Photo-micrographs and how to make them.

Sternberg, George Miller, 1838-1915.

Boston : J. R. Osgood and company, 1883.

Description : [1 l.] frontis., [i]-xv p. [16]-204 p., [19 l.] pl. ; ill.: 20 pl., tab. ; 24 cm.

Photographs : 20 leafs (inc. frontis.) of photomicrographs. Heliotypes.

Photographer : Dr. George Miller Sternberg.

Subject : Photomicrography.

Notes :

The critics should remember in judging of the merits of a photo-micrograph, that it should not be compared with hand-work, which, intentionally or otherwise, is usually more or less diagrammatic or "conventionalized." On the other hand, it should be compared with the picture seen under the microscope. Those who are not familiar with the views from nature obtained in this way, and who are familiar with the woodcuts commonly employed for the illustration of works relating to the microscope and its revelations, will be likely to prefer the neat appearance and the sharply drawn lines of the latter to a photograph from nature.

But for the trained eye, the photo-micrograph possesses special attractions; just as the photograph of a friend conveys impressions and gives rise to reminiscences of an agreeable nature, while that of a stranger is looked upon with indifference. The expert microscopist, also, knowing the difficulty of obtaining an ideal field free from extraneous objects, and having every portion in perfect focus, is willing to make some allowance for slight defects which at once attract the attention of a critic who is not a microscopist. In the same way, the connoisseur in art in looking at a famous old picture learns to overlook the stains and fissures imprinted by the hand of time, and to his mental vision the work of the master is revealed in all its beauty, while for the untrained eye the scarred and dingy canvas possesses no attractions.—Pages 20-21.

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Fig. 2. of Plate II, representing "Microccoci in blood of rabbit," was first published in the journal, Studies from the Biological Laboratory, where it illustrated Sternberg's paper on the pneumococcus bacillus, his greatest contribution to the canon of bacteriology. Three more microscopic figures – one from Plate II and two from Plate IV – are also culled from that journal where they illustrated another of his papers, on the subject of bacterial organisms of the mucosi.

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