I’ve talked a bit on here about my love for both science and art, but at some point I realized I’ve never actually tried to combine my interests.
So for my final project for photo 1 this semester, I decided to try just that.
I got permission from the bio lab on campus to borrow one of their microscopes for a little bit, and ended up with the images below made into a science lab notebook, complete with some messy handwritten notes under each.
The cover of my notebook.
Here’s the catch: none of the images above were actually taken with a microscope.
When I borrowed the microscope from the lab, the only thing I did with it was pose next to it for the cover photo.
To make this, I spent about a week just carrying my camera everywhere with me and just documenting random textures that I found, and then edited them to have the appearance of being under a microscope.
So much of what we perceive is based on context, so I thought it would be really interesting to try decontextualizing some things we see every day – a brick, a windowsill, a plant, and a bandaid in this case – and see if people would recognize the source in a different context.
The really satisfying thing was, it worked. When I presented the project, my whole class literally gasped when I said that none of the photos were actual microscopic views. One guy called me a wizard. The fact that people were genuinely fooled by this, and then were really interested in how I actually did this was rewarding.
Seeing that I could have a more unusual idea and have it actually work the way I wanted it to work was validating, and proof that this really is something I could possibly successfully pursue.