Sunday, August 10, 2008

Fun with Fifteen Year Old Mistakes Caught on Film


So, as I may have mentioned in my profile, I have a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Wake Forest University. As part of my thesis project, I attempted to visualize my happy little protein of interest, integrin αIIbβ3 (if you must know), all by itself on a film, stained with uranyl acetate (a salt of uranium), by transmission electron microscopy. This particular attempt was early on in the learning process, and wanting to see something right off fairly badly, I loaded it up with a ridiculous amount of stain. So ridiculous an amount, in fact, that the stain crystallized across the membrane, and in places, made really pretty patterns. Having an artist's eye already, I took a picture of it (this was back in the day when you used real film, not digital files), and the nice folks in the EM lab developed it for me, along with the snapshots of my real experiment, and somewhere along the line, I acquired the negative. A large format negative, measuring 3.25" x 4", I managed to keep it in an envelope, stashed away, through a dozen or so changes of address through three different states. During a photography class I took several years ago, I did manage to print out a couple of prints in the University darkroom, but still couldn't do much with it. Finally, inspired by my fellow Etsy sellers who make lovely greeting cards and prints of microscopic photography (please see Etsy sellers ara133photography and EssenceFineArtImages), I found someone who could scan my original slide and put it into digital form so I could play with it. While I have only played with it a small amount in The Gimp, I thought it came out sort of pretty, and made a good excuse to blog today!

I am open to any suggestions my readers might have with how I could utilize this image, perhaps layering it with other things. The image is not for sale anywhere in my Etsy shop yet, as I am still trying to figure out what to do with it.

6 comments:

Krysta said...

Great Blog!!!

Sonja's Adornments said...

I think your "mistake" is absolutely beautiful and could stand on it's own as a print, aceo, or card. It reminds me of underwater plants.

James Joyce:
Mistakes are the portals of discovery.

Amanda said...

Awesome! This makes me want to make something (notecards, memos, etc) with pictures of my muscle cells...

niftyknits said...

beautiful! you nearly lost me with the techtalk at the beginning, but what a fab mistake!

Tina said...

Beautifull, magical...I agree with sonja, it looks striking just as it is. It reminds me somewhat of Batik, I would love to have a dress made of that pattern:).

Brandon said...

a mistake, it looks so Pretty!

Melissa