The Office of Public Outreach at the Space Telescope Science Insitute hosted a Workshop on Astronomy Outreach Imaging to share experiences producing images intended for public presentation from astronomical data. By bringing together practitioners of this craft the intention was to foster better ongoing communication, with the goal of improving the overall quality of products and therefore better communication of significant astronomical results to as broad an audience as possible.
This was intended to be a small and informal, but productive Workshop to share specific techniques and issues relevant to image production. There were a number of talks and live demos, as well as more informal discussions on topics such as:
- Technical workflow - Steps to produce a picture.
- Case studies - What has worked, or not; issues specific to particular observatories/missions/wavelength regimes.
- Software toolbox - IRAF, IDL, Photoshop, GIMP, Illustrator, etc.
- Color theory - The color wheel and relevant aesthetic considerations.
- Playing well with others - Tips on working with investigators, the media, etc.
- Photoshop Techniques - Specific techniques relevant to the process of producing outreach images.
- Presentation and distribution - Issues of metadata, serving images and accompanying content on-line, links to databases.
- Philosophy/Ethics - What's appropriate or not in transforming data into pictures.
In addition to the formal presentations, there was an evening presentation on Monday, September 29th, of images submitted by Workshop articipants.