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CREDIT: Davit Gigilashvili

The viewing of Caustics

Seeing images in a different way

I like this image for a number of reasons.

First, it comes from a student, presenting their work at international conferences. It is from the work of Davit Gigilashvili from Norwegian University of Science and Technology. I had seen Davit's work presented at conferences in San Francisco and Vancouver in the past. We had the chance to catch up again a few weeks ago in an on-line event where Davit presented his work on "Caustics and Translucency Perception". This was in an IS&T seminar in their "best student research" series which allows  students like Davit to showcase their work to a worldwide audience.

This brings me to the second reason to like this image - there is a connection with the RPS. These meetings are supported through cooperation between societies which allow us to spread our message wider. In this case the Vancouver meeting was supported by the RPS and this recent seminar were conducted with the support of the RPS Imaging Science Group. We should be rightly proud of our support to these showcases of emerging talent.

The third reason is that the work uses images to illustrate and communicate concepts. Davit and I have a lot in common here. I describe myself as a functional photographer, one who uses photography as a part of their work but where the image only forms part of the workflow.

Caustics are an optical phenomenon formed when light is travels off or through a curved object and then forms a pattern on a surface, as illustrated in Davit's image. His work is about materials appearance and how that translates into an image. Modern computer generated images allow us to explore the whole issue of image perception. Photography is more than just taking the image - it how and what we perceive in the recorded image.