Much of the pioneering work on the fungal parasites of algae such as Asterionella was performed by Hilda Canter-Lund during her time at the Freshwater Biological Association, which makes a nice link with this post, as the winner of the 2013 Hilda Canter-Lund photography award has just been announced on the British Phycological Society website. Hilda Canter-Lund was an extremely accomplished photographer of the microscopic world, producing pictures that combined high technical and aesthetic merits and was a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society. The award was set up in her memory by the British Phycological Society.
I was extremely pleased that Chris Carter won this year. He made it to the shortlists in 2010 and 2011 and, as readers of this blog will already know produces pictures of an extremely high standard (see posts of 1 March and 14 May). Chris’ winning entry shows the reproductive organs of a stonewort, Chara virgata from a pond in Northamptonshire, where he lives. The visual focus s the bright orange antheridium, about 0.4 millimetres across, with interlocking shield cells caught just before they rupture.
Chara virgata: Chris Carter’s winning image in the 2013 Hilda Canter-Lund photography award.
Chris’ career was spent developing infra-red sensors in the electronics industry, with natural history and photomicroscopy as spare-time enthusiasms. Now he has retired from the electronics industry he has more time to spend on these enthusiasms, with some spectacular results. Despite all the advances in optical technology and digital imaging over the last decades, good microscopic images require an extraordinary amount of patience and technical know-how. His winning image encapsulates perfectly the standards that Hilda Canter-Lund set herself.
Chris Carter, out in the field collecting algae.