Back to

Microscopic & Digital Art: What has your iPhone or iPad captured?

I know it’s only Monday, but maybe you’re already in need of a drink? How about one that looks great, is long lasting, and won’t result in a series of unfortunate drunk dials?

Florida State University research scientist, Michael Davidson, combined alcohol and microphotography to come up with the imagery you see below – a microscopic print of chablis.

What started as nerdy slides has turned into quite a little business called Bevshots Microart. The images are made by first crystallizing the drink of choice on a lab slide. Using a standard light microscope with an attached camera, the light source is polarized and passed through the crystal, which creates the bright array of colors. What I love about this is the relationship between a favorite drink versus a favorite image. I might be drawn to the aesthetics of one drink while my actual tastes appeal to something else. It’s also a fun gift idea for a relative who considers themselves a connoisseur of one type of alcohol. For this reason, my grandma Beverly might just receive the print below as she considers herself a connoisseur of vodka (no need to point out that her specialty is cheap vodka).

Vodka BevShot

There’s even an iPhone app so you can explore the drinks while sipping them at your favorite bar.

With the ever changing and improving world of technology, Bevshots is just one example of the rising interest in digital art. A few weeks along, former IMA blogger Noelle Pulliam sent me an article on David Hockney’s instant iPad art. The artist began creating works on his iPad to send to friends and within weeks there was more than a nice little collection.

Hockney's Fresh Flowers

While the images, like the flowers above, are really nice, I can’t help but wonder if I would miss the texture that comes with paint on a canvas. There was also an immediate problem Hockney faced with how to display his work. The solution, as you can see in the video, was a series if iPads along an exhibition wall.

I’m sure there are many who would argue against the artistic value of iPad art and most certainly the artistic value of Bevshots. However, Hockney’s description of capturing an early morning sunrise more effectively with his iPad than he could with a pencil and paper is very intriguing.

While this method would certainly save a lot of time and cleanup hassle for artists like Hockney, digital art is also commonly practiced by many who are not making a career as artists. Kris Arnold pointed out his post, Making fake HDR images in Adobe Lightroom, that the new iPhones will produce stunning HDR images and I know several friends who are snapping very nice photos with their phones. Plus, there are all sorts of camera apps you can download to easily modify and stylize your photos. A professional photographer and friend of mine even joked the other day that she might start specializing in iPhone photography because she was so happy with a photo she captured using her phone.

Have any of you captured a really great photo on your phone or created your own iPad masterpiece? Upload your digital masterpieces to our Digital Art Flickr group.

Filed under: Art, New Media, Technology

3 Responses to “Microscopic & Digital Art: What has your iPhone or iPad captured?”

  • avatar
    Jack Says:

    i love this place it is so interesting,especially the pins and the people holding up the floor awesome.

  • avatar

    I like that fact that you are exploring new mediums for art. Just because something’s value as art is questioned, that does not mean there is no value there. New technology and materials are what keep art vibrant and alive, and I think that melding them with more traditional mediums is what keeps art vibrant in our day and age.

    Thank you for covering this!

  • avatar
    KERRY Says:

    Speaking of digital arts, the other day I found a cool graphic design website: For those who follow graphic design and digital arts this may worth taking a look.

  • Trackbacks