Crisis artist Demelza attended Chris Oakley’s Microscopic Landscapes workshop in February 2020. She tells us what it was like.

We first visited the gallery to see Chris’s exhibition, Microscopy of the Union Flag. We learnt that photos could be layered up to achieve the final image. These images were the result of 15 layers. Already I was starting to see photos in a new way.

The session was relaxed and enjoyable, Chris showed us more than one method to achieve incredibly zoomed-in images. We had the opportunity to try out Chris’s camera, set up with a microscopic lens, which was the camera he used for the photos in the exhibition.

We had a go at taking our own photos, using our phone’s camera and a piece of equipment we created ourselves, using plywood and plastic, screwed together to create something similar to a microscope. Under this lens we placed our everyday objects we had brought to the session. Anything from coins, feathers and kitchen foil.

Under the camera they looked anything but ordinary, everyday objects. It felt like a different world being revealed. Colours appeared as if by magic and details you never knew were there.

We were invited to play and create, it was great to be able to switch off my mind and pay all my attention to thinking about colour and light.

Chris’s teaching was easy to grasp and enjoyable. Never having taken a photography class before I had been worried about needing to understand complex camera functions, or that the class would be really technical, but instead it was beginner friendly.

Chris’s photography workshop opened up a window to see the world in microscopic detail, and I was fascinated!

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