Macroscopic Solutions

14420225927_d81ac01d7d_zPeriodically, I point readers to sources of public domain or open source media that they may wish to use in video projects. In this post, I’d like to highlight Macroscopic Solutions, which is a company that “provides products, services, and support based on the photographic technique of image stacking”. Image stacking is a technique in which digital images taken at different focal distances are merged into a single image with a greatly improved depth of field. If you’ve ever tried to take a closeup photograph of something, you know how difficult it is to get the entire image in focus. You can focus on one part of an object such as the eye of a fly, but the rest of its body is blurred. Image stacking gets around this problem, allowing the photographer to generate amazingly detailed images (see image above by Macroscopic Solutions).

I met co-founders, Mark Smith and Daniel Saftner, at a conference a while ago and had a chance to talk with them about their business and what they offer scientists and educators in the way of imaging solutions.

Macroscopic Solutions posts many images on its website as well as on Flickr and allows reuse of those images through a Creative Commons license (attribution required). There are also a few videos like this one of a hummingbird. Note that some macroscopic images posted on Flickr are created by individuals who have reserved all rights (meaning that you cannot use their image without their permission). So be sure to check the licensing information before downloading and using any Flickr image or video.

If your work involves macro/microphotography, you might be interested in Macroscopic Solutions’ product. They sell a camera system (the Macropod) that facilitates image capture and processing to produce high quality images for education or research (note that I have not tested the Macropod and so cannot make specific comments about its pros and cons). However, below is a video that describes their product and the process of image stacking (if you cannot see the player window on your device, here is the direct link):