GAINESVILLE, Fla. — See a magnified view of dozens of specimens and artifacts in the new exhibit, “Depth of Field: Museum Specimens Up-close,” at the Florida Museum of Natural History.
The exhibit showcases objects from the museum’s collection through photographs captured with an advanced imaging system that combines a high-resolution microscope and 21 megapixel digital camera.
There are currently 16 pictures on display in the museum’s central gallery, and another 16 planned for future long-term display. The pictures feature a variety of specimens, including head lice, snails, ancient pottery and orchids.
“The photos give visitors a behind-the-scenes look at some of the current research going on at the museum” said Darcie MacMahon, Florida Museum assistant director for exhibits. “The images are intriguing to look at and tell interesting stories–we hope they’ll inspire people to learn about science.”
The state-of-the-art imaging system was purchased with funds from the National Science Foundation and custom-developed by Visionary Digital for museum researchers. It takes multiple photographs at different depths of field. The images are then assembled into a single high-resolution and magnified image.
Tina Choe, Florida Museum exhibit developer, explained the pictures allow researchers to study the objects online while keeping them housed safely in the museum.
“This camera system allows scientists to examine minute details of the specimens and artifacts,” she said. “Digitized collections can also facilitate collaborations with other institutions.” Bret Boyd, a genetics and genomics graduate student working in the museum, said faculty and students from across the museum and other University of Florida departments have used the camera as part of their research activities.
“Many researchers contributed their images and time to the exhibit to give visitors a unique look into the museum’s research activities,” Boyd said.
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