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On Microsafari

On March 7, 1974, Swiss molecular biologist Martin Oeggerli was born. Although he was 26 when he received his first digital camera and enjoyed the clarity of its close-up detail, Oeggerli came to prefer the images available to him from the Scanning Electron Microscope. Of particular interest to him is the revelation of tiny natural life magnified hundreds of thousands of times its size. So began his journey from molecular biologist to scientific nature photographer.

Because the SEM uses electrons rather than photons to make an image of the specimen, the SEM image does not carry the colour information of light. Since he wants the SEM detail and magnification and because he also wants the image to capture the specimen’s subtle natural colour, Oeggerli hand colours each image. In this way he not only presents the specimen in large enough detail to display its surprise and complexity, he highlights the structures he wishes to share with the viewer.

Oeggerli combines his meticulous execution of post-processing colourization with a sharp eye for composition and line, heightening the SEM image texture to illustrate the biodiversity of our microscopic world. He guides his viewer on expeditions through its microflora and microfauna.

Oeggerli published his first collection of images in Micronavigating between Science + Art; surreal microscopic life on planet earth. His images have been featured in a variety of prestigious science magazines and television features and consistently win awards for scientific photography and research imagery.

B Bondar / Real World Content Advantage