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Katie & Radka
CREDIT: Dietmar Wueller

Leaders in their field - Katie Bouman

Studying stuff in The RPS Journal again

I pass my copy of The RPS Journal on to a friend but only when I have finished studying the content. The June edition left recently, together with some recommendations on articles to study. But some editions I hold onto much longer as I find then to be a source of inspiration. And so it was with the December 2019 edition, still with me on my desk.

An under-30s winner from the IPE, the cut and paste work of John Heartfield and the stereoscopic collections of Brian May have all been sources of inspiration for me as was the Best Shots feature on Robert Gendler. And I followed up on the Events ad for the David Hurn talk and went to hear the great man speak.

But it was the "Review of the Year - 2019 in pictures" that caught my attention the most. The Greta Thunberg study as a wet collodion plate and more from our 2019 exhibitions such as Space Steps and Science Photographer of the Year. And one final picture that will stay with me for a long time - the first image of a black hole.

The image credit itself is interesting. It is credited not to a single photographer but to the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration. This was a truly international effort with the data collected across the globe with almost unbelievable synchronisation. The data was then collated by various teams and interpreted into the final image.

And this is where Katie Bouman comes in, seen here on the left. Katie led one of the software efforts to produce this final image and I was lucky in that I heard her describe this work at a conference I attended in San Francisco earlier this year. At this event Katie was presented with an award for her work by my long time friend and colleague Radka Tezaur, previously at Nikon and now at Intel.

A proud moment for both and a source of reflection for me. It is great to see the next generation achieve in this field and for me it was a fitting location for this recognition. The Electronic Imaging conference is organised by the Society for Imaging Science & Technology (IS&T) and some years ago I attended this meeting as IS&T President and presented their awards. I met and talked with a lot of the delegates and one year one of them was Katie's dad...

Read more like this in President's News.