Why do images taken with my digital microscope show a Gray background instead of a white background or look too blue?

Why do images taken with my digital microscope show a Gray background instead of a white background or look too blue?

Gaining the right color balance in microscopic imaging is quite a challenge even for experts in the field. The dilemmas are ever-present. Purely, in line with the properties of light and the visual tools you employ.

Irrespective of the types of tools and techniques you employ, the dilemmas continue to exist. The tools in question can be traditional tools or the latest camera systems.

Let us dwell on the problem with an in-depth approach. We hope to equip you with the best possible knowledge so that you can troubleshoot the problem better.

The balancing of colors in digital imaging

The electronic image capturing tools depends on light properties that you might be familiar with. These properties draw from the essence of film-based image imaging in microscopy.

The ability to balance the white colors in the image in a unique property of the electronic imaging cameras.

The sensors in such cameras have not defaulted. But they offer a certain sense of intuition for microscopy experts who strive to achieve high-quality images from their microscopes.

When you compare the captured image with the one from your microscopes, you will notice a few contrasting differences. The difference in image quality is quite apparent.

If you wish to overcome the disparity between the two images, the efforts can be quite taxing. There is one primary consideration that needs to be taken care of.

Your biological optical system accommodates the differences in imaging quality. When you are a beginner, you might realize the color rendition property.

The goal of achieving the color balance can only be obtained with a digital camera system. When you combine the camera with an optical microscope, there are several factors that you must consider.

  • The conditions of color illumination
  • The optical alignment of the microscope should be precise.
  • Accumulating the right stage for capturing the image.

You are balancing the white in your picture form the foundation of achieving a levelled image in microscopy. You can naturally obtain this condition or artificially employ techniques that might help.

The complete concepts of color balance in images for microscopy.

The image formation from your microscope depends on a few fundamental properties. These properties are limited to the function of light rays.

Some of these include the intensity, characteristics of spectrums, visual perception, temperature values of different colors.

The standard illumination is the most highlighted characteristics of color temperature values. You can measure these values using specific instruments.

Despite the importance of the temperature values, you still can assure how they project in your image. Moreover, each light source has a different composition of spectrums.

Even when you are viewing the same image under different conditions, the results can vary. Auxiliary tools can introduce a sense of uniformity for this peculiar inconsistency.

Troubleshooting the problem

A majority of digital camera will yield a grey hue for white surfaces. The condition is a common occurrence because of underexposure when the field of view is broad.

Auto exposure cameras ensure normal reflectively. They meter the condition as an average consideration. This enables them to impart the desired result.

Besides the grey substitution of the white, you need to consider an additional factor. The incoming blue light from the led illumination tools.

This blue light is responsible for causing a considerable shift from the unusual color patterns. The image does not appear normal as it should in an ideal situation.

If you are well versed in your telescope’s model, you can attempt changing the gain settings. These settings are present in the image capturing software program that you are using.

You will find them in the value offset category of the overall microscope’s menu. It would help your case; you were to use the wheel for different filters.

This wheel is especially useful for relatively lowered specimens. There are some more hacks that you can apply for gaining the desired imaging quality and contrast.

The first one would be to use different background colors. This is useful when the background is taking up a more massive chunk of your field of view.

Different backgrounds can be used to manipulate the color casting during imaging. This color casting is an attribute of the incoming light rays from the illumination system of your microscope.

You can also use photo editing or post-processing tools. This will make your image appear relatively natural to the quality that you desire to achieve. One of the most robust photo editing tools is Photoshop.


  1. Celestron
  2. MicroscopyU
  3. Olympus Life Science
  4. ResearchGate