I wanted to
combine science and photography in a sensible, unemotional way.
Some peoples ideas of scientific photography is just arty
design, something pretty. That was not the idea. The idea was to
interpret science sensibly, with good proportion, good balance and
good lighting, so we could understand it.
Berenice Abbotts attraction
to facts and information in all of their glory, as well as her interest
in the science of photography, made the subject of science a natural choice.
According to Abbott, photography was "the medium preeminently qualified
to unite art with science. Photography was born in the years which ushered
in the scientific age, an offspring of both science and art." (Art
in America, Winter 1959) For her Beams of Light Through Glass
photograph, she explained:
Multiple beams of light from a source change direction when they go
into a glass plate and when they emerge. Some waves are reflected inside
the glass and then escape. The prism photograph was done very carefully.
The prism was filled with water and not one drop of air was inside.
The box that held the light source was specially designed and purposely
looks as it does to make for a better composition.
Berenice Abbott American Photographer, 1982