BBSR Course on Scientific Photography

Bermuda Biological Station for Research Course on Scientific Photography

The Bermuda Biological Station for Research, a US registered nonprofit organization, is for the first time offering a course on Scientific Photography.

Scientific Photography is an intensive introduction comprised of lectures, required reading, laboratory exercises, demonstrations and field assignments. This two-week course exposes students to the use of photography as a scientific tool. Photography is frequently used to communicate scientific data and concepts at meetings, on posters and in presentations. It is also frequently used as a measuring and data recording tool for studies such as growth, percent coverage and camouflage. Photographs are increasingly used in taxonomy.

The BBSR is an ideal location for this course. As a mid Atlantic island, Bermuda has many unique animals and plants. These include a critically endangered skink, an endemic species of killifish, a critically endangered endemic seabird as well as many introduced invasive species. Bermuda's ecosystems include anchialine ponds, rocky shores with limestone formations, sea grass beds, mangrove forests, caves and coral reefs. BBSR has been conducting field research for a hundred years. This course is taught in an environment where there is always a lot of interesting research going on.

Students will be taught the basics (f-stop, shutter speed, film speed, lenses, lighting, flash) as well as more advanced techniques (dark field illumination, macro-photography, underwater photography). In addition, we hope to have use of an ROV by the time the class starts! Both the physics of photography and an introduction to the art of composition will be taught. Students will be taught how to create images for different purposes and audiences. For example, creating images for a magazine cover, a peer-reviewed journal or an image to record scientific data for experimental analysis requires different methods.

Students will be graded on participation, notebooks, exams, oral presentation and a final public presentation open to the community. Course requirements will be completed during the two-week period spent in Bermuda.

SCUBA diving is not part of this course. Snorkeling is optional but encouraged as the waters around Bermuda have much to offer.

The maximum class size is 15. The format and content of the course is geared to upper level undergraduates and graduate students. Amateur photographers with a strong background in biology are welcome.

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