THC Art: Trichome Photography Meets A Space Age Microscope


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Maui-based THC Art represents the pinnacle of trichome art as it pertains to both nature and cannabis. Taking the concept of macrophotography to a new level, these photographs capture the essence of trichomes like you’ve never seen them before.

The island of Maui in Hawaii ranks among the best environments for growing cannabis, and the team at THC Art is thrilled to not only showcase the bounty of their island but to bring a new level of artistic appreciation to the cannabis plant.

Brought to visual fruition by James Malinek Sr., who moved to Maui to be closer to his sister — she happens to have a medical license and grows some of the nicest herb on the island. One day while his sister was in the garden, she noticed the buds glistening in the sunlight and used her 10x jewelry magnifying glass to see how the trichomes looked close up. Knowing that James had a friend, Dr. Gary Greenberg, who specializes in and builds microscopes, she asked if it would be possible to photograph them through his then-new 3D microscopic lens, and Dr. Greenfield agreed.

THC ArtThey took hundreds of photos with the 3D Edge Microscope while the trichomes were still in their raw state, and then chose their six favorites to use for the new art concept. James, who has worked with computer graphics and color correction for 5+ years, took the images and cleaned up any artifacts left by the Panfocal 3D imaging software, and additionally used professional Adobe Software to restore and balance the natural colors of the plant.

The images are printed on metal canvas with a glossy coating, which they found to be the best way to optimize and display the trichomes, with UV Resistant Ink to help prevent any fading over time.

Let’s talk about the phenomenal and 3D Edge Microscope! Edge 3D takes the shallow depth of traditional microscopes and uses various focus points to extend the depth and clarity of the image dramatically. NASA recently used this exact microscope to view moon dust (very heady) and will be sending one to the International Space Station sometime this year. A Canadian Government University just purchased another 3D Edge for research on cannabis trichomes. Dr. Gary Greenberg has been building microscopes for over 40 years, and his Edge 3D magnifies the graphic detail of the cannabis plant by 475x for the first time.

Welcome to the new realm of art photography for the cannabis connoisseur.

Melissa Joy

Melissa was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, where she couldn’t stay out of trouble for smoking weed--especially during college. Immediately after graduating with a business degree from Elmhurst College in 2012, Melissa made her way to the safe smoking haven of Colorado, where her love for live music and music blogging eventually led her to a part-time writing position with DOPE Magazine. Melissa enjoys medicating with indica-dominant hybrids, and will never say no to a big solventless glob. When she isn’t busy writing, Melissa loves spending her time in the mountains with friends, practicing her violin, and exploring the never-ending amounts of dank breweries and restaurants in Denver.

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