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SIR Image
CREDIT: NASA. From the collection of Alan Hodgson

What is Photography?

This is photography too!

I am still studying  the new look RPS Journal of July / August. Because of my background I have spent some time considering connections with the Science images on pages 482-493. One of the great virtues for me of the increased pagination is that you can give topics a greater depth of coverage.

I dwelt on the 2 page spread covering 3D printing for medical applications. I have an academic connection with 3D printing but also a continuing professional interest in 3D image rendering. But I could also study the texture in the blue drapes in these images, and the way the Journal printing interacted with these. More than just a passing interest - I used to print devices onto these materials.

However, I have spent most of my time on two images that are at first glance hardly connected but both are looking down at Planet Earth. A double spread across pages 484-5 is a satellite image of Greenland showing some of the surface features. The second on page 487 is an image of the Hubble Space Telescope docked to a Space Shuttle, taken in 1999. The bay doors of the shuttle are open and facing down to Planet Earth.

These 2 images opened a number of memories for me. Some 15 years earlier an early Shuttle mission flew bay doors open and facing down to Planet Earth taking 3D radar images of Planet Earth. The results were recorded onto monochrome photographic paper and through a tenuous connection to this project I am proud to have one in my collection.

Some may ask "Is this Photography"? There was no visible light involved in the recording of the image. My response would be to look in our Charter.

'Photography' shall mean the Art or Science of the recording of light or other radiation on any medium on which an image is produced or from which any image may by any means be produced."

This is Photography!