Looking through the STEAM
  • Science
  • Senior
  • STEM

The Royal Society piloted a new science imagery competition this year, of course LEH students stepped up to the photographic plate. Sanjana (LIVL) and Catherine (UIVX) both submitted the photo’s below – and won book prizes! Catherine also made a submission to Surrey University’s picture competition: (see the last photo in the set.)


The first photograph highlights the explosive nature of the geysers in Iceland. This is an image of the geyser at its highest point. Geysers are a quite rare phenomenon on Earth due to the precise conditions that are required for them to form. They are mainly clustered near active volcanic areas. The image was achieved by waiting for 3-5 minutes and then waiting for the steam to reach its peak. It was taken on an iPhone 6s+ camera and small tonal edits were made using the adobe photoshop app.

The second image is of the glacier in Vatnajökull. It highlights the path which the glacier took. Vatnajökull is Europe’s largest glacier and formed 2,500 years ago but 300 years ago, it almost disappeared altogether. It is now considerably smaller than it was several years ago. There were no technical difficulties with this image and it was taken much like any other image. It was taken with an iPhone 6s+ camera. There were small tonal edits made in this image using the adobe photoshop app.

My final image of the icebergs in Jokulsarlon. These icebergs were made from an outlet in the glacier Vatnajökull. As the glacier melts, more ice and water flow down to create the Jokulsarlon icebergs. This image was achieved by standing on top of a hill and crouching down to click the image. It was taken by an iPhone 6s+ camera and crops and minor tonal adjustments were made using the adobe photoshop app.


My first photograph shows a bumble bee of the Bombus Hortorum species collecting nectar from a nectary deep in the flower of a Prunus Hillieri Spire species of shrub. As it feeds on the sugary liquid nectar at the base of the flower, the bumble bee’s body contacts the yellow pollen grains on the flower’s anther. The bee then flies to another flower of the same plant and by searching for nectar again, deposits this pollen onto the stigma of the adjacent flower, causing self-pollination to occur. Subsequently the male pollen grain grows a tubule which grows down to the flower’s ovary, delivering pollen into the ovule. Once the pollen and ovule have come together, fertilization occurs, and the ovules will develop into seeds.

The photograph was taken in Sunbury Walled Garden using an iPhone SE. The Bombus Hortorum Bee is recognised by the two distinct yellow bands on its thorax. It has a slimmer body and longer head than the Bombus Terrestris and Lucorum species and often keeps its long tongue extended whilst flying. The Prunus Hillieri Spire shrub flowers in May and is a species of Japanese Cherry Shrub.

Cosmonauts: The Birth of the Space Age

This photograph highlights the intellectual, scientific and engineering successes of the twentieth century Russian Space Program and the outstanding collection of Russian space artifacts from the London Science Museum ‘Cosmonaut’ Exhibition.

The photographic artifacts include the Vostok 6 capsule flown by Valentina Tereshkova; the first woman in space; the Voskhod 1 capsule used to carry more than one crew member; the LK-3 Lunar Lander, built to compete with Apollo and the gold phantom mannequin made in the image of Yuri Gagarin, flown around the Moon on Zond-7 (1969), to test effects of radiation.

Mr Brittain - STEM Co-ordinator and Physics Teacher