Archive for May, 2011

Photography: DSLR

Since getting a new phone nearly a year ago I’ve been taking photos regularly, helped of course by taking part in Project365.

I’m over halfway through Project365 now and while it’s been difficult at times, I’ve really enjoyed it at other times. It’s kept me thinking about photography and reminded me how much I like the hobby.

So, I’ve decided to get more serious and finally buy myself a proper camera. It was almost on a whim that I asked on Facebook about possibly getting a DSLR. The feedback I got since then (plus a bit of extra thinking and compliments about my photography) convinced me that I really should take the plunge.

After a week of intensive research, I have bought myself a second-hand Nikon D80 with a 18-105mm f3.5/5.6G ED VR lens. These are all words and abbreviations that meant nothing to me 9 days ago, but I’ve learned a lot since then and have been helped out by a number of friends. I’m still waiting for the lens to arrive, but I can’t wait to try it out.

I’ll be writing future posts on what exactly a DSLR is and how I get on with one soon.

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DIYBio: Manchester Microbe Map

Plates, originally uploaded by MadLabUK.

Manchester DIYBio (McrDIYBio for short and on twitter) is a new project, based at Madlab, supported by Manchester Metropolitan University and funded by the Wellcome Trust. It is part of a world-wide group, that is dedicated to making biology more accessible to non-scientists.

One Wednesday in the middle of May I found myself at Madlab taking part in one of their meetings. McrDIYBio have the aim of creating a map of microbes in Manchester. And on the evening I went we would be taking swabs from as many bus stops as we could and inoculating them onto nutrient agar plates. These plates were incubated at 25C for a few days and the results would be examined at their next meeting.

Photos were taken to document both the process and the resulting growths. Plans are being made to represent the results using various charts and maps. Exciting and certainly an interesting way to spend an evening!

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