Phred Petersen


Title:This will only take a second...



This presentation looks at the use of high-speed imaging, coupled with specialized visualisation techniques to show the intrinsic beauty found in many natural events. Flow visualisation is a major theme, using methods such as Schlieren or smoke tracing to see fluid behaviours often invisible to the naked eye. Rather than emphasizing the objective, quantitative analysis of fast events for which high-speed photography is often used, this is mostly a qualitative exploration of slow motion, information-rich entertainment, based on the subjective idea that the everyday world is indeed a “cool” place. This becomes especially apparent when the timeframe of fast events is expanded so we can see more clearly how they actually unfold. As I have said for many years, “When you know how to look, there are no ordinary moments”.

Biographical information

Phred Petersen is a retired Senior Lecturer in Photography, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia. His qualifications include: B Sci. (Chemistry), BA (Industrial and Scientific Photography) and M Ed (Teaching). He has worked since 1985 in both medical and commercial photography. He is the winner of the 2008 Australian Museum Eureka Prize in Science Photography, the 2016 Royal Photographic Society “Images for Science” Gold Award, and the 2016 Photron Excellent Award for High-speed Photography. His work was included in five consecutive Royal Photographic Society “Images for Science” internationally juried exhibitions, and he has been published in National Geographic magazine. He wrote an entry on Schlieren photography, and co-wrote an entry Streak and Strip photography for the Focal Encyclopedia of Photography (4th Ed). Phred has given numerous invited lectures and workshops on the technical applications of photography, and studio lighting.