Academic Papers of Curtis M. Kularski

Graduate Certificate in Technical Writing

False Color Photographs in Scientific Communication

Technical Writing ENGL 6116
Graduate Certificate in Technical Writing Fall 2018


Photographic images are used in scientific communication to convince an expert audience of the authority of the text being presented, but has the secondary effect of democratizing scientific communication for non-technical audiences (Mogull & Stanfield, 2015, pp. 1-2). The photographs in scientific communication often go beyond the normal reach of human vision, such as in the use of micrographs to show microscopic images at a size that can be seen by normal vision. Another form of augmented photograph that exists in scientific communication is the false color photograph. False color uses alternative colors to highlight a difference or to present forms of energy that are outside of the human perceived light range. False color photographs do not appear as their subject would appear to the human eye, but rather are presented in a symbolically interpreted way. In some cases, this means that visual information is pre-interpreted for the viewer and in other cases non-visible information is presented in a simple form that is visually understandable by a human with average color perception.

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