An introduction to photography for scientists

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General information

This course is also taught in fall and spring. Please, have a look at the fall edition here

Photograhy is an important tool in the context of science and scientific communication. The aim of the course is to introduce the foundations of photographic practice in a rigorous way. Photographic equipment, shooting techniques, use of flash, photography in a scientific environment and classical disciplines (portraiture, landscape, travel photography, macrophotography) will be discussed through lectures, practical exercises and homework assignments.

Programme information: 

  • Day 1: Photographic equipment and technique: the camera (film and digital); the lens (from wide angle to telephoto); strobes; tripods and other accessories; postprocessing; holding the camera correctly; focusing (manual and AF); achieving a correct exposure.
  • Day 2: The art of photography: framing. Composition theory. Color theory. The subject. Great masters of photography. Classical photographic disciplines: portraiture, landscape, studio, macro, photojournalism, travel photography, family snapshots.
  • Day 3: Photographic tools in science: the scientific journal, group photography, event photography, macro, scientific divulgation, oceanographic cruises, underwater photography.

A 2h practical session will be held after every lecture; the teacher will demonstrate the techniques and concepts explained during the lecture and the students will apply those concepts through practical examples and exercises.

Number of hours (T stands for theory, P for practical and H for home work hours): 8T+8P+8H
Language: English/Català/Español
Recommended reading: Light, Science and Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting Fil Hunter, Steven Biver and Paul Fuqua

Contact Person: Francisco José Machín Jiménez ( )


The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.

0031- Personal skills and communication


Venue: Institute of Marine Sciences
Barcelona, Spain

The Institute of Marine Sciences is located in Barcelona’s Villa Olimpica District between the Hospital del Mar and the Olympic Towers. 
Institut de Ciències del Mar
Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta, 37-49



Full price of this course is 240€. A reduced registration fee of 192€ is applied for early registrations (20 days before the opening of the course)


Students are expected to know the basic working of their camera: which buttons, functions, knobs, etc... control focusing, exposure, mode, image review, ISO values, image quality. Each student is required to bring:

  • Camera and accessories (batteries, battery charger, memory cards and memory card reader): either DSLR or Point-and-shot; it does not need to be a professional or expensive model, but it must be capable of: manual exposure, manual focus, RAW, external strobe (required).
  • Laptop with imaging software: either Photoshop ($), Gimp (free) or Lightroom ($) (required) ($ = not free).
  • External strobe (not required but highly recommendable)
  • Tripod and remote cable (not required but highly recommendable).


Students attending to at least 80% of the classes will receive a certificate confirming their participation in the course, signed by the Barcelona Ocean responsible person and by the Lecturer of the course.


Academic level: Master, PhD, Lifelong Learning
Occupations (not validated):
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