ARTIST STATEMENT

My academic and career background is in music and art. Performing in jazz ensembles (electric fretless bass) and creating fine art ceramics were specialties for many years. I transitioned to photography in the early 1990’s after moving to the University of California’s Lick Observatory on the isolated 4200-foot summit of Mount Hamilton. Uniquely varied telescopes and their elegant rounded domes, as well as expansive 360º views of Silicon Valley, San Francisco Bay, and the Western Sierra inspired and motivated me to record this uncommon experience. Although I left Mount Hamilton in 2010, it will always be “home”, and remains a compelling photo subject. The Eastern Sierra and Mount Whitney have more recently engaged my camera, especially in the dark of night!

Published photographs range from 1999 to the present. A variety of cameras and capture media have been used, including digitized medium and large format transparencies and negatives, as well as images digitally acquired (currently all digital). I love the gear: cameras, optics, buttons, dials! Of equal interest are principles and practice of digital color theory and image processing. The varied tools of digital photography — camera, lenses, lighting, scanned film, CCDs, computers, software — are used to document my perception of the moment. I view raw output from these tools not as sacrosanct absolutes (because sometimes they are inaccurate) but rather as elements to be arbitrated, developed, and honed into the finished image. This approach is in part a function of my background in the arts. However, because I have lived and photographed in the world of astronomers for many years and produce images for use by the scientific community, I am acutely aware of the imperatives for precision and accuracy when documenting scientific subjects. I try to blend my personal aesthetic vision with scientific integrity in the creation of my photographs.

The global science community utilizes my images in educating and informing students, scientists, and the general public. A 5’x7’ photomural sibling of the Lick Observatory Great Refractor was commissioned in 2001 by the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum for their Explore the Universe exhibition. It serves as a trompe l’oeil (fool the eye) realistic backdrop onto which a notable historic observational instrument is bolted, the productive 1894 Mills Spectrograph.

“Even the habitually frivolous become thoughtful when they enter the presence of the Great Telescope.”

 Lick Observatory Astronomer James Edward Keeler in The Engineer, 1888 July 6

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

These Observatory and night sky photographs are widely used by the global astronomy community in educating students and young scientists. The images are located in private and public collections, and are reproduced world-wide in programs, publications, and displays:

INSTITUTIONAL DISPLAYS

Griffith Observatory, Los Angeles
Hancock Historical Museum, Findlay Ohio
Houston Museum of Natural Science
Keck Center at the National Academies
Maryland Science Center, Baltimore
Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Dallas
Royal Observatory Greenwich
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
University of California Campuses

VIDEO PRESENTATIONS, COURSES, DOCUMENTARIES, AND PROGRAMS

Discovery Channel
History Channel
KQED-PBS Quest
PBS-Nova
Royal Observatory Greenwich
Space Telescope Science Institute's ViewSpace
Teaching Company's The Great Courses
WGBH-PBS

PUBLICATIONS AND PERIODICALS (print and online)

AAA Via Magazine
Academia
Astronomy Magazine
Astronomy Now Online
Bild Der Wissenschaft
Focus Magazine
Le Scienze
Metro Bay Area
NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day
National Geographic
Nature
Nature UK
Optics & Photonics News
Physics Today
Radcliffe Quarterly
Science Journal AAAS
Scientific American
Sky and Telescope
Smithsonian Air & Space
Smithsonian Magazine
Space.com
Stardate Magazine
Sunset Magazine
The Engineer
Time Magazine
Universe Today
Wired

ASTRONOMY, ASTROPHYSICS, and SCIENCE PUBLISHERS

Australian Council for Educational Research
Bonnier
CRC Press
Dorling Kindersley
Freeman/Worth
Harcourt
McGraw Hill
Norton
Oxford University Press
Pearson
Rokus Klett Publishing
Royal Observatory Greenwich
Springer
Sterling
Taylor & Francis
Tessloff
Trinity
University of California Publications
World Book
World Science

SELECTED WEBSITES AND BLOGS

NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day
Chabot Space & Science Center
EarthSky
Gizmodo
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
io9
Lick Observatory
Physics.org
Royal Observatory Greenwich
Smithsonian Off The Road
SPIE_International Society for Optics and Photonics
University of California
University of California Observatories
W. M. Keck Observatory
Yale Exoplanets

EMAIL: info@lauriehatch.com WEBSITE: www.lauriehatch.com