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We do a lot of science and technology photography, and are often shooting scientists and their labs.

Of course it is easy when they have hand built some insane smoking platinum time machine, or have a grizzley robot that is controlled by mind rays, or are even spinning golden thread from crushed 55 Plymouth using a 40 foot prototype laser array.

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These are the easy jobs, and obviously no one complains when there is a “cool” subject to photograph.

The real question comes into play when your mandate is to tell the story of a scientist that is involved with theory.  What do you mean… “thought experiment?” “How do I shoot that?”

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What do you shoot when there is no lab?  When there is no robot?  And there is no 55 Plymouth?

Sometimes in fact the answer can be very simple.  (Enter… The marriage of the computer screen, and the 60mm macro.)

One of the tricks that we often used when put in a situation where there isnt very much “cool” stuff to shoot, is to pull out the macro lens, and point it toward computer screens.  The macro lest us use techniques like short depth of field to make “regular” looking stuff like data, charts, and graphs look very sexy and cutting edge.

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This technique can also be used in notebooks and journals to create a feeling of “thought” and “discovery.”

If you can, give it a try sometime.  You will be pleasantly surprised at what you can do with very little subject matter.

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