Did you know that there are artists who take pictures with microscopes?

Did You Know…

... that There Are Artists Taking Pictures With Microscopes?

Be it crystals, medical preparations or small life forms: From a scientific perspective, almost every microscopic picture is interesting, but it is not always aesthetically pleasing. Professor Manfred P. Kage was not content with this situation. For decades, he has been creating artistic microscopic pictures – always using scientific tools.

In order to add artistic value to the pictures, they are usually realized in color. Manfred P. Kage achieves this by, among other things, using a polychromator he built himself. This special filter, which fragments and spatially disperses the entire spectrum of light, provides sharpness and gleaming colors. As early as 1957, he used this technique to alter light-microscopic images – long before the introduction of digital image processing. To also achieve a comparable artistic effect with his pictures in scanning-electron microscopy, he invented a gamma-ray discriminator in 1977. With this device, he was able to create pictures in scanning-electron microscopy, using color filters.

He has been fascinated by microscopy since childhood.With his uncle's gold-colored microscope, he observed the microcosm in a pond near his home.When he was only twelve years old, he put together his first microscope, using an old ZEISS camera lens, a Märklin building-kit and other components such as a dentist's mirror and a bicycle handlebar.

At the seat of his family business at Schloss Weißenstein Castle in the Swabian Alps, he is still working on creating artistic and technical innovations. His team partners with several universities but also collaborates with businesses.He has also been in a decades-long partnership with ZEISS and thus utilizes, among other things, the Axio series as well as inverted and photo microscopes with all contrast procedures.

Kage's works can be seen on the title pages of GEO and the magazine "Bild der Wissenschaft". Even Salvador Dalí used special effects developed by Kage. A selection of his works can currently be seen at the ZEISS Microscopy Labs in Munich.


13. August 2013