Taking Pictures Seriously: The Art of Perception in Photography

Photographs by Stephen Palmer
Close photo of a rose.
Monday, Oct 27, 2003 to Friday, Dec 19, 2003
Townsend Center, 220 Stephens Hall
United States

Stephen Palmer, Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science at UC Berkeley, explores the connections between visual perception—the focus of his research and teaching—and his recent work in color photography.

Many of Palmer’s photographic images can be linked directly to his interests in visual perception and the structure of light. The images highlight particular visual situations: vivid translucence from light filtering through colored leaves and flowers; mirrored light distorting objects reflected in water or glass; or geometric structure and symmetry becoming apparent in natural patterns. Palmer’s work also takes note of striking contrasts in color, shape, or texture between figure and ground, and explores the perceptual completion of objects beyond the borders of the photograph.

Palmer is the author of Vision Science: Photons to Phenomenology, an advanced, interdisciplinary textbook on visual perception. He is currently working on a new book about color, Reversing the Rainbow: Reflections on Color and Consciousness. A selection of Palmer’s work can also be seen at www.palmer-photoart.com.