How Photographers Help Scientists See Differently

October 13, 2017

© Matthew Cicanese

In Sri Lanka, Matthew Cicanese photographed lichenologist Gothamie Weerakoon in Horton Plains National Park.

Science photographers collaborate with scientists to gain access to subjects they want to photograph. Through partnerships with researchers, photographers are invited into the lab and into the field to create images that communicate complex subjects to the public, grant-makers and other researchers. And photographers are also helping scientists by using imaging technology to capture phenomena they wouldn’t otherwise see. To learn more about photographer-scientist collaborations, how they work and why they’re important to both fields today, PDN spoke with three photographers about how they’re working with scientists to create imagery that intrigues and informs audiences. Follow the links below to read these stories.

How Matthew Cicanese’s Macro Images of Lichen Aided a Scientist’s Research
Cicanese discusses how he worked with a scientist in Sri Lanka, photographing lichen—both for scientific and artistic purposes.

Anand Varma’s Latest Photographer-Scientist Collaboration Results in Stunning Hummingbird Studies
By partnering with scientists, Varma created high-speed footage of hummingbirds that enabled biologists to make new observations about the species.

Felice Frankel on Creating Compelling Science Pictures
Frankel discusses how she creates science images that are both descriptive and pleasing to look at to help researchers share the news of their findings.

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