Images have the power to inspire, astonish and outrage. But when combined with data, they can also give us a new understanding of how the world works.
Playing with light, exposure, and creative post-production techniques, photography becomes a tool to represent complex concepts – movement, the passing of time and speed, for example – in a simple but engaging way.
Sequential photos are cut and spliced to show the same site from sunrise to sunset. A bullet is caught at the precise microsecond it exits a rifle. Composite photos are layered to show a basketball team’s movements across the court.
It’s something designer Nicholas Felton has become increasingly fascinated by. He recently brought together some of the most ingenious examples of photographic data visualizations in his book “PhotoViz: Visualizing Information Through Photography,” published Gestalten.
“A photograph takes the chaotic, tangible, multidimensional world and reduces is into something flat and still,” writes Felton, who was one of the lead designers of Facebook’s timeline.
“Transforming data into a visual form makes it more accessible and allows for better comparisons and understanding.”
Look through the gallery above for photos that are as informative as they are artistic.
“PhotoViz: Visualizing Information Through Photography” by Nicholas Felton, published by Gestalten, is out now.