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The primary purpose of a Scientific Photographer is to help record data, be it for the scientific, medical or business communities, or the government. But there’s more to scientific photos than meets the eye. Scientific Photographers have a particular skill set that allows them to “see” data through the camera lens, and present it in a fashion that is alluring and sometimes even captivating.
As a Scientific Photographer you might be photographing things in nuclear science, engineering innovation or even space exploration. These are complex subjects, and in order to get the photo you want, you have to understand what you’re looking at. Thus college-level understanding of your area of photographic focus, be it biology or engineering, is essential.
An artistic aptitude, which includes creativity, is also important however; employers are on the lookout for those with an “eye” for top-quality shots. Knowing how to maximize the use of the latest digital photographic equipment is also essential, another layer of knowledge that makes this career an exciting and constantly evolving pursuit.
Photographic work required throughout any given day or week may involve shooting bacteria under magnification, super-fine particle research in a lab, genome research data, hybrid fuel ingredients – the potential subject matter is extensive. Some underwater photography may even be needed. Your job is to capture whatever subject you are assigned in the expository, illustrative, or abstract manner that your client wants.