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Science!: Printing Photos with Bacteria

This might be the one of the most fascinating marriages between science and photography just yet.

In an effort to further explore the connection between art and science, microbiologist-turned-visual artist, Zachary Copfer, has developed a rather unusual way of printing photographs.

Using what he calls, “Bacteriography”, Copfer takes his knowledge of bacteria and microbiology to develop a method that is somewhat similar to the wet plate process.

He first takes a supply of bacteria (like E. coli or S. marcescens), which he transforms with a fluorescent protein and coats a layer of the mixture into a plate. To create the “negative”, he exposes the plate to radiation with some parts blocked to form the image. From there, he can choose to let the image “grow” a bit more or seal the whole image by coating it with an acrylic layer.

Below are some examples of his work, from the My Favorite Scientist Series.


All information for this article was taken from PetaPixel, the University of Cincinnati website, and Zachary Copfer’s website.

written by geegraphy


  1. kiri-girl


    ewww bet that stinks too!

    over 2 years ago · report as spam
  2. polarhei


    oh, germ-processing in monochrome? Good idea.

    over 2 years ago · report as spam

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: 한국어 & Português.