A garden-variety scientist

Biologist Amy Lamb fell in love with seeing nature close-up, then traded her microscope for a camera lens

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob started with The Scientist as a staff writer in 2007. Before joining the team, he worked as a reporter at Audubon and earned a master’s degree in science journalism...

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May 31, 2007
It's a glorious May morning at the United States Botanic Garden in Washington D.C. Spring is in full bloom: Bees buzz, birds twitter, and flowers wearing colorful crowns sway gently in the cool breeze.
But the most striking botanical specimens hang inside a gallery near the Garden's entrance. The 21 up-close photographs of flowers and other plant parts comprise Patterns in Nature, the latest exhibition from photographer and erstwhile scientist Amy Lamb.Lamb grows almost all of the plants she photographs in a garden outside her Bethesda, Maryland home, which also houses her studio. She takes cuttings from her plants at various stages of their lifecycles, carefully lights her subjects, and photographs them against jet-black backgrounds, highlighting their tiniest hairs and thinnest veins. What results are intricately detailed photos that capture the innate grace of flowers.
As a PhD who studied protein synthesis at the University of Michigan, Lamb...

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