Comparing something to a grain of sand is usually supposed to mean that it’s small or insignificant, but Dr. Gary Greenberg’s awesome pictures made using a microlens aims to turn this stereotype on its head. His photographs of minuscule grains of colorful sands magnified up to 300 times reveal that sand under a microscope can be a mesmerizing view.
Greenberg’s story is a fascinating one. First of all, he invented the high-definition 3D lenses that he takes his pictures on, resulting in 18 U.S. patents under his name. He was a photographer and filmmaker until age 33 when he moved from LA to London and earned a Ph. D. in biomedical research. This seems to have given him a unique appreciation for biological and scientific curiosities and for the optical macro photography technologies he would need to document them.
The sand composition can vary drastically depending on where it’s from. The coastal beach sands in Hawaii, where Dr. Greenberg is located, are very likely the subjects of his amazing micro-photography. The tiny pebbles in his images are full of remnants from various tropical sea organisms large and small. The sand on other coasts, depending on the temperature, surf conditions and marine environment, may include an entirely different set of rocks, minerals and organic matter.
We’d like to thank our reader Lukas Palaitis for the tip!