Posts Tagged ‘Museum’

Biological Photography Museum

I was having a wander through the museum at Biological Photography and Imaging yesterday and I came across some very strange items { well to me they were } and I am not talking about Dr David Fox the museum curator.

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Odd things in that museum, even the Kilner jar. Dr Tom Hartman said that it was unique in the fact that they stop making these jars back during the war when the factory was blow up. There is a lot to look at and photograph in this museum more then enough to hold anyone’s attention. If you have a interest in old bones, fish heads, small hedgehogs and strange looking mussels then drop a line to thomas.hartman@nottingham.ac.uk if you would like to know more on the course we run at Nottingham University, MSc Biological Photography and Imaging then contact david.mcmahon@nottingham.ac.uk

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Science in the Park to reveal the wonders of the world around us

Do you have what it takes to help deliver a lamb? Have you got the guts to get up close and personal with a giant millipede or tarantula? Or maybe you’ve always wondered how nature produces its own genetic mutants?
If so, a free family event being held in Nottingham this weekend, and involving a host of experts from The University of Nottingham, could offer the perfect day out, mixing the fascinating with the fun.
Science in the Park 2011, taking place at Wollaton Hall on Saturday March 12 from 11am to 4pm, has been organised by the British Science Association Nottinghamshire Branch and aims to open up people’s eyes to the wonder of science in the world around them.

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Construction and set building day, the students are learning how to construct a natural looking environment within the studio, these set are to be designed and lit as if they were in an outside environment, the lighting was to give the impression it was either that of daylight or moonlight. The subjects that the students could photograph were rats, geckos, snails, hissing cockroaches, scorpions and museum subjects. The sets involved constructing a small section of a wall [brickwork] a waste pipe and a grate on this set the rat is placed,the rat is photographed at  the pipe and grate to indicate it was foraging for food, the students are to make this look as convincing as possible with the use of mud to act as mortar and weeds and vegetation. The light from the bowens flash head is diffused and the use of a card to break up the light to make it look like it is flowing through trees and leaves.

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Dr David Fox keeps some odd and curious items in his museum of Natural History, bones, jars and pickled specimens. There are stuffed foxes, badgers and birds, bird’s nests, bees and months, spiders small and large but nothing as large as the ostrich skeleton which lurks in a cupboard, shelf’s full of cures from a witches cauldron but it’s the wizard within David that finds all of these items for the students at The School of Biology to photograph.

David’s vast knowledge cannot be encompassed within a book; it’s the living version of Google. Ask him a question like Jeeves and out pops the answer not wrapped in a scientific envelope of misunderstanding but with words that help you explore more into a world of Natural History.

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“Sexual Nature” at the Natural History Museum explores the diverse ways in which animals have evolved to procreate, such as a snail’s love darts, the detachable penis of the paper nautilus, or the outsized testes of the promiscuous chimp.The exhibition,  open on Friday 11th Feb, also looks at human sexual behaviour in the context of other species. Full story

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Photography David W McMahon

David’s role on the course is multi-faceted. One of his main roles is the curation and cataloguing of the specimens, which form the School of Biology natural history collections. These specimens range from cabinets of set insects to mounted birds and mammals and also include skeletal remains and specimens preserved in spirit. The collections are used by the students for hands on photography and also as an aid in identification.

Dr David Fox. Stood in front of part of the vast collection in the photographic section School of Biology The University of Nottingham

David also identifies many of the species photographed by the students in the field, often as e-mailed images sent from various locations. His knowledge of natural history subjects is also used to the full on many field trips organised as part of the course, some of which he leads himself.

Another of David’s roles is to set up studios with suitable biological specimens in order that students may enhance their photographic skills by recording texture and anatomical details, which would be difficult to procure elsewhere and is also the reason why a living Golden Eagle named Star, trained by David is sometimes flown for use photographically by the students as part of their coursework.

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