Spike Walker

Spike's passion for microscopy started at the age of ten when he received his first microscope, a present from his father that (at £4.50) cost him more than his weekly wage. Two or three years later, using a slightly more advanced instrument, Spike began to produce photomicrographs directly onto photographic printing paper, using a 15-watt cooker bulb to project the image onto paper held in the lid of a small biscuit tin.

Spike took early retirement 25 years ago, having taught in schools and colleges after gaining a degree in zoology. This decision was intended to allow him to convert what had for years been a part-time obsession into a proper 'day job', although it was hardly an immediate success. However, soon his studio evolved from a few microscopes in the spare bedroom to a well-equipped laboratory in his garage that now houses more than 25 instruments - though he admits that most are more for looking at, rather than through!

Of digital imaging and how it has revolutionised photomicrographic techniques, Spike declares: "This has given my work a new lease of life; I am now able to produce images I never would have dreamed possible only a few years ago."