The Field Emission Electron Microscope is the camera of choice for, Andrew Paul Leonard, photographer of the inner world of science. Leonard photographs microscopic images and makes them real to the rest of the world. The images are fascinating, beautifully graphic and starkly detailed. Would you think that pollen could be so beautiful or that a Bryozoan protozoan could be funny?
He became fascinated with the EM as an art form after studying biology and photography at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. “I became very interested in photomicrography as a result of studying different types of leukocytes (white blood cells). I became fascinated by the morphology, colors and shapes” Leonard explains.
The first and most important step in commissioning an EM image is procuring the right sample. “Procuring a rare healthy human coronary artery posed a big challenge” Leonard said describing the process of finding the sample of a healthy artery which became the main EM image for the launch of Pfizer’s Lipitor.
Andrew is tireless in procuring the right sample for the assignment which involves traveling to one of his many sources in laboratories or hospitals or even having slides sent to him from around the world. “Finding samples like, pancreatic Beta cells, dendritic cells and cryptosporidium are some of the rarer samples. Platelets, bloods cells and most bacteria are a synch” Leonard says excitedly.
After collecting the samples the selection process is next. “I work with my clients to clarify the story that needs to be told with the microscope. The client and I brainstorm about their visual goals and the possibilities,” Leonard explains. Then a series of photographs are taken and coloring to add drama is the final step.
Leonard’s Human embryonic stem cell “photograph” on the cover of Time Magazine was named one the “10 Best Photos of 2006”. Pharmaceutical companies and Advertising Agencies which specialize in communicating “high science” to doctors or consumers use these rare images to show the inner workings of the body or the existence of the disease state. Leonard’s EM images range from the obvious, bacteria in the mouth, to images on the neurological level like synapses
Whether the area of science is medical or environmental Andrew Paul Leonard takes charge to create the most dramatic and award-winning imagery for his clients. (Time Magazine, CBS News, Scientific American, and many more)