The work looks at both familiar and unfamiliar subjects in a new light - close up and under the microscope. The photos display a range of illumination techniques.
- Top lighting is where natural or photo lights are shore onto the subject as in conventional photography
- Transmitted light is where the light shines through from behind the subject - similar to photographing stained glass
- Darkfield illumination is where light is shone from an angle at a transparent object, making it glow against a dark background
- Polarisation uses transmitted light with a polarising filter between the light and the sample and a second filter between the sample and the camera. The background is black with the filters at 90 degrees to each other and samples display a spectrum of colours depending on their thickness and composition
- Polarisaton with wave attenuation. This is the same as simple polarisation with the addition of a sheet of plastic between the first polarisation filter and the sample. Rotation of the plastic sheet and the polarisation filters can give different colour backgrounds.
- Phase A. This is a type of illumination called phase contrast. it makes thin samples with only slight differences in contrast stand out more as bright lines against a darker background.
The aim is to use the skills to bring out the unusual and aesthetic in a particular object.
There were two other enjoyable factors during the exhibition.
First, I was able to extend my portrait practice of parents with sons or daughters - you can see the results at https://picasaweb.google.com/107595387761034666575/COSPortraits2012.
Second, I always have a stereomicroscope on hand for people to look through. Gems on jewellery are a favourite, however, this year I found living gems in the form of the relatively new resident to the UK, the iridescent purple and bronze leaf beetle Chysolina americana - look at them in video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nR0Evyc7hc&feature=g-upl.
Thank you to all my visitors and the interesting conversations that we had.