What is scientific photography all about?
Just about anyone can take good pictures with a little skill, a decent camera and a few camera accessories. Only a few can take pictures that are powerful and magnificent enough to catapult the photographer’s name to fame, such as Anne Geddes and Ansel Adams. In between, there are talented photographers who have the skills in pursuing career niches in photography, such as scientific photography. But what is scientific photography? Many photos taken by scientific photographers are used in scientific research and in the field of applied sciences, such as medicine, astronomy and forensics. But scientific photography is also utilized in businesses, military operations, and in the arts. The purpose of the scientific photography is not limited to science. But what exactly is the job of a scientific photographer?
In layman’s terms, scientific photography is all about taking pictures of subjects that are too small, too far, too fast, and too difficult to see with the naked eye. One of the earliest scientific images was that of an object that was very far away; the moon. American chemist John W. Draper took it in 1840. Since then, scientific photography has evolved into a collection of photography techniques that create these types of scientific photography: photomicrography, photomacrography, thermography, infrared photography, ultraviolet photography, fluorescence photography, high-speed photography, and Schlieren photography.
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