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2196Taking Insect Specimen Pictures Cheaper and Better than any Microscope Setup

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  • Sam Droege
    Jun 6, 2012
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      We have been working with Dr. Anthony Gutierrez and Graham Snodgrass with the U S Army Institute of Public Health to develop a system of taking high quality specimen pictures that won't break the bank. Set up is still not cheap, it may cost you around $8000, but it beats the price of almost any good microscope stacking system and we think it takes better quality pictures, plus you have a camera you can use for other things too, and it takes a relatively little space, and it's relatively foolproof, and you can take it out in the field with you.

      Rather than try to explain all this in an e-mail we have put together a PDF and Word version of the specs for how to set this system up. You can download those documents at our FTP site using the following URLs:

      PDF version
      WORD version

      Note that all browsers support downloading FTP documents.

      You can see examples of our pictures, we have put up just a few right now but our plans are to put up thousands in the future at:

      An actual government approved the Flickr account

      And here is a nice way to view some of our pictures using their slideshow feature

      All these pictures are Creative Commons licensed, superhigh resolution, free for you to download and do what you want with them.… And we encourage that.  you will see a bit of variation in the pictures as we learned the process but even our poorest ones are pretty good.

      Have fun


      Five Landscapes


      Green moves through the tops of trees and grows
      lighter greens as it recedes, each of which includes a grey, and among the
      greys, or beyond them, waning finely into white, there is one white spot,
      absolute; it could be an egret or perhaps a crane at the edge of the water
      where it meets a strip of sand.


      There is a single, almost dazzling white spot of a white house out loud
      against the fields, and the forest in lines
      receding, rises,
      and then planes. Color,

      in pieces or entire; its presence
      veneers over want; in all its moving parts, it could be something else

      half-hidden by trees. Conservatory, gloriette, gazebo, or bandshell,
      a door ajar on the top floor.


      The trees are half air. They fissure the sky; you could count the leaves, pare
      defined as that which,
      no matter how barely, exceeds
      what the eye could grasp in a glance;
      intricate woods opening out before a body of water edged
      with a swatch of meadow where someone has hung a bright white sheet
      out in the sun to dry.


      A white bird in a green forest is a danger to itself. Stands out. Shines. Builds
      up inside. Like it's dangerous to cry while driving or to talk to strangers or to
      stare at the sun and a thousand other things
      we've always heard
      people who wear white see better at night, though they gradually lose this
      trait as they age.


      The air across the valley is slightly hazy though thinning though patches
      remain between the groves of trees that edge a clearing in which stands a
      single house. A child in a white t-shirt has just walked out of the house and
      is turning to walk down to the lake.

      - Cole Swensen
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