Sarah Gilpin

ExLab/DVA Bursary Research Project 2012


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Macrophotography tips

When I told Bob Ford about this project and my interest in lichens and asked for some advice on macrophotography, he generously offered to make it the subject of his next Portland walk.   These happen more or less every Friday starting from The Heights Hotel at 10am, and Bob generously shares his extensive knowledge and observational skills.  Sightings and photos are recorded on his Dorset Walks blog – scroll to Friday August 3rd at Kingbarrow Quarry for the ‘our’ walk.

The large depth of field needed for the shot below is achieved as a composite photo using photoshop.  I very much hope we will be able to collaborate more as this project progresses.


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What do you see?

Click on the images to view larger.  Responses welcomed in the comments box – thank you.


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a starting point…

95% of life on earth is almost invisible to the naked eye, and so it is with the majority of lichens. Portland is home to 300 species of lichen, four of which are not found elsewhere in the UK.

I am delighted to have been awarded an ExLab/DVA bursary to extend and challenge my practice enabling me to research these dual(fungus and alga) organisms.

I shall use hand magnifying lenses and macro photography out and about on the island combined with data from the Dorset Environmental Records Centre(DERC) to explore:

  • scale, structure, texture, and colour
  • distribution, context and mapping patterns
  • relationships, boundaries, and margins – between individuals of the same species, and between individuals of different species
  • movement into form – even in these ‘stationary’ life forms

Hoping I can illuminate the obscure and overlooked…