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Photography in Science Project

Postby methionine » Sat Dec 09, 2006 10:15 am

Hi all,
I read an article about usage of photography in science fair exhibits, found on the sciencebuddies website ( It encouraged using photography in your presentation, because it is effective and makes your presentation more interesting, along with several other reasons.

I am doing a relatively complicated project (for a high school student, at least), and my goal is to make my presentation as professional as possible, of course. I was wondering if any of you have guidelines as to what would be most important for me to photograph while I am conducting my experiment. I am afraid that simply photographing tubes of the reagents I will be using will be dismissed as juvenille or irrelevant (because it is, somewhawt). The main problem I have is that my project focuses on molecular biology/genetics, which is difficult to photograph. I suppose that photograpphing my electrophoresis gels would be one thing I would want to include, but is there anything else that would be good to photograph in order to make my presentation the most effective it can be? Wouldn't the judges assume that I already know the setup of electrophoresis, especially if it is an advanced topic?
To help you answer my question, the assays I will be using include PCR, plasmid construction, the CUP1 reporter assay, and agarose gel electrophoresis. I will use yeast as my model organism. ... (perhaps I should take pictures of the yeast as well).

Perhaps I should stick to using diagrams and charts as visuals in my presentation?

Thank you so much for your guidance,
this is a great forum.

People do not see the world as it is, they see it as they are.

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Postby MelissaB » Sat Dec 09, 2006 10:34 am


I think you're already on the right track. Photographs of your gels definitely sound like a good idea. Similarly, you don't want to include photographs with no purpose on your board...but sometimes the purpose can be one of display rather than an actual scientific one. You wouldn't want to go up to a poster and just read all text with no graphics whatsoever. In order to space the text out properly, you may find you need to include photographs that are just for display--pictures of reagents in tubes, for example, or the PCR machine, or you pipetting something.

In the end, it really depends on how much space you have on the board in relation to how much text and how many other figures you have. It's probably best to take lots of photographs just in case you do decide you need one. I know I always forget to take photographs and then when I go to make a presentation I have to rely on the same few over and over... I guess what I'm saying is that it's best to have them than not to have them at all! Then later when you're putting together your display board you can decide.

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Postby tdaly » Sat Dec 09, 2006 10:57 am

I echo Melissa's advice: take as many pictures as possible of everything you do and use. Then, when it comes to making your poster, you can decide which ones you want to use. If you take lots, at least some will come out perfectly!
All the best,

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Postby methionine » Sat Dec 09, 2006 3:54 pm

Thanks for your suggestions. I'm sure that I'll be able to do fairly well with my presentation.... I'm very excited about it.
People do not see the world as it is, they see it as they are.

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