Edge
Pictures taken for Chris McLeod's class at Bella Vista Middle School in Temecula:
Pictures of sporangia, sori and indusia of a fern found in Temecula in the Santa Margarita River
A very small bug on a pink flower petal
Pictures of a celery stalk that was set in red food coloring over night to draw the food coloring up the xylem
Pictures of the reproductive structures and leaves of a rose
Pictures that I've taken in the past:
Blade of grass at 40X and 140X
Kite String, 140X
Hair that was pulled and hair that fell out, 140X
Here are some pictures of fossil fish scales from Newport Beach, CA. I know that it doesn't sound spectacular to find fossil fish scales at the beach, but these were at the base of a cliff almost 100 feet tall and hence are very old.
These are pictures of different types of sand from around the world. You can see how the material from which the sand is made affects the composition as well as how long the sand has been rolling around in the surf.
Cocoa Beach, Florida
help on how to format text
Turn off "Getting Started"