About

There are many photographers out there with different specializations: wedding photographers, event photographers, fashion photographers... but there is only one freelance microscope photographer!

Welcome to my portfolio!

Who I Am

My name is Zoran Čulo, but my all my friends call me Zoki. Personally, I'm a pretty funny guy and I love to get along with others. What makes me great with what I do is that I have an eye for the weird, the colourful and the unique. The things in life that are different from the normal stuff I usually see are what interest me the most.

With 6 years of experience, I have become well acquainted with various types  of microscopes including bright-field, dark-field and scanning electron microscopy. I also utilize a number of general photography tools such as: image stacking, focusing techniques, lighting, colour theory, Photoshop and printing. My client history is fairly diverse, from doctors to fellow hobbyists, artists, university researchers and close friends.

I have 5 years of laboratory experience in labs with Containment Levels 1 and 2. This also includes academic labs I have worked in as both student and teaching assistant. I have up-to-date WHIMIS training, Biosafety training and familiarity with various techniques for sample preparation: dissection, sectioning, serial dehydration, fixation, staining, paraffin embedding and slide mounting.

Academic Background

BA Biology Wilfrid Laurier University (2016)

MSc Biology University of Western Ontario (2021)

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Why Microscopy?

Biology has always been my passion because of how diverse and unique organisms can be. Seeing such extraordinary forms and their functions in action never ceases to amaze me. Using microscopes in high school helped spark my interest in microscopy, but my time spent using them was limited to science classes.

 

When I moved out for my undergrad, I decided to order my own compound and dissecting microscopes to satisfy my curiosity. I sampled anything I could get my hands on: table scraps, fruit, dirt, pond water, mosses, leaves and insects. The more I photographed, the more I learned how to develop better pictures and what to look for when choosing the right samples. It was not long until I began to see the value of my talents, so I decided to turn my hobby into a profession.

During my academic career, I have met a number of scientists who have provided vital experience and opportunities for me to improve my work. From doctors to professors, I have taken up jobs with a variety of specimens including: pathology slides of kidney sections, inflorescence of parasitic Cuscuta plants, seeds of grasses and spider mites.

Most of my work is done in my personal bedroom lab, but I have traveled to other labs and photographed their specimens. My ultimate goal is to one day invest in a physical lab with a partner. I also hope to do a lot of travelling to work with researchers overseas who have unique specimens not found in my area. 

What I Can Do For You

As a freelance photographer, the value of my services comes from to providing visually-appealing content for researchers and doctors who do not have time to spend on photography or who need a more artistic perspective in their work. I also aim to showcase the microscopic world to whoever may interested in biology and microscopy, which will hopefully inspire future scientists. 

Currently, I am based at my home in Flamborough ON. I can travel throughout most of Southern Ontario (London, Toronto, Niagara, etc.) and provide online consultation. If a specific specimen is requested but cannot be found locally, I would be happy to visit you, depending on the logistics of travel. Alternatively, the sample(s) can be delivered to me by mail/UPS if permitted.

Safety is my number one priority during any job. While visiting a lab or establishment, I will need a rundown of relevant safety standards and equipment operation. Communication is also critical in any project I participate in. You let me know what you want and how you want it done, then I will do my best to bring your vision to life. Pictures and videos used in publications will require proper accreditation.

 

As an example of my work, the figure on the right is a life cycle of the two-spotted spider mite I created for the Grbić lab at the University of Western Ontario. The figure in publication can be viewed at: https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/etd/7410

Rates will depend mainly on the intensity of sample preparation. 

See Services for project rates.

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