June Meeting- When mathematics meets photography: An exploration of spherical panoramas Thomas Germer

Our June 12 meeting will feature Thomas Germer, a photographer and scientist from National Institute of Science and Technology. He will share his amazing geometric 3-D displays with us and give us insight on how he photographs and contructs his shapes.

Artist Statement: I have always been interested in photography and optics. As a career physicist, I specialize in studying how light interacts with materials and how one can learn about a material by the way it reflects or transmits light as a function of wavelength, direction, or polarization. As a photographic artist, I like to explore how lighting, color, and perspective affect how we perceive objects. I view the world with a unique sense of humor and, using my experience in physics and optics, try to put what I see in an interesting perspective. Viewing an object from a different vantage often transforms it into something different than what we normally think of it as. Mixing two dissimilar and contrasting subjects in one image is a means to express drama, humor, and/or irony, and I like to explore this aspect of photography. In my most recent work, I explore spherical panoramas, where the entire scene is captured from a single vantage point. Always working to extend the photographic medium, I began experimenting with constructing sculptures with the images, first by mapping the panorama onto a cube, moving to other polyhedra, then to more organic solids.

Description of talk: In this presentation, I will start by describing spherical panoramic photography: the methods used and the basic workflow. After that, I will explore some of my work, emphasizing that for any single panorama, one can obtain many very different ways of viewing the same scene, using that scene as a palette for structure and form.