Tag Archives: Photography

Biology Photography Competition Winners

Connie A - Deer 1
First Prize: Connie A – Deer 1

First prize in the Biology Photography competition was won by Connie A, whose photo of a deer lit by a shaft of sunlight at Dunham Massey was superb. Our guest judge Dr Pickering praised its composition and the detail she captured. Connie received her prize, a digital camera, kindly donated by Dr Pickering.

Karis M - Butterfly 3
Third Prize: Karis M – Butterflies mating
Martha W - Little Robin Redbreast
Second prize: Martha W – Little Robin Redbreast

Second and third prize winners were Martha W (Little Robin Redbreast) and Karis M (Butterflies mating)They both received signed copies of Dr Pickering’s book ‘Photosafari’. Also commended were Martha’s pictures of Fighting Grebes and Guillemots and Sudiksha D-K’s Lovers on a Leaf.

Thank you to all those who entered – we had the most fantastic selection of photographs and it was incredibly hard to pick the winners. Next year’s photography competition will be slightly different – we are going for microscopic biology. More information to follow next year!

Biology Photography Competition

Thank you to all the entries in our nature photography competition.

We have had over 80 pictures submitted and our guest judge, Dr Pickering, is currently abroad, but has agreed to judge the pictures and provide a digital camera as a prize. We will announce the winners on course due, but the biology department were extremely impressed by the quality of the submissions.

Please have a look at the gallery below:

Aaishah A - Mushroom
Aaishah A – Mushroom
Tabitha H - Journey
Tabitha H – Journey
Tabitha H - Entropy
Tabitha H – Entropy
Tabitha H - Abundance
Tabitha H – Abundance
Sudiksha D-K - Pollination Rounds
Sudiksha D-K – Pollination Rounds
Sudiksha D-K - Lovers on a Leaf
Sudiksha D-K – Lovers on a Leaf
Sudiksha D-K - Jasmine in Bloom
Sudiksha D-K – Jasmine in Bloom
Sudiksha D-K - Inquisitive Honey Bee
Sudiksha D-K – Inquisitive Honey Bee
Sudiksha D-K - Hide and Seek
Sudiksha D-K – Hide and Seek
Shreya D - Wasp
Shreya D – Wasp
Roxy R - Sunset 2
Roxy R – Sunset 2
Roxy R - Sunset 1
Roxy R – Sunset 1
Rishika D - Flower
Rishika D – Flower
Rhea B - Sky on Car Roof
Rhea B – Sky on Car Roof
Rafa A - Sunset
Rafa A – Sunset
Polina P - Droplets
Polina P – Droplets
Parnika L - Leaf
Parnika L – Leaf
Nishi U - Fungi
Nishi U – Fungi
Mr T Copestake, teacher - Pig
Mr T Copestake, teacher – Pig
Mr T Copestake, teacher - Cox
Mr T Copestake, teacher – Cox
Mrs A Hamilton, teacher - Wordsworths grave
Mrs A Hamilton, teacher – Wordsworths grave
Moyosoreoluwa A - Lake
Moyosoreoluwa A – Lake
Martha W - Scotland
Martha W – Scotland
Martha W - Little Robin Redbreast
Martha W – Little Robin Redbreast
Martha W - Guillemot Rock
Martha W – Guillemot Rock
Martha W - Flowers by the Sea
Martha W – Flowers by the Sea
Martha W - Fighting Grebes
Martha W – Fighting Grebes
Martha W - Blue on Blue
Martha W – Blue on Blue
Lucy W - Goat 3
Lucy W – Goat 3
Lucy W - Goat 2
Lucy W – Goat 2
Lucy W - Goat 1
Lucy W – Goat 1
Lucy W - Distance
Lucy W – Distance
Lucy B - Croc
Lucy B – Croc
Lawiza K - Leaf
Lawiza K – Leaf
Karis M - Komodo
Karis M – Komodo
Karis M - Cat
Karis M – Cat
Karis M - Butterfly 3
Karis M – Butterfly 3
Karis M - Butterfly 2
Karis M – Butterfly 2
Karis M - Butterfly 1
Karis M – Butterfly 1
Jemma G - Sunset
Jemma G – Sunset
Jemma G - Statue
Jemma G – Statue
Jemma G - Flower 3
Jemma G – Flower 3
Jemma G - Flower 2
Jemma G – Flower 2
Jemma G - Flower 1
Jemma G – Flower 1
Jemma G - Dog
Jemma G – Dog
Hollie F - Bird
Hollie F – Bird
Gabrielle H - Cow
Gabrielle H – Cow
Freya P - Butterfly
Freya P – Butterfly
Eve G - plant
Eve G – plant
Eve G - Mushroom 2
Eve G – Mushroom 2
Eve G - Mushroom 1
Eve G – Mushroom 1
Eve G - Cone
Eve G – Cone
Eve G - Cat 2
Eve G – Cat 2
Eve G - Cat 1
Eve G – Cat 1
Erin E - Small is Beautiful
Erin E – Small is Beautiful
Emaan A - Sunset
Emaan A – Sunset
Elizabeth P - Swan and Cygnets
Elizabeth P – Swan and Cygnets
Eileen Y - Reflection
Eileen Y – Reflection
Eileen Y - Lake
Eileen Y – Lake
Eileen Y - Bird
Eileen Y – Bird
Connie A - White Flower 2
Connie A – White Flower 2
Connie A - White Flower 2
Connie A – White Flower 2
Connie A - Pink Flower 3
Connie A – Pink Flower 3
Connie A - Pink Flower 2
Connie A – Pink Flower 2
Connie A - Pink Flower 1
Connie A – Pink Flower 1
Connie A - Leaf 2
Connie A – Leaf 2
Connie A - Leaf 1
Connie A – Leaf 1
Connie A - Eye
Connie A – Eye
Connie A - Deer 3
Connie A – Deer 3
Connie A - Deer 2
Connie A – Deer 2
Connie A - Deer 1
Connie A – Deer 1
Alex K - Bear
Alex K – Bear
Abby K - Bee
Abby K – Bee
Aaliyah M - White flower
Aaliyah M – White flower
Aaliyah M - Tree
Aaliyah M – Tree
Aaliyah M - Purple flower
Aaliyah M – Purple flower
Aaliyah M - Pink sunset
Aaliyah M – Pink sunset
Aaliyah M - Pink flower 2
Aaliyah M – Pink flower 2
Aaliyah M - Pink flower 1
Aaliyah M – Pink flower 1
Aaliyah M - Pink blossom
Aaliyah M – Pink blossom
Aaliyah M - Leaf silhouette
Aaliyah M – Leaf silhouette
Aaliyah M - Dead pink flower
Aaliyah M – Dead pink flower
Aaliyah M - Cherry tree
Aaliyah M – Cherry tree
Aaliyah M - Blossom tree
Aaliyah M – Blossom tree

