Inspiration | Berenice Abbott

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A Meeting of Science & Fine Art. Berenice Abbott (1898 - 1991), was an American photographer best known for documenting New York’s rapidly evolving landscape during the 1930s. Abbott was fascinated with the scientific advances of the era which motivated her to experiment with methods of photography, often without using a camera, to capture the more abstract and beautiful aspects of scientific phenomena. In 1944, she became the photographic editor of Science Illustrated and soon after went on to spend several years at the MIT where she created imagery for the new high school physics curriculum. The result was a body of vivid minimalistic black and white images that served striking analogies between photography processes and various scientific principles of light waves, motion under gravity and magnetic fields.

Interference Pattern (1958)

Focusing Water Waves (1950s)

“My idea was to do a Rayogram in motion. Moholy-Nagy and Man Ray had done pictures by putting objects on sensitized paper but I wanted to do the same thing in motion.” ”

Beams of Light Through Glass (1960)

Behavior of Waves (1962)