David Scharf Scanning Electron Microscopy

In 1965, the Cambridge Scientific Instrument Company made available the first commercial scanning electron microscope (SEM). Less than a decade later, David Scharf combined his SEM skills with his love of photography to develop new groundbreaking methods to capture images that few have ever seen before.

One of his major contributions was to advance a technique of photographing living plants and animals at a time when the standard practice was to kill them beforehand. Years later, Scharf would develop his own patented method of colorizing these images using his SEM Multi-Detector Synthesizer.

David Scharf Stock SEM Images

Scharf is known throughout the photographic world for his unique micrographs of living creatures, plants and microtechnology.  

Through his creative genius, we can observe spectacles of the microscopic world such as a closeup of a tick's mouth, monstrous marine worms, the multiple eyes of a spider or the common dust mite in your home.

Under his microscope, allergy-causing pollen takes on an eerie beauty. See the mystery of geranium flower pistils and the bumpy surface of a marijuana plant.

Scharf's microscopy also reveals the intimate details of the human body. Look at embryonic stem cells, dendritic cells, white and red blood cells and multiple varieties of bacteria in vivid detail.

David Scharf Website

On the pop culture side, one of Scharf's micrographs was the first SEM to appear in a major motion pictureBlade Runner. In 2001, Scharf was awarded an Emmy for his leading-edge technique of generating HDTV footage using scanning electron microscopy for a National Geographic documentary.

David Scharf in "Microscopy and Analysis"

David Scharf in "Microscopy Today"


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