Oct 42020
 archive : 2020

Science Visualized

Join photographers Anand Varma, Esther Horvath, and Max Aguilera-Hellweg in conversation with Senior Photo Editor Todd James as they discuss their work in scientific photography, and how they tackle each story’s unique visual challenges.

Presenters: Anand Varma Esther Horvath Max Aguilera-Hellweg

Moderators: Todd James

Location: Online

Presented by:

  • National Geographic

Supported by:

  • PhotoWings
  • Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation

Photoville 2020 Talks On-demand recordings are made possible in partnership with PhotoWings with additional support by the Phillip and Edith Leonian Foundation.

From depicting groundbreaking scientific research, to going to the extreme ends of the Earth to study climate, National Geographic’s visual storytellers bring to life what is rarely seen. Learn how the visual team creates accessible stories by presenting discoveries in science, health, and technology in fascinating detail.

Join photographers Anand Varma, Esther Horvath, and Max Aguilera-Hellweg in conversation with Senior Photo Editor Todd James as they discuss their work in scientific photography, and how they tackle each story’s unique visual challenges.

Presenter Bios

  • Anand Varma

    Anand Varma

    Anand Varma grew up exploring the woods near his childhood home in Atlanta, Georgia. As a teenager, he picked up his dad’s old camera on a whim and found that he could use it to feed his curiosity about the natural world—and to share his discoveries with others. Anand studied integrative biology at UC Berkeley, and now he uses photography to share the story behind the science of everything from honeybee health to hummingbird biomechanics. He works to reveal the invisible details around us, with the goal of sparking a sense of wonder about our world.

    Since receiving an Early Career Grant from National Geographic in 2010, he has photographed numerous stories for National Geographic magazine, including the 2014 cover story called Mindsuckers. A National Geographic emerging explorer, media innovation fellow, and civic science fellow, he has also been recognized with a World Press Award for best nature story. Anand lives in Berkeley, California.

  • Esther Horvath

    Esther Horvath

    Esther Horvath is a photographer for the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany, fellow of International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP), a member of the Photo Society, and a member of the Explorers Club. She received the first place prize in the environmental category of the World Press Photo Award in 2020.

    Horvath was born in Hungary and received her master’s in economics from West Hungarian University. In 2012, she followed her passion for photography by moving to New York City and attending the International Center of Photography—where she graduated with a focus in documentary photography and photojournalism. After living in New York for six years, she moved to Bremen, Germany in 2018.

    Since 2015, Horvath has dedicated her photography to the polar regions, especially the Arctic Ocean—documenting scientific expeditions and behind-the-scenes stories of scientific research. She follows the work of multiple research groups working to better understand the changing polar regions.

    By documenting the work and life of scientists who deliver important data, Horvath hopes to make a difference in how people understand what is actually occurring with our climate. In collaboration with scientists, she hopes to raise public awareness regarding these fragile environments.

    Her main long-term photo documentary project which she began in 2016, IceBird of Alfred Wegener Institute, follows scientific expeditions researching the changes of the Arctic Ocean’s sea ice. From 2019 to 2020, Horvath documented the MOSAiC expedition, the largest ever of the Arctic Ocean. Her documentation of the expedition has been published by Prestel Verlag as Expedition Arctic (German edition) and Into the Arctic Ice (English edition). In 2020, she began her new project, Women of Arctic Science. Photoville is the first festival to exhibit this work.

    Horvath’s work has also been featured in National Geographic, the New York TimesAudubon Magazine, GEO, Stern, and TIME, among others.

  • Max Aguilera-Hellweg

Moderator Bios

  • Todd James

    Senior Photo Editor, Science, National Geographic.


  • National Geographic

    National Geographic

    Established in 1888, National Geographic is a trusted print and digital publication offering stories that illuminate, inspire, and reveal. Our mission is to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of cultures, the sciences, and the natural world. We advance that mission by creating visually stunning, richly reported photojournalism and distinguished, impartial coverage of the globe’s most pressing issues. National Geographic (@natgeo) has more than 284 million followers.

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