Barnard Awards for Photomicrographs – 2020

Mike Gibson co-ordinated the entries before passing them on to the judge. Alan Edwards LRPS judged the photomicrographs before they were revealed at the virtual Annual Exhibition of Microscopy on Wednesday 30th September 2020, and had the difficult job of deciding which of the excellent images from members of the Quekett, the Iceni Microscopy Study Group and the Postal Microscopical Society were of a sufficiently high standard to deserve a certificate.

You can see the submitted photomicrographs in these galleries:

The entries that deserved certificates were announced after the lecture on Saturday 3rd October. Certificates were awarded to Anne Algar (Brine shrimp), Chris Green (Spirophthalmidium emaciatum), David Linstead (Daphnia head and shoulders portrait), David Spears (Pollen grains on aconite anther), Deborah Kapell (Volvox aureus with zygotes), Gordon Brown (Testate amoeba Centropyxis), Tony Pattinson (Triops cancriformis ventral view) and Wim van Egmond (Dolichospermum cyanobacteria).

Mike Gibson prepared this PowerPoint presentation containing all of the photomicrographs and the notes provided by the photographers:


Click the arrows to move through the slides. Click the symbol at bottom right for a larger version.

The judge, Alan Edwards, provided these notes that he made on the winning photomicrographs:

This year’s exhibition, as in previous years, contains many wonderful images. The authors’ notes generously inform the viewer of techniques needed to capture those images, and will no doubt encourage others to emulate them. Many will be stunned by the details of the natural world revealed. Barnard certificates of excellence for photomicrographs are awarded to:

Daphnia head and shoulders portrait by Dr David Linstead. One can imagine this as a most delicate relief made by a craftsman silversmith. The structures leading from the eye to the brain are amazingly rendered. The pastel colours lift the mood without overpowering the composition.

Daphnia head and shoulders portrait – Barnard Certificate

Triops cancriformis ventral view by Tony Pattinson. From Tony’s three images of a tadpole shrimp I chose this one for the vibrant colours that beautifully enhance the detail of the internal organs seen in the ventral view.

Triops cancriformis ventral view – Barnard Certificate

Pollen grains on aconite anther by David Spears. This SEM image has both superb detail and a sense of depth. The monochrome palette has a full range of tones and the image has a texture one can almost feel.

Pollen grains on aconite anther – Barnard Certificate

Testate amoeba Centropyxis by Gordon Brown. When seen under this lighting arrangement the ‘tests’ on the surface of the amoeba glow like jewels in a crown.

Testate amoeba – Barnard Certificate

Brine shrimp by Anne Algar. Careful lighting has transformed this little shrimp into a riot of colour. Fine detail in the feather-like appendages and a visual symmetry make a feast for the eye.

Brine shrimp – Barnard Certificate

Dolichospermum cyanobacteria by Wim van Egmond. As the winding filaments of this blue-green algae come and go into focus a sense of depth is created. The out of focus filaments appear as shadows against a light backdrop.

Dolichospermum – Barnard Certificate

Volvox aureus with zygotes by Deborah Kapell. Volvox is a popular subject in this year’s entries. Deborah’s interpretation with bold colours of purple and orange adds pictorial value to the science.

Volvox aureus with zygotes – Barnard Certificate

Spirophthalmidium emaciatum by Chris Green. With excellent lighting Chris has really brought out translucent nature of these forms. Set against the dark field the viewer has a three-dimensional experience.

Spirophthalmidium emaciatum – Barnard Certificate

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