Product has been added to the basket

Art of geology


A photographic competition with a difference was organised earlier this year by geoHeritage Fife, a Scottish geodiversity group, writes Dwain Eldred

Geoscientist Online 7 December 2011

Members of the public were invited to submit photographs that captured the artistic value of Fife's rocks; their various colours, textures and shapes. Given that Fife has sea coast on three sides makes access to geological features very easy. The competition was generously funded by a Fife Council Culture and Arts grant.

One hundred and fifty photographs, submitted by 55 individuals, were judged by two professional photographers at a venue in Kirkcaldy, Fife. Richard Batchelor, Chairman of geoHeritage Fife and a Fellow of the Society, welcomed everyone and introduced the two judges who went on to explain how they carried out their task. They selected 25 photographs which were considered to have captured the essence of the rocks. From these, they selected 3 for the three prizes of £100, £75 and £50. All 25 photographs have since been exhibited at various venues in Fife.

This approach to geology is amenable to anyone with an artistic eye and a fascination for the natural world. Such competitions are also easy to set up and the offer of prize money can encourage participation.

geoHeritage Fife was set up in 2000 by Richard to publicise Fife's geological heritage, to provide educational resources in geology, and to promote geotourism in Fife. To date, geoHeritage Fife has published six leaflets which explain aspects of Fife's geology, built a geological wall in St. Andrews (comprising examples of Fife's rocks), created a "Jurassic Garden" (which contains plants which thrived during the Jurassic Period), and erected plaques to famous geologists in St. Andrews, Matthew Forster Heddle and Charles Lapworth. It also organises local field trips. Recently, it commissioned a plaster cast of fossil scorpion tracks (Hibbertopterus), discovered near St. Andrews, which were considered to be at risk. This latter project was funedd by Scottish Natural Heritage and The Curry Fund of the GA.

Some examples of the winning entries are shown below.

* Richard A Batchelor MSc, FGS Department of Earth Sciences Universtiy of St. Andrews


1. AVERY, Keith. Sandstone Micro-Landscape, Dysart. This is a digitally-remastered representation of an actual sandstone outcrop.

2. DAY, Trevor. Rock & Ripple, Ravenscraig. (2nd prize)


3. DICKENS, George. Deformed, Buddo Ness.


4. GILROY, Ernie. Basalt Columns, Kennoway. (3rd prize)


5. LONSDALE, Jeff. Stromatolites, Kingsbarns.


6. MAILER, James. Rocks, St. Monans. (1st prize)


7. MASTERS, Karen. Alien Landscapes, Lundin Links.


8. MACGILVIRAY, Louise. The Bonnet Stane, Gateside.


9. NELSON, Manfred. The Time of your Fife, St. Andrews.


10. THURLOW, Diana. Colours and Patterns, Crail.