Illustration versus Photography in Science

I often get asked, specially by students, “why do we need to draw when we can take photographs?”, “isn’t scientific illustration old-school?”. To answer this I always start by clarifying one issue: I am all for technology, new media, learning new techniques and enjoying the many advantages that we have in the XXI century, from smartphone, to GPS, to confocal microscopy. In my view, we are not replacing one tool by the other, but we are expanding the array of tools and possibilities to do what we want to do: visually record or communicate something in science.

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Science, Art & Biodiversity — Ciencia, Arte y Biodiversidad

Welcome to my site! My name is Fernanda Oyarzun; I am a biologist, scientific illustrator and sculptor. For me art and science are two ways in which I try to understand and make sense of the world, of the organisms that intrigue me, of that which amazes me, and of that which I want to better comprehend. Frequently, the images of the things that I observe through the microscope or of the animals that I see in the intertidal stay with me for days, and those images inspire my drawings and sculptures. Other times, the need to communicate or to teach, pushes me to develop visual material to complement an explanation of a process, structure or species.
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