Fascinating Close-Up Photos of Tears Under a Microscope

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Who would think that tears could appear this intricate, as Photographer Rose-Lynn Fisher examines teardrops in her The Topography of Tears

We shed tears on many occasions. When we are happy, when we are sad, when we chop onions, or when dirt gets in our eyes.  Whatever reason it is that our tears ducts are stimulated, we almost always wipe away those tears, otherwise they would dry up, leaving behind a sticky, grimy texture on our skin. The tears that cascade down our faces are a mixture of many substances and elements that includes antibodies, minerals, proteins, enzymes, and hormones. Photographer Rose-Lynn Fisher decided to see what these little droplets looked like instead of wiping them and allowing them to dry out. In her newest project entitled The Topography of Tears, Fisher satisfied her curiosity to see what tears looked like using special lenses, and what she saw was not anything like the droplets that come out of eyes. What she saw were images that resembled mountains, rivers, and even rolling valleys.

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In The Topography of Tears. Fisher assembled around a hundred dissimilar tears under a typical light microscope and photographed each and every one. These are various tears induced by a myriad of situations and emotions, which include tears of every variety. Fisher expounded on her view on tears and why she embarked on this project.

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“Tears are the medium of our most primal language in moments as unrelenting as death, as basic as hunger, and as complex as a rite of passage. They are the evidence of our inner life overflowing its boundaries, spilling over into consciousness. Wordless and spontaneous, they release us to the possibility of realignment, reunion, catharsis: shedding tears, shedding old skin. It’s as though each one of our tears carries a microcosm of the collective human experience, like one drop of an ocean.”

The next time you shed a tear, remember the images you see in Fisher’s The Topography of Tears. It will surely change your perspective.

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Attila Kun

Attila Kun

Attila is the founder and editor-in-chief of Exposure Guide. He is an avid photographer, graphic designer, bedroom DJ and devoted Mac addict. Attila got his first DSLR camera, a Canon 10D, back in 2003 and he has been hooked on photography ever since.