Hey Everyone, Akiko here.
The weeks have flown by! I have been hard at work. During the sixth week, I finally stopped taking daily photos of the settlers. It's fun to do work under the microscope, but hard when you're doing it every day! I compiled all of the photos I took (over 2,000!) and began sorting through them in order to find the highest quality ones for each species. Once I had chosen the nicest photographs, I began the long process of modifying them with Adobe Photoshop. Since I am new to both microscopy and photography, most of the pictures that I took were blurry, too dark, too bright or off-colored. Additionally, many of the organisms that I photographed are translucent, making them even harder to see on a picture. With Adobe Photoshop, I can adjust the photo to make the image clearer and more representative of the actual organism.
In addition to image quality modifications, I can also use Photoshop to create composites of multiple images. This is a very useful way to deal with the limitations of microscopy. With microscopes, the focal plane-- that is, how much of the object is in focus-- is very thin. This means that at any one time, only some parts of the 3D organism will be in focus. In any one picture, only a portion of the organism will be in focus and the rest of the organism will be blurry, as shown below. However, with Photoshop, I can slice out the parts from each picture that are in focus, and combine them together to make a composite image in which most of the organism appears to be in focus.
Here, the base of the organism is in focus.
Here, the top part of the organism is in focus.
This picture is a composite that I have made using Photoshop, by combining the two above images.
Photo processing takes a good deal of time to do, and I spent many hours going through the photos in order to get them cleaned up and presentable. In addition to that, I also began to learn how to make a website on using the "Weebly" website creation page. Thankfully, the interface on the Weebly page is very user-friendly. I am still ironing out the finer points of the web page but so far it is looking good! It is still under construction, but is viewable at: akiko-invertebrates.weebly.com .