Aquatic Moss

Discussion in 'Abstract, Still Life, Specialist and Macro' started by Pete Askew, Mar 27, 2021.

  1. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    I was examining some things from the aquarium this morning trying to identify some intersting hydrozoans that appear every now and then and in the process also took a small piece of one of the tropical freshwater mosses out (to see if I could find any protozoans on them) and was quite struck by them. This is by no means a faithful micrograph and the orginal image has been edited heavily and was an experiment, and one which I will follow up with some more carefully prepared and imaged starting points.

    The original image (shown lower down in this post) is a stack of 5 images taken at different points of focus and is edited in LR for clarity and black point. After cloning out distracting elements in PS, I then created 2 layers; one edited in Nik Color Efex Pro and the other in Nik Silver Efex Pro. These were then merged in PS leaving the monochrome image dominant. The resultant image was nice, but a bit too clean and so was then processed in Nik Analog Efex using a wet plate simulation as the starting point. Although the result of this was quite pleasing, I missed the hand coloured effect of the first layered image and so again layered this with the Nik Color Efex edit and, using a layer mask, brought back a touch of the original colours in selected areas.

    The original images were taken using a Reichert Me-F2 using a 4X objective and transitted light with partially crossed polarisers onto a 5 MP CCD device attached to one of the camera ports. Five images at different depths of focus were taken and these were merged using Helicon Focus using depth map stacking.

    Moss Final-1.jpg

    The original image stack.

    Moss Original-1.jpg
  2. Rob MacKillop

    Rob MacKillop Edinburgh Correspondent

    Hmm, it's hard to to choose a preference, which I try not to do. My first instinct is to choose the edited version, which is quite unique and interesting. But I do like the greens in the original stack, and it also seems more 3D and insect-like. Well, I'm lucky, I can enjoy both.

    Did you find any protozoans?
  3. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    Eventually, yes an amoeba busy rummaging around in the moss.
  4. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    I agree about the loss of the 3D look. The layer of noise over the image has flattened that it seems.

    Here is a section of stem made from a 10 image stack and a layered mono / colour blend.

    Moss Stem-1.jpg
    Rob MacKillop likes this.
  5. Rob MacKillop

    Rob MacKillop Edinburgh Correspondent

    That would be very interesting printed large. Or onto glass. I've just watched a programme on Linda Macartney's photography, and how she worked with a friend who did stained-glass art. She wanted light shining through her photographs. I can see that would be interesting with this image.
  6. Brian Moore

    Brian Moore Moderator

    This is pretty amazing, Pete. At once very technical and also very artistic--I agree with Rob about printing large. Or onto glass. Are the things you photographed at all visible without a microscope?
  7. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    Thanks, both. I can imagine they might translate well as a transparent print of some sort. The 'leaves' of the moss are about a millimetre long and so visible to unaided eye. However, this isn't and I suspect it is pollen from the Limnobium that was flowering at one point in the tank. It was amongst the submerged leaf litter was I looking at.

  8. Brian Moore

    Brian Moore Moderator

  9. Dave Farnes

    Dave Farnes Well-Known Member

    Facinating images. The detail is amazing, the deeper one looks into nature, the more layers of compexity are revealed.
    Rob MacKillop and Pete Askew like this.
  10. Rob MacKillop

    Rob MacKillop Edinburgh Correspondent

    The little punk in the submerged leaf litter is a living thing. No need to look off-planet for aliens. Fascinating!
  11. Pete Askew

    Pete Askew Admin

    While humans may be in fear of and flee spiders and snakes, this little pollen grain is clearly terrified of flagellates and has spotted one creeping up behind it!
  12. Rob MacKillop

    Rob MacKillop Edinburgh Correspondent

    It hasn't yet discovered the fun of flagellation?! :eek::D

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