Astronomical and scientific photographer and author - winner of the 3rd prestigious Lennart Nilsson Award in 2000.
I have had the opportunity to use both advanced microscopes and large astronomical telescopes in my career as a scientific photographer. The technical challenges that these instruments present to the scientific photographer are entirely different, yet fom the scientist's point of view the motive remains the same, to produce pictures that contain the maximum amount of information.
However, images of this kind are much more likely to inspire, inform and entertain the eye of both the scientist and the casual viewer if they are also good to look at. Thus wherever possible, my main aim is to produce images that are aesthetically pleasing without in any way compromising their scientific content.
Of course, given that both microscopes and telescopes reveal a universe that has never been seen before, it is but a small step from scientific objectivity to create images that are deliberately made to show some striking aspect of a distant galaxy of stars or the delicate symmetry within tiny crystal. Thus it is only motivation that separates photographic art from scientific photography.
David Malin (January 2007)
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