Tuesday, September 4, 2007

cockroach portrait

Cockroach Portrait

David Yager*

Cockroach haters, look your enemy in the eye! Photographing small animals like this 2-centimeter-long Cuban banana cockroach, Panchlora nivea, has its challenges: You can focus on only a small part of the tiny animal in one shot. To overcome this drawback, David Yager of the University of Maryland, College Park, relied on technologies old and new. He laid the dead roach on its back on a bed of glass beads and took multiple snapshots at different depths of field through a regular dissecting microscope. Each frame focused on different parts of the roach's head. With three light tubes, he lit the roach's face from various angles and peeked into its head. Next, he merged 12 separate frames using image-processing software called Automontage to create a clear and detailed "Cockroach Portrait."

Complicated, huh?

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