Archive for October, 2012|Monthly archive page

Virtual Mineral Collection

Today was the first rainy day of the season, so I thought I’d play with my recently acquired Celestron “digital microscope” and start a virtual mineral collection.  The microscope is actually a webcam with a macro lens and LED illuminators around the lens.  I found the camera holder awkward, so I cable-tied the camera to a USB flexible light.  Both the USB microscope and the flexible light are plugged into a small USB hub, and the hub is plugged into the computer.  Fortunately there is enough power from my laptop to run the hub, light, and microscope without an external power cable.  With the microscope attached to the neck of the flexible light, it’s somewhat more easily adjusted for the object being photographed.

Here are my first shots for the virtual collection.  The optics and camera aren’t the greatest, but it is certainly convenient to use.  I’ve tweaked the images for some of the shots in Adobe Lightroom.  Click on the images to see enlarged versions.

Rutilated quartz (Brazil). Rutile is titanium dioxide.

Rodochrosite (Argentina)

Olivine (Hawaii)


Desert sand (Namibia)

Pyrite (Hunan Province, China)

Drops of Mercury on Cinnabar (Spain)

Copper nuggets (Arizona)