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Dr Alan Channing

Hot spring environments and ecosystems through time
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I have recently had the pleasure of working with Richard Weston a renowned architect and author as well as Professor of Architecture at the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University.

Richard has a passion for mineral images which he creates by using cutting edge digital scanners. His interest in minerals began when he bought an ammonite that cost more than his scanner: apparently the results were dreadful! The scanner he now uses cost rather more than many ammonites - but the results are wonderful. Richard has recently launched a website Earth.uk.net where you can view and purchase his fantastic images.



Richards work is a fantastic vehicle for science outreach. The images he creates are both aesthetically pleasing and the direct result of geological, chemical and physical processes. Richard asked me to provide a geological commentary to accompany his images in the book Formations: Images from Rocks. I inadvertently gained the nom de plume Alan Chowning during the creation of the books ISBN number! The processes of mineral formation are often extremely complex, however I attempted to describe in lay terms the basic principles behind their formation.

Each image demands a great deal of time to produce: preparing the minerals, taking scan after scan, and then digitally removing blemishes left by polishing powder and dust. Only a tiny minority of the images he captures make it into his online collection.




Richard has a very good eye for images, I have played with my own scanner and mineral collection - nothing of merit resulted!