Photographer Rose-Lynn Fisher spent a year photographing different tears under a microscope. Tears are broken up into 3 basic categories – basal tears keep the eye lubricated, reflex tears are triggered by irritants (allergies etc.), and physic tears relate to emotions. Tears are composed of oils, antibodies and enzymes in salt water.
Using both others and herself as a subject, Fisher photographed hundreds of tears and noted their difference in appearance. Tears produced from cutting onions vary from tears of laughter.
“I started the project about five years ago, during a period of copious tears, amid lots of change and loss—so I had a surplus of raw material. Everything we see in our lives is just the tip of the iceberg, visually. So I had this moment where I suddenly thought, ‘I wonder what a tear looks like up close?
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. It’s as though each one of our tears carries a microcosm of the collective human experience, like one drop of an ocean.”
Physic tears are also comprised of neurotransmitter leucine enkephalin which is a natural painkiller. So next time you’re stressed out, having a good cry might just be the answer.
Here are some of her findings:
Title image: Timeless reunion
Tears of timeless reunion:
Tears of grief
Tears of endings and beginnings
Tears of change