Gross and microscopic images of pathology specimens. All should have Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) licenses. Please let me know if you find one that I have not licensed, and I'll correct the oversight.

If you have specimen photos of your own, please join and contribute to the Pathology and Lab Medicine Group on Flickr.

Publishers: Please credit any photos you use to "Ed Uthman, MD"

I have been asked about the technique I use for photomicrography. I take all my photomics, handheld, with an old Nikon Coolpix 995. The other Nikon Coolpix models that can be used in this way are the 900, 950, 990, and 4500. All are out of production but can be acquired inexpensively on the secondary market.

White balance: Preset to empty "white" microscope field.
Shooting mode: M (manual), Landscape (fixed focus at infinity).
Exposure: +0.7 stop compensation for routine brightfield; or -1.0 for use with polarizers/compensator.
Image quality: Fine (JPEG).

Shooting technique:

1) Bring subject into perfect focus in the eyepiece, with your own eyes adapted for distance vision. This is not an issue for people over forty years of age--their eyes do not try to "fight" the microscope's focus--but the infinity focusing technique can be learned by younger photographers. Just imagine yourself looking at a ship on the horizon as you peer through the eyepiece. Eventually you'll get it. Wear whatever corrective lenses you normally wear for distance vision. If you wear conventional or progressive bifocals, peer through the part of the lens you use for distant subjects.

2) Hold the camera solidly up against the microscope eyepiece, using the camera lens housing to brace it.

3) Make sure the zoom is set to maximum "wide"

4) Center the image in the LCD screen

5) Gently squeeze the shutter, taking care not to move the camera in respect to the microscope eyepiece.

For post-processing, I use the free Google application, Picasa. I generally go through these steps:

1) In the "Basic Fixes" tab, crop the image as needed

2) In the "Tuning" tab, select the "neutral color picker" and click on a white part of the background to refine the white balance.

3) Use the "Highlights" slider with the histogram to take the background (which will be light gray after step #2) up to full white, but being careful not to wash out details in the tissue.

4) (Optional) Use the "Shadows" slider with the histogram to enhance the overall contrast by darkening the darkest areas of the image.

Resist the urge to use the Effects-->Sharpen command in Picasa. It almost always makes the image worse. If the focus is too soft, you will simply have to reshoot it. If you have trouble getting a sharp image, consider bracketing your exposures over a range of focusings as a routine.
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