GeoStyle - using rock thin section images for a range of gifts for geologists.
GeoStyle is a joint venture between Robert Gill and Neil Taylor.
Rob Gill is the founder of GEOSEC which specialises in the production and supply of thin rock section microscope slides used as one of the two main methods of rock classification (the other being chemical analysis).
Neil Taylor is the owner of SciArtImages which uses microscope photographs to produce a range of products.
Photographs used for the production of the products on this website are all originally by either Rob or Neil from slides prepared by Rob. All products on this site are printed, made and despatched by Neil.
Production of thin rock section slides:
A sample of rock is cut to form a block 3 x 2 x 1 cm. one (3 x 2) side is ground flat and partially polished. This side is cemented to a glass microscope slide. The slide is sawn with a diamond saw close to the glass leaving 0.5mm (500 microns) of rock. The slide is ground to 100 microns, and then to 50 microns on different machines, and then lapped by hand on a glass plate with fine silicon carbide grit and water until 30 microns thick (a third the thickness of a piece of paper). Thickness is repeatedly checked by observing the interference colours during the final lapping. A glass cover slip is cemented over the rock section to protect it and to aid viewing. This is all carried out by Rob Gill.
Photographing thin rock section slides:
Photographs by Neil are taken through an Olympus BH2S microscope with crossed polarising filters using a Canon EOS 500D mounted on a custom built mount with the plane of the CMOS chip at the level of the previously mounted 35mm film camera (an NFK 3.3x photoeyepiece relay lens is used to focus the image on the chip). The camera is tethered to a laptop running Liveview software to save images directly to the hard drive. Images are post-processed in Adobe Photoshop CS5 (but no colours are changed or added). Due to the small area of the slide that can be photographed at any one time some images require the 'stitching together' of a number of images. This is carried out in Photoshop.
Photographs taken by Rob use polarising filters and special macro lens on a Canon EOS 60D linked to a computer. This gives good focus across a wide field of view.