R O S E - L Y N N   F I S H E R    

The Topography of Tears is a visual investigation of tears photographed through an optical, standard light microscope, a vintage Zeiss from the late 1970's, mounted with a digital microscopy camera.

I started this project in 2008 during a period of life changes and grief. The microscope provided the means to examine my tears and beyond that, to visually evoke the unseen realm of’ emotions.

The random compositions I find in magnified tears often evoke a sense of place, like aerial views of emotional terrain. Although the empirical nature of tears is a composition of water, proteins, minerals, hormones, antibodies and enzymes, the topography of tears is a momentary landscape, transient as the fingerprint of someone in a dream. This series is like an ephemeral atlas.

Many variables influence the diversity among these images: whether the tear was air-dried or compressed, the volume of tear fluid, chemical/biological variations, microscope and camera settings, and how I process and print the photograph. Other variables remain unknown; there is limited scientific data available on the visual and chemical differences within emotional tears.

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, intractable resistance short-circuited. 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.

© Rose-Lynn Fisher
all rights reserved


Bellevue Literary Press

Craig Krull Gallery


Links to Selected Press
Online, Print & Blogs:

Collaboration DARQUER LACE



The Marginalian
(aka BrainPickings)

The New Yorker

Smithsonian Magazine

Harper's Magazine

Boston Globe

Paris Match (France)

ArtSixMic (France)

CBC Arts

LIFE Magazine China

B+W Photography (UK)


Trouw (NL)

De Telegraaf (NL)

Vogue (Spain)

Feature Shoot



Amateur Photographer (UK)

Elizabeth Avedon Journal

GUP Magazine (NL)


PRI / Studio 360

TiP - Balmond Studio (UK)

The Guardian (UK)

The Paris Review

Palais de Tokyo (France)

Madame Le Figaro (France)

Polka Magazine (France)

Art Critique (France)

The Culturist

Observatoire de L'Art Contemporain (France)

Revue Feuilleton (France)

The Outpost (France)

Zeit Wissen Magazine (Germany)

Die Welt (Germany)

Psychologie Heute (Germany)

Y-Mag (Germany)

De Gids (Netherlands)

Esquire Russia

Yorokobu (Spain) 2

Yorokobu (Spain) 1


British Cinematographer (UK)

In Vivo Magazine (Switzerland)

Galileo (Italy)

Design Observer

The Good Men Project


The Telegraph (UK)

Medical Daily

Happinez (NL)

Southwest the Magazine


Big Think

The Swaddle (India)

Delo (Slovenia)

El Mundo (Spain)

Balthazare Magazine (France)

De Redactie (Belgium)

YLE News (Finland)

Garbo (Romania)

O Globo (Brazil)

Spaghetti Mag. (Italy)


Popular Science blog

The Daily Meal

Times of Malta




MSNBC Maddow blog/WeekGeek

BBC Taster (online)

Lifo (Greece)

ABC (Spain)

La Nacion (Argentina)

Kindred Subjects

John Culbert - Geometry of tears




































































































© Rose-Lynn Fisher all rights reserved


The Topography of Tears - the book
published by Bellevue Literary Press link

Forewords by William Frey II, PhD + Ann Lauterbach

Thankful for exactly this © 2017 Rose-Lynn Fisher

After the sun came the tears © 2016 Rose-Lynn Fisher

The irrefutable © 2012 Rose-Lynn Fisher

What it meant long after a time forgotten © 2013 Rose-Lynn Fisher

In the end it didn't matter #65 © 2015 Rose-Lynn Fisher

The brevity of time (out of order) losing you © 2011 Rose-Lynn Fisher

Catharsis © 2010 Rose-Lynn Fisher

Tears of change © 2008 Rose-Lynn Fisher

Momentum, redirected © 2008 Rose-Lynn Fisher

Takeoff © 2016 Rose-Lynn Fisher

Redemption © 2015 Rose-Lynn Fisher

Compassion © 2015 Rose-Lynn Fisher

Go! (forth) © 2015 Rose-Lynn Fisher

The pull between attachment and release © 2011 Rose-Lynn Fisher

What couldn't be fixed © 2008 Rose-Lynn Fisher

Overwhelm © 2015 Rose-Lynn Fisher

Tears of elation at a liminal moment © 2013 Rose-Lynn Fisher

Link to Books
Any questions, please email me at: topographyoftears@gmail.com