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A micrograph or photomicrograph is a photograph
A photograph is an image created by light falling on a light-sensitive surface, usually photographic film or an electronic imager such as a CCD or a CMOS chip. Most photographs are created using a camera, which uses a lens to focus the scene's visible wavelengths of light into a reproduction of...

 or digital image taken through a microscope
A microscope is an instrument used to see objects that are too small for the naked eye. The science of investigating small objects using such an instrument is called microscopy...

 or similar device to show a magnified image of an item.

Micrographs are widely used in all fields of microscopy.


A light micrograph or photomicrograph is a micrograph prepared using a light microscope, a process referred to as photomicroscopy. At a basic level, photomicroscopy may be performed simply by hooking up a regular camera
A camera is a device that records and stores images. These images may be still photographs or moving images such as videos or movies. The term camera comes from the camera obscura , an early mechanism for projecting images...

 to a microscope, thereby enabling the user to take photographs at reasonably high magnification
Magnification is the process of enlarging something only in appearance, not in physical size. This enlargement is quantified by a calculated number also called "magnification"...


Roman Vishniac
Roman Vishniac
Roman Vishniac was a Russian-American photographer, best known for capturing on film the culture of Jews in Central and Eastern Europe before the Holocaust. A complete archive of his work now rests at the International Center of Photography....

 was a pioneer in the field of photomicroscopy, specializing in the photography of living creatures in full motion. He also made major developments in light-interruption photography and color photomicroscopy.

Electron micrograph

An electron micrograph is a micrograph prepared using an electron microscope
Electron microscope
An electron microscope is a type of microscope that uses a beam of electrons to illuminate the specimen and produce a magnified image. Electron microscopes have a greater resolving power than a light-powered optical microscope, because electrons have wavelengths about 100,000 times shorter than...

. However, the term electron micrograph is not used in electron microscopy. Common designation is a micrograph.

Digital micrograph

Digital micrograph is a digital picture obtained either directly with microscope or by scanning of a photomicrograph. The terms usage is somewhat confusing, since today “photo” usually means digital photography anyway.

Magnification and Micron Bar

Micrographs usually have micron bars, or magnifications, or both.
Magnification is the process of enlarging something only in appearance, not in physical size. This enlargement is quantified by a calculated number also called "magnification"...

 is a ratio between size of object on a picture and its real size. Unfortunately, magnification is somewhat a misleading parameter. It depends on a final size of a printed picture, and therefore varies with variation in picture size. Editors of Journals and Magazines routinely resize a figure to fit the page, making any magnification number provided in the figure legend incorrect. Scale Bar (or Micron Bar) is a bar of known length displayed on a picture. The bar can be used for measurements on a picture. When a picture is resized a bar is resized with also. If a picture has a bar, the right magnification can be easily calculated. Ideally, all pictures intending for publication/presentation should be supplied with a scale bar; magnification is optional. All but one (of a limestone) micrographs, presented on this page do not have a micron bar; supplied magnifications are the wrong ones (they were not calculated for pictures of present size).

External links

  • Make a Micrograph – This presentation by the research department of Children's Hospital Boston
    Children's Hospital Boston
    Children's Hospital Boston is a 396-licensed bed children's hospital in the Longwood Medical and Academic Area of Boston, Massachusetts.At 300 Longwood Avenue, Children's is adjacent both to its teaching affiliate, Harvard Medical School, and to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute...

     shows how researchers create a three-color micrograph.
  • Shots with a Microscope – a basic, comprehensive guide to microphotography
  • Scientific microphotographs – free scientific quality microphotographs by Doc. RNDr. Josef Reischig, CSc.
  • Micrographs of 18 natural fibres by the International Year of Natural Fibres 2009