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100x light micrograph of Meissner's corpuscle at the tip of a dermal papillus.
40X micrograph of a dog Rectum cross section

A micrograph, or photomicrograph is a photograph or similar image taken through a microscope or similar device to show a magnified image of an item. Canadian inventor Reginald Aubrey Fessenden is credited with inventing photomicrography.

A microphotograph is a very small picture, e.g. a microdot.

To produce a micrograph, a camera may be affixed to a microscope in place of an eyepiece, or a special microscope may be used which has a camera and eyepiece arrangement. A prepared specimen is put under the microscope in the usual way and photographs taken. Alternatively, the image may be scanned and stored electronically and displayed on a screen and/or printed.

Micrographs are widely used in forensic engineering and forensic science, especially for recording trace evidence. It is also routinely used in scanning electron microscopy, often combined with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy so that the area of the sample selected for analysis is directly visible.



Photomicrograph of a thin section of a limestone with ooids. The largest is approximately 1.2 mm in diameter.


A light micrograph is a micrograph prepared using a light microscope, a process referred to as photomicroscopy. At a basic level, photomicroscopy may be performed simply by hooking up a regular camera to a microscope, thereby enabling the user to take photographs at reasonably high magnification.

Photomicroscopists take photographs of many biologic subjects such as cells and proteins and insect eyes. Roman Vishniac was a pioneer in the field of photomicroscopy, specializing in the photography of living creatures in full motion. He also made major developments in light-interruption photography and color photomicroscopy.

Electron micrograph

An electron micrograph is a micrograph prepared using an electron microscope.

Digital micrograph

A digital microscope uses optics and a charge-coupled device (CCD) camera to output a digital image to a computer monitor. A digital microscope differs from an optical microscope in that there is no provision to observe the sample directly through an eyepiece. Since optical image is projected directly on the CCD camera, the entire system is designed for the monitor image.

Other uses

Measurements of large colpodum @ 400X click to see larger, legible version
Measurements of numerous amoeba at 100X click to see larger version

The technique is also used in making integrated circuits.

The reverse of photomicrography where a large subject is rendered small is used in the production of microfilm and microfiche. [1]

With digital micrographs of calibration dots and special software it is possible to make extremely accurate measurements of objects in digital micrographs.

Measurements of a large amoeba at 400X 1 inch=25400 um (microns)

See also


  1. ^ Arnold, Rolls and Stewart, Applied Photography, London, Focal Press, 1972, pp 213 - 230

External links


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