Equipment

The main materials and equipment used included:

  1. A stereomicroscope (Konus 5424);
  2. Microscope camera (AmScope MU1000, 10 MP) with software;
  3. Digital SLR camera (Canon T3i, 18 MP) with macro lens (Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM) and tripod (Velbon) (for larger specimens);
  4. Laptop computer; and
  5. Lighting.

Method Description

All work took place at the Wesleyville Hatchery and Aquatic Research Facility (WHARF) in Port Hope, Ontario. The stereomicroscope and photographic equipment (i.e., microscope camera connected to a laptop) were set up in a dedicated area of the WHARF (Figure 1 and 2). Two lamps were set on either side of the microscope set up to provide uniform lighting for photos. To minimize glare in photos, we ensured that the specimens were fully submerged in water and that the light source was not pointed directly at the specimen. A glass dish or plastic petri dish (no scratches) was used to hold the specimen. Coloured backgrounds were used to provide contrast to the specimen for photos. For a black background, we used a garbage bag, while for other coloured backgrounds, we used Bristol board inserted into a clear, protective sleeve cover. Items such as plastic spoons (for dead specimens), sieve with handle (for live specimens) or a turkey baster (for live specimens) were helpful for picking up and transporting organisms within the lab. A plastic spoon or forceps were useful for moving the specimen within the glass dish/petri dish. A medicine dropper and/or small jar were useful for adding or removing water in the glass dish/petri dish for photos. In cases where a digital SLR camera with macro lens was used in place of the microscope camera, we used a similar set up with lamps on either side of the specimen contained in a glass dish/petri dish. The SLR camera was mounted on a tripod for stability.

Laboratory setup
Figure 1. Microscope camera connected to a laptop (front view)
Laboratory setup
Figure 2. Microscope camera connected to a laptop (side view)