Photomicrography With A Smart Phone

You can create photomicrography with a smart phone and nearly any inexpensive microscope. You do not need any accessories or additional gear.

Dr. Annie Morrison shows how she does it freehand with only a smart phone and a microscope. No other gear is needed. It takes some practice and a steady hand, but the results are well worth it. But many inexpensive microscopes come with smart phone mounts as you will see in the Amazon link below.

I have used microscopes in some promotional films where the clients’ work involved tiny printed circuit boards, medical procedures, manufacturing, or legal investigations. In some cases the client’s microscope had a video out connector I could simply plug my camera into. In other cases I had to do something like Dr. Morrison shows in the video above. These microscopic images always added a lot of production value to the video. Anytime a client states or implies their work involves microscopic images, that is your clue to start planning to includes these images in your video. Even existing still photographs can be valuable shots. Get your client to fully explain what you are seeing in the photograph and how that relates to their work. A good explanation helps write your narration.

If it sounds like I enjoy producing business films, you would be right. How nice to be paid to learn about things you didn’t know existed and then explain the importance of those things to the viewers. Sweet work if you can get it which is what caused me to write an entire course about the business of producing promotional and training videos. See Professional Video Producer.

If you want to play with this art form, you can get a good microscope 100x – 2000x with phone adapter such as this one from Amazon. for a bit more than $100. It even comes with some prepared slides.

The possible subjects are not hard to find. Moving amoeba found in water from a pond or fish tank. snow flakes, a tiny slice of a plant, a dead insect, drop of blood or saliva which are just the beginning.
You can even purchase prepared biological slides such as cross sections of plants or animal tissue. It can be very difficult to prepare some of these types of slides without precision equipment. Try Wards Natural Science and Carolina Biological Supply Company. Both companies sell thousands of subjects prepared for microscopic examination.

Many of the subjects of your microscope photos will be semi transparent which makes lighting pretty easy since most microscopes come complete with built in light. But of course it can become much more involved. There are many articles and YouTube videos to help you create photomicrography with a smart phone.