Meet Bevil Templeton-Smith – Microscopic Visual Adventures – with the Company of Makers

Welcome to the world of Microscopy with Bevil Templeton-Smith

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Event details: Tuesday 19 November 2024 19:00 – 20:00 GMT

I enjoy defying photography norms. Ultimately, a photograph is no more than a collection of spots of colour in an enclosed space. How those spots are arranged informs our visual center, which forms a pattern in our brain which we like or dislike. The pattern can be pure black, or a lovely landscape scene, and everything in between. My photographs of crystals of various household substances in polarised light on my microscope have no recognisable subject to inform their scale. There is no figure or still life object to help to categorise that pattern. The result is a colourful vista of shape and form. They elicit a visual adventure, but leave the viewer questioning what they are looking at. This is intentional. The viewer must like it or leave it on this basis, not because it is a picturesque landscape or artful nude.

Those familiar with my photographs are often forgiven for referring to them as my paintings. However paintings they are not. They are absolutely photographs of absolutely real things which can be retrieved and re-viewed in my microscope, and sometimes photographed with a different configuration of polarising filters and wave plates, and at different angles, to produce entirely different photographs, much like a landscape photographer might revisit and photograph the same landscape at different times of the year, or from different perspectives.

I am very enthusiastic about my ongoing project to make photographs that defy the norms, and show a fresh perspective on the world, bringing to light a set of real subjects which are hidden, and very difficult to find, see and photograph.Different sets of images in this project have been recognised by inclusion in a successful joint exhibition titled Polychromo, at Alveston Fine Art in London in March 2023. With this work, I was also very proud to be awarded 2023 non professional Photographer of the Year in the Fine Art category in the International Photography Awards in New York in October 2023.

About Bevil

I am a computer programmer and IT consultant and have been living in London UK and doing technical work for almost 30 years. However I am the son of two artists (painters) and as a result have an artistic gremlin, always trying to fight its way out. I can not draw or paint, so photography has been my visual art tool and downtime pastime. I have pursued that as a hobbyist (although with a few photographic paid jobs) for more than 20 years.

My photography work tends toward difficult subjects to photograph. These have included astrophotography (nebulae, planets, moon, etc.) using my telescope, macro photographs of nature in the field, ultra wide photography from unexpected perspectives, and experiments with ferrofluid, injected paints, inks in water, glass photography etc. I tend to make contraptions to contain my subjects, or I find, buy or make the esoteric camera equipment and lenses that might help me to achieve the goal of taking difficult photographs. My current project and body of work is the result of buying some very old (50+ year old) research microscopes, fashioning adapters for my camera, and viewing – as well as pointing the camera down the microscopes to capture the wonder of microscopic crystals in polarised light.

This current endeavour has seen me achieve a successful exhibition at Alveston Fine Art in Notting Hill, London in March 2023, as well as winning non professional Fine Art Photographer of the Year in the International Photography Awards 2023.

Live Talk

Hosted by Company of Makers’ co-founder Steve Bomford.


You’ll have the opportunity to get involved and ask questions of our guests. We’ll endeavour to answer as many of your questions as we can squeeze in.

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