Håkan Kvarnström | Fatal Beauty



Name: Håkan Kvarnström
Picture title: Fatal Beauty
Category: Micro
Occupation: Risk Officer

Håkan says:
‘The invention of photosynthesis by cyanobacteria over 3 billion years ago transformed the evolution of life on Earth. The oxygen generated by cyanobacteria gradually filled our atmosphere and proved to be fatal to most organisms present on Earth at the time.

Cyanobacteria still thrive and are the largest and most important groups of bacteria on Earth. They are an essential species in the global carbon cycle, accounting for perhaps 20–30% of Earth's photosynthetic productivity. However, many species of cyanobacteria are known to be toxic and can be fatal to animals that drink water containing the bacteria.

These two colonies of Gloeotrichia were found in lake Mälaren in Sweden. During warm periods, blooms may occur with these small fur-like balls floating on the surface. This surface accumulation gives the Gloeotrichia access to CO2 and light. Cyanobacterial blooms frequently collapse when exposed to a small but rapid change in their environment, and this bloom only lasted for a few days during which they were collected.

Each colony is about 1.4 mm in diameter, and the visible area in this photograph is about 3.6 mm from left to right.’

Technical information:
Sony A9
Olympus UPlanSAPO 4x 
ISO 640
1/30 sec
Technique: Darkfield, focus stacking.
Magnification: 4x objective, 10x on the sensor. 
Accessories: None
Post processing: Focus stacking and retouching of stacking artifacts in Zerene Stacker. Cleaning up the background in Lightroom and Photoshop. 

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