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International Images for Science Exhibition
The International Images for Science Exhibition
An Exhibition of Scientific Photography
The Royal Photographic Society's remit is 'to promote the Art and Science of Photography' and the science aspect has been an integral part of Society’s activities since it was formed in 1853. The International Print Exhibition, the world’s longest running Print Exhibition, originally included scientific images, but with the decline of these, The International Images for Science Exhibition was established in 2011 by Dr Afzal Ansary ASIS FRPS, to highlight The Society's commitment to scientific photography. The exhibition was received with enthusiasm across the world.
Building on the success of the 2011 exhibiiton, which consisted of 50 stunning prints, Dr Ansary has organised an exhibition for 2013 with double the number of prints, and it is hoped to continue running the exhibition every two years in the future.
The Exhibition provides a showcase for an extraordinary variety of scientific photography – images that explore worlds we can only imagine, or that are used as tools in everyday life in medicine, engineering and other related fields. They do this in a way that can inform, question, or simply inspire.
Dr Ansary says, "The public at large are well aware of the art aspects of photography, but not so well informed about the important role that it plays in scientific disciplines. This perhaps is understandable, given that most scientific imagery remains within the specialist scientific arena in the form of material for assessment, evaluation, diagnosis, measurements, publications and research documentation. The scientific disciplines in which photography plays an important role include medicine, forensic sciences, engineering fundamental research, archaeology, oceanography, natural history, astronomy, aviation, microscopy and endoscopy and many more. It is hoped that this exhibition will serve as a showcase for the vast range of applications of photography within modern-day science.
No number of words can express or indicate the information that a photograph can. Therefore, scientists have always needed to communicate their discoveries by pictorial documentation in the form of photographs. In fact, the application of photography to science is almost as old as photography itself. As early as 1872, Eadweard Muybridge, a British-born photographer, used photography to study and analyse motion in horses. The old adage is that necessity is the mother of invention and this has resulted in scientists discovering new and better methods of recording images. By using invisible radiation, new techniques and methods of photography have arisen. This has happened, for example, through sophisticated scientific instruments such as fibre optics, endoscopes, microscopes, telescopes, stereo microscopes and ophthalmoscopes.
There are a number of scientific applications of photography such as micro and macro-photography, Ultraviolet (UV) and Infrared (IR) photography, time lapse and high speed, electron microscopy, thermography, fluorescein angiography, retinal photography, phase contrast microscopy, schlieren photography, stress analysis and the list goes on. With the accelerated development of digital imaging systems, the application of such imaging techniques has opened up more doors for researchers, scientists and scientific photographers. Gone are the days when we were restricted to 1000 ISO emulsion sensitivity. Today, DSLR cameras with full frame sensors have the ability to process images that reduce noise in low light conditions. We have CCD sensors, sensitive to much higher ISO sensitivities which can yield usable images.
We used to say that, ’if you can see it, it can be photographed’ and now we say, ‘even if you cannot see it, we most likely can photograph it’. Imaging scientists are now well equipped with the knowledge and appropriate hardware to pictorially document every step of their discoveries in almost all branches of science. The authenticity of such images is of paramount importance. For the images displayed in this exhibition, no manipulation through Adobe Photoshop or other digital or non-digital process was allowed, so there are no changes which deviate from the factual presentation of any scientific image.
To study and discover new fields, scientists need new tools. Analogue photography has evolved into digital imaging systems which are highly sophisticated, with high specifications and the capability of yielding excellent results for diagnosis, evaluation, measurements, assessment and investigations. Scientists also need such imagery for pictorial documentation, communication, presentations and publications.
Sophisticated imaging technologies and techniques have been in the forefront of jurisprudence to investigate crimes and present pictorial documentation as evidence to solve crimes.
Remote controlled cameras can go where humans cannot and can transmit images to provide vital information. For example, cameras in space can transmit information to scientists to determine landing sites for space crafts. Cameras can also be sent down very narrow tunnels to identify land mines or to find human beings buried in rubble after an earthquake. Tiny pill-sized cameras, in the form of capsules, can be swallowed by patients and travel through the gastrointestinal tract, transmitting images until it is passed out of the body causing no harm. This system is based on miniature electronics and Complementary Metal Oxide Silicone (CMOS) technology which allows the capsule to transmit high-quality video images with much lower power consumption than with charged coupled devices (CCD). This is a real breakthrough for diagnostic imaging.
My thanks go to all the contributors, sponsors and all those who have supported me and the exhibition. I hope you will enjoy looking at these wonderful scientific images as much as I have enjoyed curating this exhibition."
Afzal Ansary ASIS FRPS
International Images for Science Exhibition
The Society would like to thank the following organisations for sponsoring the exhibition:
For further details, and enquires about showing the exhibition, contact Lesley Goode, Exhibitions Manager 01225 325720 email@example.com