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Science Photos and Images: Help please!

  1. Apr 25, 2003 #1
    My main job is to photograph science and technology subjects. Most of my work in recent years has involved photographing northern lights and polarstratospehric clouds (seen over artcic areas and play a role in ozone depletion).

    I am attempting to broaden my scope and have come up with a couple of projects I want to pursue in order to produce good images:
    1) accompany a humanitarian organization which administers medical and other assistance in a war/disease/trouble zone. I think pictures of hands-on help in the field would look good.
    2) launches of research rockets and balloons, plus images of scientists working on the payloads.
    3) Ice and snow research in the Arctic
    4) Detailed photographs of hands at work. Scientists and medical people doing what they do with the focus on the hands.

    I will spend the next five years or so pursuing these projects.

    I'd like to ask whether any of you on PF have ideas for science images that you'd like to see but don't? Are there subjects which should be photographed which aren't, anything that could be done in a fresh way? Do you read magazines and get bored with the photographs? I would love to get a discussion going on this.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 25, 2003 #2
    I would love nothing more than to see a rainbow on the ocean at night! I don't think this is a realistic goal or project, but I would certainly like it
  4. Apr 26, 2003 #3
    What field of science would this be for?

    It would be cool to see pictures of the manufacturing of high-tech items like computer parts.
    Pictures of geologic events would be fun to look at. Volcanoes, earthquakes (and faultlines), geysers, etc.

    Robotic prototypes.
  5. Apr 26, 2003 #4
    I've been working on a photo set entitled Fossils of Technology. So far I've taken pictures of rusty disabled trains and an old factory that is literally falling to pieces. I would like to go down to Gary, IN some day and take pictures of all the rusted iron.

    Anyway, I think you, N_Quire, should take some photos inside a semiconductor technology fabrication cleanroom. Those would be cool. The people will be wearing bunnysuit and masks; so, your subject can still remain somewhat distant from the individual.

  6. Apr 26, 2003 #5
    Thanks for all the suugestions. I like the one about semiconductors and will look into it.

    Anyone know anyone at Fermilab? I think there might be great pictures to be had there.

    Dissident Dan, I take science, technology and medical pictures. I am trying to find a way to accompany the Red Cross or Doctors Without Borders on one of their help missions. So, it would be a medical subject: field hospitals, that kind of thing. I like your idea of photographing the production of high-tech items.
  7. Apr 26, 2003 #6


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    Someone once told me you can actually photograph sound. I imagine the technique is similar to the radio telescopes, but I don't know.

    Any truth to it or was someone pulling my leg?
  8. Apr 26, 2003 #7
    Well, sound is vibrations. So, if you had a fast enough camera with enough precision, you could take pictures of the particles of matter moving back and forth.
  9. Apr 27, 2003 #8


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    I recall video images of the rocket car Thrust Two breaking the sound barrier on land. One could clearly see the shock waves or "sonic boom" as a rippled distortion of the air above the car. I suppose that could be considered "seeing" a sound wave. And, with a high enough shutter speed, I suppose it should be possible to photograph a sound wave as it moves down (for example) a steel girder that has been struck at one end or musical Chimes.

    Entropy, if you get a chance to travel to Mississippi or Louisiana, there are many great "technology bone-beds" in the swampland. The interesting thing about these is that abandoned construction projects in the swamp tend to go through the process that sort of "terraforms" the remnants. Old train rails curve until they look like snakes (or roots), and the metal frameworks of old buildings become twisted and knotty until they look like cypress trees. The entire effect is very much like the way old shipwrecks become natural looking coral reefs.
  10. Apr 30, 2003 #9
    Sounds pretty cool. If I'm ever down there, I'll check it out.

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