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<EM>Marine snail, Carinastele kristellae</EM> by Bruce Marshall

Curator Athol McCredie talks about this highly detailed image

Marine snail, Carinastele kristellae by Bruce Marshall
<P>This recording was created for Te Papa’s in-gallery audio tour.</P> <P>Transcript:</P> <P><STRONG>Athol McCredie</STRONG></P> <P>This image was taken with a scanning electron microscope. The picture was created by recording the way a beam of electrons bounced off a very thin coat of gold applied to this shell. But what you’re looking at is not, strictly speaking, a photograph. For photographs, by definition, use light to make their images &#8211; the word photograph means, literally, to draw with light. But light runs into trouble when it encounters items smaller than its own wavelength. It becomes too blunt an instrument.</P> <P>As it happens, this shell is not, relatively speaking, very small at all. In reality it is about 9 millimetres across &#8211; about the width of a pen. But electron microscopes offer clarity and precision, with every part of the scene in perfect focus. Until the recent development of digital technologies, such depth of focus was impossible to achieve with conventional photography.</P> <P>By being made without light, an image like this offers a vivid glimpse into an eerie world beyond the human senses.</P> <P><EM>The rest of the works in the <EM>New Zealand Photography Collected</EM> exhibitions are in this gallery and the next &#8211; gallery 9 and 8.</EM></P>

More media

Bruce Marshall, &lt;EM&gt;Carinastele kristellae Marshall&lt;/EM&gt;, holotype (apertural), 29 July 2005 &lt;A href=&quot;;&gt;Full object info is available on;/A&gt;

Bruce Marshall, Carinastele kristellae Marshall, holotype (apertural), 29 July 2005 Full object info is available on