Making Science and Engineering Pictures: A Practical Guide to Presenting Your Work

A greenish-black drop of liquid iron, sits on an orange background.

A 2-cm drop of ferrofluid on a glass slide. Under the glass slide are seven circular magnets, to which the ferrofluid is responding. © Felice Frankel. 


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Course Description

In this course you will learn the basics of photography and gain an intriguing new perspective into the visual world. We will begin with a gentle introduction to the tools, and after that, we start in earnest.

Although we will emphasize photographing science and engineering, most of the material will easily apply to other kinds of macro photography. The course's video tutorials will be accompanied by assignments using a camera, a flatbed scanner, and mobile devices. You will discover how subtle changes in lighting, composition, and background contribute to creating more effective images. You will also learn to think graphically and present your photographs for journal figures, covers, and grant submissions. We will also host interviews with notable image makers and art directors. 

About the Instructor

Felice Frankel is an award-winning science photographer and research scientist in the Center for Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Felice's images have been internationally published in books, journals, and magazines, including The New York Times, Nature, Science, National Geographic, and Discover. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Gugghenheim Fellow, has received awards and grants from NSF, NEA, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and was a senior research fellow in Harvard University's Faculty of Arts and Sciences. 


The production of these videos is supported by OpenCourseWare, MITx, the Center for Materials Science and Engineering and the following departments: Chemical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering and Mechanical Engineering.

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Felice Frankel. RES.10-001 Making Science and Engineering Pictures: A Practical Guide to Presenting Your Work. Spring 2016. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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