May 4, 2016, by Emma Thorne

Looking good Mother Nature! Student photographers reveal stunning images

A collection of stunning images from the natural world, captured by students on the School of Life Sciences’ MSc Biological Photography and Imaging course, are due to go on display at a free exhibition at the Courtyard Cafe at Wollaton Hall from Friday May 13.

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.

Here we reveal the inspiration and stories behind a small selection of those breathtaking images directly from the student photographers behind the lens.

 Dancing in the sky by Andrea Calispa Quinto (above right)

 “During spring break, I travelled some days around Iceland, which I have to say is one of the most incredible places I’ve been so far. We already had been lucky enough to  see northern lights during two consecutive nights, we were really happy. But on the third night the sun gave us northern lights dancing powerfully over snow-capped mountains, creating a spectacle I don’t think I’ll ever forget.

 “I’m so glad to be part of this group of passionate photographers and nature lovers! This exhibition is a wonderful chance to share with the public some of our skills  developed during this course. We couldn’t find a better place to display our work – you are all very welcome!

Liquid FireLiquid Fire by Emma Vincent

“On a recent trip to the botanical gardens at Cambridge University I saw this brightly coloured tulip, Tulipa greigii. Looking into the flower I saw stunning patterns of colour. I used a small depth of field to keep the stamen and carpel in focus but slightly blur the surrounding colours of the petals making it look almost like liquid fire. The loud swirling colours are a stark contrast to the deep blacks underneath the flower’s sexual organs.”




Merlin Merlin by Sarah Houben

 “This Merlin (Falco columbarius) is one of the raptors kept at the International Centre for Birds of Prey in Newent. Its direct and strong  gaze made me stop and take its portrait. I changed the angle from which I was taking the photo until I found this monotone background, so  that nothing would distract from the Merlin’s detailed feathers and expression.”







Tiger Sumatran Tiger by Peter Simons 

 “Panthera tigris sumatrae – photographed at Anna’s Welsh Zoo (Pembrokeshire), using a large focal length and small depth of field to blur  out the fence and focus on the Tiger. The contrast of colours makes the tiger stand out, and the appearance is very intriguing while he licks  his lips looking at me.”




PassionPassion by  Beth Flowers

“This macro photograph was taken inside a butterfly house, and shows a passion flower  (Passiflora sp) in full bloom. The flower is so extravagant and striking, with its extraordinary  shapes and plethora of purple hues, that it almost demanded a picture. Many have said it reminds them of a helicopter!

“Wildlife and landscape photography is a fantastic tool for showing the true beauty of the natural world. From the microscopic, to the truly  majestic, this art form can be put to work to benefit the creatures and habitats that need it most. Through this MSc, we have homed in our  skills, and hope to be able to make a positive change to our environment by means of awareness in the years to come. Our exhibition will  allow you immerse yourself in the natural beauty that surrounds you, we hope you enjoy our images as much as we’ve enjoyed taking them.”

Find out more about the MSc Biological Photography Imaging course and the exhibition by reading our press release.

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