Microscope Art

Ralph Grimm uses a powerful microscope and special lighting techniques to take pictures of all the things he thinks are interesting and beautiful. This fascinating hobby began in Germany when Ralph was a child, and was fuelled by the knowledge that Julius Grimm, his great-grandfather, was involved in photomicroscopy over one hundred and twenty years ago. Ralph’s goal as a photomicrographic artist is "to create images which are scientifically accurate as well as artistically exciting". In the future he sees these images being used on cards, wrapping paper, fabrics or as art works.

The photographs

Ralph’s subjects include crystals, pollen, plant stem sections, insects, plankton, vitamin C, sulphur, his own urine, baking soda, bat hair, kangaroo hair, radiolarian shells and fish scales.

Pollen samples are particularly fascinating because they vary so much in shape depending on the plant species. The shape of the pollen is a kind of lock and key arrangement which is critical if fertilisation is to take place.

An exciting photograph of a flea head shows the blood sucking tools, including the dagger arrangement which the flea uses to actually dig its way into the skin.

One of the spookiest photos Ralph has ever taken was of a randomly prepared slide of urea which simultaneously produced an amazing cross and a ghostly image.

The subjects are illuminated with artificial colours in combination with their own natural hues to heighten the visual impact.

Further information

Prints of Ralph Grimm’s microscope art cost from $90. He can be contacted on (07) 5546 9205 for further information about his work.