Simulating Photography: Images Made by the Scanning Electron Microscope

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  • Simulating Photography: Images Made by the Scanning Electron Microscope

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Abstract:

  • This paper discusses the challenges of interpreting SEM images as pictures because the microscopic sample seems as if it is illuminated by the detector and observed in the eye aperture. The process of producing a picture by the SEM is camera-less; images formed by a focused beam of electrons, they are not photographs in the classic way that we perceive photography. The paper also raises concerns about mechanical objectivity in representation by the SEM. Having a closer look at both the imaging process and the examples of manipulations, such as adjusting the SEM and its in-built software settings, it is possible to illustrate that they can affect the resulting image and offer different interpretations of the same sample. Such “misinterpretation” is capable of providing a new meaning of that was previously unseen, that is, desirable for artistic context.

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