About

Find out more about the Wellcome Image Awards as well as Wellcome Images, the image library behind the Awards.

David Linstead

David is a retired research scientist with 20 years’ experience in the drug research field. Later in his working career he specialised in cancer cell biology and fluorescence microscopy, and experienced the early days of confocal scanning fluorescence microscopy. During that period he became very familiar with the optical microscope as a research tool, but also became interested in the aesthetic possibilities of photomicrographs.

As a child David was always interested in biology and wildlife. He haunted his local library for books on these subjects and pestered his parents for his first basic microscope when he was about nine or ten, even though it was a lot of money for them at the time. At school David loved biology and chemistry, particularly as he moved further up the school. These two subjects are still the gateway for the sort of career he had, but now the emphasis also has to be on physics, maths and computing as well.

After a few years of retirement pursuing his other hobby of bird-watching and realising he missed having a microscope, David bought one second-hand on a certain auction site, then another, and was hooked! In 2007 he joined the Quekett Microscopical Club based at the Natural History Museum in London, where he found a community of like-minded microscopists with whom to exchange ideas, and has not looked back. From the beginning of his renewed love affair with the microscope, David has wanted to take the best possible images with it he can. He immediately adopted the revolution in photography through the microscope offered by digital cameras. David made all the usual beginner’s mistakes, learned from his failures, took the advice of those who knew better, experimented and improved.

David’s special interests now include applying panoramic and image-stacking techniques to microscopic subjects, and he particularly enjoys exploring classic Victorian mounted slides: overlooked treasures from the heyday of slide preparation.