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.
Featuring: Anand Varma, Esther Horvath, Max Aguilera-Hellweg
Moderated by: Todd James, Senior Photo Editor
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 is a fellow at the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP), a member of the Photo Society and the Explorers Club, and a science photographer for Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany. Since 2015, Esther has dedicated her photography to the polar regions, especially the Arctic Ocean, documenting scientific expeditions and behind-the-scene science stories. She follows the work of multiple science groups that are working to better understand the changing polar regions.
We all know that the Arctic Ocean’s sea ice is melting, and that the Arctic is the fastest changing environment on our planet. But who are the scientists who are delivering crucial climate change information, and how do they work and live in the most remote locations and harshest environments on our planet? This is what truly interests Esther. She wants to show the full research story behind climate data.
By documenting the work and life of scientists delivering important data, Esther hopes to help make a difference in how people understand what is occurring, and in collaboration with scientists, raise public awareness regarding fragile environments.
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