Feature Gems & Gemology, Fall 1981, Vol. 17, No. 3

Photographing Inclusions

Although the general principles of photomicrography are easily learned and applied, high-quality photomicrography is an art that is mastered only with time and great patience. The microscope must be kept scrupulously clean, and the effects of light on the subject inclusion must be fully understood in order to determine what method(s) of illumination will yield the most useful photographic image. Specialized techniques that can save film and time, while producing top-quality photomicrographs, are usually learned only through long hours of experience. This article discusses some of these techniques, such as the importance of a properly prepared microscope and photographic subject, as well as the control of vibrations and exposure time. In addition, the various methods of illumination that are adaptable to a standard binocular gemological microscope are introduced.