Biology Week – Wildlife Photography Talk Report

A report by Lucy W, Year 9:

Biology week is coming up and, like the majority of the country, Altrincham Girls Grammar School is joining in with the festivities: the first opening for students and teachers alike, was a wildlife photography talk on Wednesday by the esteemed Doctor Pickering.
Before his retirement, Dr Pickering used to work here at AGGS as a head of biology; but now he travels across the globe and therefore has collected a rather respectable photographic collection. In fact, several of his pieces have featured in textbooks across all three sciences, especially the ones capturing extremely rare moments in time. It’s true he’s a very skilled man.

Firstly, he started by displaying an immense humility by showing the first picture he ever took of wildlife with his first camera at 14. The was grainy and the image ambiguous in detail but the bird erect in the centre gave us a phenomenal insight into how much he has improved since then – he deplaned to us that much of his work is accomplished through luck and chance. Also, that via risk taking, for instance: a rapid fire shot when out on a safari drive, could turn out to find a treasure trove.

With this promised understanding ensured, he moved on to the technicalities. Stating with the subject’s roll in any image. On the one hand, he told us that the rarity of the animal and moment greatly impact the need for the photo. For example: he showed us a brilliant image of a blue tongued skink with its mouth open which he had taken. Because snapping such a picture is remarkably rare the picture took off much faster than he anticipated. With a constant want for it from every side. Furthermore, he explained the need to understand why people want the picture.

Another vital part which he greatly emphasised was the effect of an environment of control on the validity of the picture – you just tell people that the photo was taken in such a way that the animal was not entirely free so that people don’t believe incorrectly despite the possibility that it may look so. Otherwise the image could be discredited when discovered. Moreover, you must debate whether control is appropriate for that specific animal and the conventions of the photo. Although it usually is.

