Take a close look at the picture above.
What do you see?
A work of art? A piece of jewellery?
I see a jewelled icon. Like something biblical or religious, maybe from over a thousand years ago. From medieval times, perhaps, and made of jewels, enamels, gold, silver, pearls, mother of pearl.
Something out of this world, and yet it also reminds me of the Virgin Mary somehow. I don’t know why. Perhaps it’s that I almost expect to see her represented in the centre, after all, it does seem to depict layers of auras, haloes with rays of light emanating from the core.
The detail is incredible, the beauty, wonderful to behold.
Russell Kightley created this image of an animal cell.
“The image was created 20 years ago for an educational poster for BioCam. It took six weeks of full-time work to create using Painter (Fractal Design’s Painter as it was, now it’s managed by Corel).” BioCam is a company that sells biology wall charts and posters for education.
The image is a generalized animal cell designed as a basic biology educational tool with no specializations or arbitrary use of colors.
“To back up my understanding of cell biology, I read many research and review papers and checked electron micrographs, paying particular attention to the dimensions of organelles and other elements to ensure that everything was as close to scale as possible,” Kightley said. “I had to create a generalised model featuring all of the organelles studied in high school biology, since the BioCam wall chart would be used in schools, so there was considerable collaboration there to achieve the right balance and clarity.”