S C I E N C E &
T E C H N O L O G Y
Photography by Norman Barker and Giraud Foster
As abstract and painterly as the images that follow may seem,
they are, in fact, firmly rooted in the natural world. Through
extreme magnification and creative light diffraction,
photographers Norman Barker and Giraud Foster have provided a new
and unusually colorful look at prehistoric fossils of dinosaur
bone, ammonites (extinct mollusks), and stromatolites (algae).
Barker, assistant professor of
art as applied to
medicine, and Foster, a longtime School of Medicine faculty
member, note: "All the images are harsh reminders of the
precariousness of life and the uncertainty of man's future."
Ancient stromatolites (algae) oxidized iron in seas 2.1 billion
years ago. In fossilized form, they appear as swirls of red and
Over millions of years, mineral deposits (yellow filaments) have
replaced the spongy marrow of this Jurassic-era dinosaur
Glittering ammonite: "Fool's Gold" formed when the sulfur from
this Mesozoic-era mollusk decomposed and attracted iron.
Swirls of orange and yellow oxides of iron have replaced dinosaur
bone during the course of fossilization.
As wood petrifies over millions of years, quartz colored by metal
oxides soaks into every cavity and pore.
In the process of fossilizing, the many layers of this ancient
ammonites separated, producing a rainbow of iridescences. At
right, dinosaur bone is replaced by banded agate.
The fossilized tooth of a Gomphoterium, a North American ancestor
of the elephant.
The rich blue hue of this ammonite can change to red, green, or
yellow, depending upon the angle of light.
APRIL 1998 TABLE OF CONTENTS.