Secondly, we discussed the importance of knowing your kit. A moment you wish to capture could disappear in the time it takes to blink, as he said, so it is nigh impossible for any human to have reflexes to capture. Therefore, being able to handle your camera without attention is an invaluable asset. This then led on to a section on exposure and finally composition.

According to Dr Pickering, how you use exposure is vital to the final product of an image because it concerns how much light is let through which in turn effects the result of the many colours (or reflectants) in an image. In his booklet “Handbook of zoo photography” he specified the three different types of exposure: partial, spot and evaluative as well as the details of the exposure triangle which is comprised of aperture, shutter speed and ISO (or sensitivity). He also managed to detail the three types of exposure: partial, spot and evaluative which each differ depending on not only how much light it lets in but what part of the image it using to decide that with spot using a section in the middle and evaluative miraculously taking data from several parts of the image to produce a better quality, realistic picture. This is especially useful for white animals to make sure they don’t appear grey. It is useful to know that evaluative is the best technically however, spot is useful if you want to put emphasis on a specific section just like blur is useful to suggest movement and atmosphere.

Finally, there’s the question of composition. Apparently, images are more captivating and interesting if, instead of having the subject being in the middle you split it into a 3 by 3 grid and put the points of focus in the thirds as well as using diagonals to create realistic variety and interest. Especially, because the brain instinctively enjoys that structure more than another. Furthermore, making something unusual is fantastic, especially for primates due to the rarity of capturing such moments. It also adds a reliability to the image which would otherwise be lost.

Amazingly, all this thought goes into every picture Dr Pickering takes and each is a success due to such a brilliant technique. Hopefully, this will help many more generations experience wildlife like never before and appreciate the work of a truly phenomenal man and the nature we are surrounded by.

Written by Lucy W, Year 9

Biology Week 2017

Biology Week 2017

7th – 15th October

How Can You Get Involved?

 

TALK: Photographing Nature with Dr Pickering

Ex-AGGS teacher and amazing wildlife photographer Dr Pickering will discuss the skills, techniques and patience required to get some perfect photos.
Dr Pickering has had his work published and will be sharing his secrets plus launching our 2017 Photography competition.

Wednesday 4th October

All welcome
12.30 in L6

COMPETITION: The Great Biology Bake Off

Bring in a cake that represents a cell, organ, a process or even a whole organism! Prizes for the best entries.
Cakes will then be sliced and sold to the teachers in the staffroom on Tuesday and all money raised will be donated to the Macmillan coffee morning charity.

Monday 9th October

All welcome
12.30 in L5

TALKS: Chester Zoo

Chester Zoo’s Safari Rangers are visiting all Y9 classes to deliver workshops about the varied roles and careers in the zoo.

L3 L4
Period 2 9G 9C
Period 3 9F 9B
Period 4 9E 9D
Period 5 9A

Monday 9th October

Y9 classes
In lessons

Q&A SESSION: Careers at the Zoo

Interested in a career at the zoo? There is a much broader range of jobs than you might expect.  If you want to know more about working at the zoo, please come with your questions to quiz our two Safari Rangers.

Monday 9th October

All welcome
12.40 in L4

QUIZ: Biology Brains!

If you love Biology and know your aardvark from your armadillo, come along to this Quiz at lunchtime. Questions set by members of Science Society!

Tuesday 10th October

All welcome
12.30 in L6

TALK: Old Drugs, New Bugs! With Professor Roberts from Manchester University

What will we do if bacteria become resistant to all the antibiotics we have to fight them? Why are more bacteria becoming antibiotic-resistant? In this fascinating talk you will find out much more about the constant efforts being made to find new drugs to control the rise of MRSA and other potentially life-threatening diseases.  A must of all future medics, dentists and vets, plus everyone else!

Wednesday 11th October

All welcome
12.30 in L6

TALK: Enhancing Photosynthesis for a Changing World with Dr Hartwell from Liverpool University

The world’s population continues to rise. The climate continues to change. Less of the land will be suitable for farming but there are more mouths to feed! How can we genetically engineer plants to survive and photosynthesise efficiently?
Dr Hartwell will discuss cutting-edge genetic research and how solving the food crisis might be the most important area of research in the future.  His talk is essential viewing for A level biologists.

Thursday 12th October

Most relevant for Y13 biologists, although all are welcome
12.30 in L6

COMPETITION: Design a Biology Board Game

Create a game to teach or revise any aspect of Biology.
It must be:

  • Engaging and good fun to play
  • Innovative and effective
  • Well designed, with a name, a box, instructions and everything required to play

Bring your entry to L6 on Friday lunchtime.  It will then be played by our expert panel of testers and winners will be announced before half term.

