Photography and science have been intertwined from the very beginning. The camera has become an essential tool in all fields of research, while the development of photography has directly spurred scientific progress.
The early efforts of photographic pioneers trying to fix permanent images contributed enormously to chemistry, as they discovered how compounds react with light, and to physics, as they developed the optics required for sharp focusing. Later researchers pushed photography far beyond the narrow confines of what we can see with our naked eyes, to the vast reaches of the electromagnetic spectrum known as X-rays.
When it comes to the science of how our brains work when we look at an image, it's not always been as simple as looking at a picture. Verbal storytelling existed long before painting and certainly before photography came into fashion. Some of the world's most well-known stories are there because back in those days, that's all we had.
The ability of both to tell a good story and extract complex and abstract meaning from one is both ancient and necessary to our survival as social creatures. In prehistoric times, verbal stories would have allowed us to retain knowledge about hunting techniques or dangers.
Our response, intellectually and emotionally, to a good story is just as strong today as it was then.
Today, we have the luxury of being able to capture something in an instant. And this is vitally important in science, because we often only have the millisecond window of opportunity to get evidence that a science project is working.
An advancement in technology inevitably has an effect on photography. More ability means more uses, and when it comes to science photography, people's lives can be saved too.
Microscopes zoom in closer and closer to microorganisms giving us a greater understanding of disease and ailments. Even though it may be in a science lab, this is still classed as science photography.
Speaking of the science lab, taking photography into space has given us earthlings an unprecedented view into space. The Hubble telescope is a prime example of how photography and science have collaborated to give us more knowledge of the world that we live in, and the planets and galaxies that surround us. This will be translated on the ground of planet earth too, as we use this knowledge to push our own technological boundaries even further.
As users of scientific images, we need the best. The high definition of is important in science due to the precision and detail needed at all times. People's lives and well-being are often at stake.
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