In the Medicine Cabinet

Michael Peres

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In the spring of 2013, I was invited to photograph the interface of art and science for the Merck pharmaceutical company. They asked me to make photomicrographs of chemicals in the hopes they would reveal what they were made of. The objective was to photograph compounds using polarized light microscopy and share them in new and exciting ways. The hopes was these images would replace images they were displaying from the 1960's.

As the project progressed, i became fascinated with how various medicines and the chemicals that were the ingredients became something else when prepared and imaged this way. For those that are interested, all preparations were made using boiling water, alcohol, or acetone. In some cases, the solids became liquids and then overnight cooling produced magical objects in the form of crystals. Most of the materials I examined where birefringent and exhibited various colors when viewed using polarized light. Each compound revealed a special "almost fingerprint like" presentation during the experiment. You might be interested to read more about this technique by following this link:

http://thescienceimage.blogspot.com/2013/07/making-things-visible-under-microscope.html

The project has recently ended but my curiosity continues. And so now begins my exploration of "in the medicine cabinet" without a constraints. I hope to photograph all sorts of medicines. What a wonderful new project. I hope you enjoy.

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My sample preparation table.

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Crystal No 19