The Visual Elements—Photography: A Handbook for Communicating Science and Engineering (Paperback)

The Visual Elements—Photography: A Handbook for Communicating Science and Engineering By Felice C. Frankel Cover Image

The Visual Elements—Photography: A Handbook for Communicating Science and Engineering (Paperback)


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For novice or pro, primary investigator or postdoc, the essentials for photographing science and technology for journals, grant applications, and public understanding.
Award-winning photographer Felice C. Frankel, whose work has graced the covers of Science, Nature,and Scientific American, among other publications, offers a quick guide for scientists and engineers who want to communicate—and better understand—their research by creating compelling photographs. Like all the books in the Visual Elements series, this short guide uses engaging examples to train researchers to learn visual communication. Distilling her celebrated books and courses to the essentials, Frankel shows scientists and engineers the importance of thinking visually. When she creates stunning images of scientific phenomena, she is not only interested in helping researchers to convey understanding to others in their research community or to gain media attention, but also in making these experts themselves “look longer” to understand more fully. Ideal for researchers who want a foothold for presenting and preparing their work for conferences, journal publications, and funding agencies, the book explains four tools that all readers can use—a phone, a camera, a scanner, and a microscope—and then offers important advice on composition and image manipulation ethics. The Visual Elements—Photography is an essential element in any scientist’s, engineer’s, or photographer’s library.
Felice C. Frankel is an award-winning science photographer and research scientist in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Frankel is a Guggenheim Fellow and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. At MIT, Frankel developed and instructed the first online MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) for edX addressing science and engineering photography. Working in collaboration with scientists and engineers, Frankel has had images appear in the New York Times, National Geographic, Nature, Science, Angewandte Chemie, Advanced Materials, Materials Today, PNAS, Newsweek, Scientific American, Discover, Popular Science, and New Scientist, among others. She is the author or coauthor of several books, including Envisioning Science, No Small Matter, On the Surface of Things, Visual Strategies, and Picturing Science and Engineering.
Product Details ISBN: 9780226827025
ISBN-10: 022682702X
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication Date: November 10th, 2023
Pages: 208
Language: English
Series: The Visual Elements
"A handbook of practical tips and thought-provoking images to inspire scientists and engineers to better photograph their own research for use in journal articles, grant applications and to help the public better understand their work. . . . The book is filled with tips on lighting, composition, depth of field, cropping, and helpful improvisations like taping together plain paper to create a backdrop that hides the fussy background of your research lab and makes your subject pop."
— Adam Duckett

"Frankel has spent decades as a teacher, training young researchers and established faculty to be effective visual storytellers. As part of that enterprise, she has just published The Visual ElementsPhotography, the first in a series of handbooks that collect and curate her methods of communicating research through images. . . . This compact, 225-page primer highlights four devices Frankel has learned to exploit, in often ingenious ways: the scanner, phone, camera, and microscope. Her chapters break down the strengths and limitations of each of these tools, drawing on her experiences creating images with scientific collaborators. . . . There are stunning and unexpected views of agate, slime molds, electrolyzer technologies, microfluidic devices, a statue at the Isabella Gardner Museum, and a bubbling Bolognese pasta sauce—all presented in the process of imparting methods for optimizing backgrounds, cropping photos, selecting the right lighting, and determining the best resolution. . . . There’s great joy in this line of work, and Frankel wants to share it with others. ‘This series is a distillation of really thirty years of what I've been doing and continue doing,’ she says. ‘The dirty little secret is that I'm learning the science as I'm making all these images. It's a great, great job.’"
— Leda Zimmerman

“Frankel is a legend when it comes to science imaging. This book is her powerful, inspiring guide to the tools and techniques for success.”
— Randi Klett, photography director, IEEE Spectrum

“A trove of clear and concise recipes in granular detail.”
— Nature, on "Picturing Science and Engineering"

“In a word, remarkable.”
— Physics Today, on "Picturing Science and Engineering"

“Spectacular. . . . A brilliant demonstration of just how photogenic science can be and a guide to taking similar pictures.”
— Times Higher Education, on "Picturing Science and Engineering"