Artist talk Scientific Photography

Bottle cap gas dynamics © Phred Petersen

Tue, 09.10.2018

RMIT Gallery

344 Swanston Street
3000 Melbourne

Artist Talk with Phred Petersen

Phred Petersen was originally trained as a research chemist. Somewhere along the line, he got interested in photography and decided that there had to be a way that photography had some application to help us see things in scientific research. As a consequence, he quit his job as a research chemist, went off to school and studied scientific photography.

Peterson’s work is a world away from a quick Instagram snap taken on a smart phone. As an expert in a highly technical visual process known as "Schlieren photography", he uses two optically matched parabolic mirrors to create photographs and videos which reveal invisible changes in air. Phred Petersen specialises in applications of photography for scientific and industrial research. His research collaborations include the study of fuel sprays for green engine technology, behaviour of liquid metal alloys for microfluidic applications, flow visualisation for micro air vehicles, and human impact on environmental air quality.

This kind of photography is primarily made for scientific purposes, however, one can not deny the aestetics and often bizarre beauty of these pieces.  

Event series: Dynamics of Air