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I want to work outside in the wilderness not in a classroom or lab.

  1. Sep 28, 2009 #1
    I have a serious question to ask of anyone who can be of help. It is necessary that I say a few things about myself first so please read on I promise that this has to do with physics.
    Ever since I was 6 years old, I wanted to be a nature photographer. I worked for 7 years after high school as a crew member for a commercial photographer. The pay was good and the experience was priceless. It had the added bonus of giving me time off between shoots, sometimes up to 3 or 4 weeks. I was using this time to build my portfolio and saving my money so that someday when I had enough quality work I could make the leap to shooting for myself full-time. Unexpectedly, after the "digital revolution", the photo business practically destroyed. All the photographers that I knew personally and worked for went out of business and my coworkers and I were forced to give up our dreams and seek employment elsewhere. So I decided that I needed to go to college. I have always been driven by a strong curiosity for the natural universe so I chose physics as my major because it was something that I just wanted to learn about. I am a senior now and I contemplating my future. The way I see it I have one decision to make right now, "Do I continue my education in a graduate program, or do I look for a job". I am trying to decide what to do before I get in too deep. I like physics a lot, but I can't actually see myself being happy "doing" physics. I hate being indoors all the time so I can't see myself doing experimental work in a lab or teaching. So, I would like to know if can suggest any real-world jobs (that I could get with my B.S., or even an M.S.) that they'd think I might enjoy? Advice of any kind will be appreciated, Thank You.

    P.S. I am not ready to give up on my dream of being a Nature Photographer but I need a steady source of income to live on while I continue to make images and build a profitable business selling them. I also would like it to be a job that I enjoy because nature photography is an incredibly competitive market and there is no guarantee that I will ever be able to do it full time.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 28, 2009 #2


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    Have you looked into geophysics? There can be significant outdoor work involved there depending on what projects you get involved in. You could get into surveying to one extent or another - it's not nature photography, but it would keep you outside.

    Regardless of what you do, there's no reason to give up a dream like that. It's something you can pursue on an amature level until your business takes off.
  4. Sep 29, 2009 #3

    Andy Resnick

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    Being able to take a good photo (and in this context, a "scientific" image) is an incredibly useful skill. There's no reason you can't do both- and having a scientific background could enhance the nature photos you take, since you will have an appreciation for what you are imaging. Then's there's image post-processing techniques. Knowledge of those techniques are also useful.

    Look up photomicroscopy (Nikon's small world contest), for example. Or the gallery of fluid motion (http://scitation.aip.org/pof/gallery/index.jsp [Broken]). Or Felice frankel's work.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  5. Sep 29, 2009 #4

    I think gallery of Fluid motion will be the best to see as, I go through the resource you provided and it is very good, as image post processing techniques are very important as well as useful too.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  6. Sep 29, 2009 #5
    I think you need to do a good search to see where physics skills are needed.Forestry,something to do with atmospheric pollution and water pollution come to mind.
  7. Sep 30, 2009 #6
    A couple more ideas where you might find some field work: EPA, NRC, health physics, maybe DOE.

    Good luck
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