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Wim van Egmond: Navigating the Interplay of Art and Science Through Microphotography

Immersed in the captivating dance between art and science, Wim van Egmond emerges as a luminary microphotographer whose work reflects an enduring fascination with the intricacies of the natural world. For Wim, science has always been a captivating muse, and his craft is an eloquent fusion of technique and perception.

Marine Diatoms

Photography, in his hands, becomes a unique amalgamation—a delicate interplay where the camera serves as a surrogate eye, a mechanical observer that delicately captures the essence of the unseen. His journey is marked by a particular interest in the realms where photography diverges from human perception, prompting a dedicated study of optical techniques that extend the boundaries of our understanding.

Specializing in photography through the microscope and in stereoscopy, Wim orchestrates a visual symphony that brings the microscopic to life. His recent forays into filmmaking and time-lapse photography add dynamic dimensions to his exploration of the unseen, capturing moments in ways that transcend the static image.

Conjugating Ciliates

Operating in the liminal space between art and science, Wim predominantly functions as an independent artist. Yet, the intrinsic fusion of art and science in his work often sees his images and films utilized as scientific illustrations. Commissioned for his specialization in various techniques, Wim's artistic endeavors strive for tranquility and balance, reminiscent of the precision found in scientific approaches, often with a subtle touch of absurdism.

Rooted in natural history, his work pays homage to Victorian traditions of microscopic slide making and the tireless efforts of 19th-century naturalists. A devoted admirer of Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, Wim is currently delving into the annals of history, researching the 17th-century draper's pioneering discovery of microbes.

Cyanobacteria bloom

Wim's commitment to the microcosm extends beyond his artistic pursuits; he has been a regular contributor to Micscape Magazine and has curated various web pages, including the Micropolitan Museum—an online sanctuary celebrating the beauty of micro-organisms. His enduring aim has always been to promote the microscopic wonders that surround us, and through his evocative images, Wim hopes to ignite the curiosity that leads people to explore the microscopic universe through the lens of a microscope. Today, MycoStories is pleased to showcase Wim's latest work with Fungi.

Aspergillus Niger

Dung canon fungus



"I've always preferred observing organisms that move at the same speed as we do, or faster, like most microbes. So I never had that much interest in plants, fungi or other motionless subjects. But after I started making time-lapse movies to speed up their activities, they suddenly came to life. I became a fungi admirer.

Everybody knows mushrooms but the actual organism is usually hidden from view. The fungus body has the shape of microscopically thin threads. The most important fungus for humans is even simpler. Yeast is a fungal microbe that is not more than a bacterium-sized globule. What would life be without yeast? Very sober indeed."

[Image credits: Wim van Egmond]


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