A collection of stunning images of Mother Nature at her most beautiful, captured by students at The University of Nottingham, are due to go on display to the public as part of a new exhibition.
The stunning images from the natural world, taken by postgraduate students studying on the unique one-year MSc Biological Photography and Imaging course run by the University’s School of Life Sciences, can be seen at the Wollaton Hall Courtyard Café from Friday May 13 to Friday May 27 and is free to view.
The nature photography includes images of sunlight glinting off the delicate petals of a tulip, the Aurora Borealis dancing in the sky above snowcapped Icelandic mountains and the extravagant purple hues of a passion flower in full bloom.
Fittingly, it also features striking photos of Wollaton Hall’s most famous residents – the Red and Fallow deer which are synonymous with the Nottingham landmark.
The 7 Magpies exhibition, has been organised by the students as part of a module for their course – the only one of its kind in the UK – which has challenged them to produce all the imagery and then organise every detail of the event, from finding a venue to organising the large format printing of their work.
Nature's infinite wonders
Gilles Dubois, one of the students involved in organising the exhibition, said: “Our exhibition is an invitation to open your eyes and have a look at our environment and the infinite amount of wonders it is made of - we hope it will show our profound love for nature and for photography both as a documentation tool and as an art.”
Fellow student Emma Simpson-Wells added: “Our exhibition is such an exciting opportunity for us to show off all the hard work we put into our MSc course. What’s even better is that it’s an outdoor exhibition in a location we all love - Wollaton Deer Park. It really reflects our dedication to sharing our knowledge of the natural world and our ever increasing photography skills. I’m so proud of our small group’s achievements this past year.”
The Masters in Biological Photography and Imaging has been run by the School of Biology for over 10 years. The course was developed after recognising the importance that images have in the biological sciences. In a fast-moving society, the professional imager also has a powerful role in the way science is communicated to the world.
The study programme incorporates the areas of biological research, imaging (both industrial and media production) and communication. The students gain an up-to-date technical knowledge of digital stills production, image processing and manipulation, filming techniques, web design, 3-D technology and more.
They also learn how to perform image analysis and interpret the data that they obtain from them and gain experience in the field of outdoor photography techniques for capturing images of animals and plants in their environment, training in the studio for organisms that can be handled indoors and how to cope in challenging photographic conditions.
Passionate and remarkable photography
A specialist microscopy module teaches students how to produce images using light, scanning electron and fluorescence microscopes investigating microbiological diversity, cytogenetics, food quality, forensics.
Students also produce work in a variety of formats including scientific papers, research posters, magazines, films, interactive PDFs and iBooks.
The MSc in Biological Photography and Imaging is also aimed at individuals who wish to pursue a career as a freelance professional imager, giving them a strong grounding in the business skills necessary to work on a freelance basis including project planning and knowledge on the legal principles of copyright and ownership of their images.
Typically graduates from the course have gone on to become professional photographers, undertake PhDs in molecular biology, biodiversity analysis and biophysics, or pursue various careers such as website design, food photography, medical imaging or wildlife filmmaking. In addition, the writing skills our students develop enable them to publish work in scientific and popular magazines.
Course Director David McMahon said: “The students who attend the MSc in Biological Photography and Imaging usually come to us with very little knowledge in terms of photography but they are always determined to succeed. Their passion and desire to produce outstanding work is commendable and this year’s cohort are without a doubt truly remarkable in the quality of their photographic skills. I am very excited about the work they have produced for this fantastic exhibition at Wollaton Hall.”
The exhibition will open on Friday May 13 with a launch event at 5.30pm which will feature two graduates as guest speakers.
Alex Hyde is now a professional natural history photographer based in the Peak District and winner of the Hidden Britain category in the 2015 British Wildlife Photography Awards for his incredible image of a female crane fly covered in morning dew. His work has been published in numerous newspapers, books and magazines including The Times, The Daily Telegraph, BBC Wildlife Magazine and New Scientist.
Alex Wilkinson is a professional photographer and videographer whose work has won national photography competitions and has included travel to Uganda to produce a book on chimpanzees titled Our Closest Relative – The Chimpanzee.
More information about the exhibition can be found on a dedicated Facebook page and via Twitter.
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city.’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and the winner of ‘Outstanding Support for Early Career Researchers’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2015. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, and 8th in the UK by research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for four years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.
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