Science and Photography

I have come to this course from a “techy” background, and learning the more creative and artistic side of photography is very new to me.  In Assignment Two I created a series of photographs showing the workings of canal locks.  I am fascinated by the fact that even today most locks on UK canals are operated by hand, and technology has not changed since they were built.  Mechanical engineering at its finest! However, I am also fascinated by images which can be created using a camera in different ways.  My tutor suggested I investigate an exhibition: Revelations: Experiments in Photography.  I wish I had been able to view this exhibition, now long gone, but I was able to watch several interviews on YouTube, and view some of the images in Google.

What amazed me was that many of the images were created long before our modern DSLR cameras, with macro lenses.  For example the image of the proboscis of the hummingbird hawk taken by Carl Struwe in 1928.

Hummingbird Hawk Moth

Or the image of insect wings by William Henry Fox Talbot.

Insect wings

However, some of the later images in this exhibition were just as fascinating to me.  Such as the image “Blow up” created by Ori Gerscht.  He describes how he created it in an interview with Greg Hobson, Curator of Photographs at the National Media Museum.  First he arranged the flowers, froze them with liquid nitrogen and then exploded them.  He had 10 cameras set up each with its own flash to create this image.  I now intend to try this, but as I don’t have access to liquid nitrogen, I could try freezing the flowers in a freezer and see what happens. [last accessed 16/10/19].

Blow Up

Another photograper whose work has inspired me is Harold Edgerton, and his work was also on display at this exhibition..  I attempted to create his famous milk coronet in my course work in Part Three,  Exercise 3.1.

Milk Coronet
Milk Coronet © Harold Edgerton


The techniques used in these photographs are fascinating.  I plan to explore more in the future.


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