Friday 13th October

All welcome to enter – in teams or solo entries
Deadline for entries: Friday 13th  October

COMPETITION: Photography Deadline

Picture It: Your Environment
Your photo should show the beauty of the environment and environmental science and its impact on you.
All entries must be accompanied by a 1-2 sentence summary describing how the photo captures the effect of the environment or environmental science on you.
Email entries to crussell@aggs.bfet.uk
First Prize: Dr Pickering has kindly donated his a Canon 1DS – a professional, full frame camera he used to take many of his own nature photographs.
Your picture can also be entered for a national competition by going to the website http://unearthed.nerc.ac.uk/
The first prize of this competition is a VIP invitation to the opening of the RRS Sir David Attenborough in autumn 2018.

Friday 13th October

All welcome to enter
Deadline for entries: Friday 13th October

SPECIAL EVENT: Post Mortem Day

Ever wanted to see what happens during a post mortem? Keen to learn more about the human body and see how organs work together to keep us alive?
This unique experience will allow you to watch a post mortem on a semi-synthetic body.  Real (animal) organs will be used to demonstrate human physiology and over the course of the workshop you will learn more about human anatomy and the diseases of these organs.
Places are limited and each ticket costs £20.  See your biology teacher for more information.
Note: some of the content is aimed at A level Biology students.

Saturday 14th October

Y11-13
Dining room
10am-3pm

Click here to download the Biology Week 2017 timetable

Biology Week, October 2016

10th to 14th October.

What happened and were you there?

Great Biology Bake Off

Biology Week - Bake-offOn Monday 11 cakes were entered in this year’s competition – ranging from whole animals (a pig, an octopus), organs (eyes,

hearts, fingers and brains), cells and even a bubbling conical flask. The judges had a tough job to pick between them…even after tasting!!


Congratulations to:

1st place: The Eye – Faye and Isabelle from 7-7

2nd place: Brian The Brain – Areesha Qureshi from 7-7

3rd place: Dissect the Cupcake – Sarah Jilani, Zara Hussain and Aaliyah Mahmood from 8-7

Thank you to everyone who entered – they were all fantastic!

Faye and Isabelle will receive their prize after half term.

Biology Quiz

On Tuesday the Sixth Form Science Society ran a tricky biology quiz for some of our younger pupils, testing them on everything from why fish float to how much DNA we share with bananas!

Fly Lab

Biology Week Fly Lab

After school on Tuesday 37 girls stayed behind to participate in three workshops run by Manchester University’s Fly Lab. They learnt how different mutations in fruit flies contributed to our understanding of genetic inheritance, how the age of a fruit fly affects its ability to climb and how mutant flies can be temporarily paralysed by temperature and shaking, providing useful models for epilepsy studies.

You Are What You Eat
Biology Week - Professor Ian Roberts

On Wednesday Professor Roberts gave a fascinating lunchtime lecture on gut bacteria and the human diet. He explained how the variety of gut flora changes very quickly if our diet changes and how certain bacteria may even contribute to obesity.

Skype a Zoologist

Biology Week - Skype a Zooologist

On Thursday we linked up with London Zoo for a lunchtime Q&A session with Dr Monika Bohm. She discussed her own research and the conservation work of the zoo, trying to preserve endangered species from around the world.

Dissection Masterclass

After school on Thursday we ran the ever-popular dissection masterclass. Students learnt dissection skills and were able to see the internal organs of a rat and how intricately they fit together.

STEM Treasure Hunt

Biology Week - treasure hunt

On Friday 14 teams of intrepid treasure hunters ran around school trying to spot the hidden goat pictures. Each picture had an amazing animal fact on it and the girls had to match this to the animal on their quiz sheet. Congratulations to Amalie, Rabiah, Amira and Alekhya from 7-3, Libby from 7-5 and Nrishi and Aveesha from 7-7 who spotted the most goats around school!

Photography Competition

Gabrielle H, 10-5 - WinnerThe theme of our photography competition this year was Nature Up Close and the standard was really high. After a lot of debate the winning entry was awarded to Gabrielle H from 10-5.

Close runners-up included Mariam S from 10-5, Tabitha H from 10-2 and Sudiksha D from 12-5.

Look out for prints of all the pictures appearing in biology labs over the next few weeks!