Dr. Roberta Bondar as Photographer
Dr. Roberta Bondar is an acclaimed photographer of the natural wonders of our planet.
In 1992 Dr. Bondar flew as an international astronaut onboard the space shuttle Discovery. As part of NASA’s Earth Observation Team, her in-flight role included photographing planet Earth using many different camera types.
Dr. Bondar was an honors student in Professional Nature Photography at the Brooks Institute of Photography, Santa Barbara, CA. She has been photographing since the age of seven, when she used her Brownie Hawkeye camera to shoot in black and white, capturing her first space models and landscapes. In her careers as scientist and physician, she developed new techniques for color and black and white photography using both fluorescence and electron microscopy. She developed and printed her own photographs for the preparation of her PhD thesis. A neurologist, Dr. Bondar sub-specialized in neuro-ophthalmology, – how we see and view the world around us.
Influenced by the wide horizons that she viewed out of the spacecraft window, she uses medium and large format cameras to capture the Earth from the ground as a planet in evolution. In 1997 the Curator of Photography at the National Gallery of Canada included Dr. Bondar’s images in their exhibition Beauty of Another Order ~ Photography in Science.
For three years, Dr. Bondar photographed all of Canada’s National Parks producing the book Passionate Vision ~ Discovering Canada’s National Parks and a 4300 square foot exhibition of her large photographs that has been displayed at venues such as the Canadian Museum of Nature and The Royal Ontario Museum. The smaller travelling version continues to be hosted by communities across Canada.
Dr. Bondar is the author of Touching the Earth (also translated into German), her story of her spaceflight and her view of the Earth from space, and two other best-selling photo-essay books, also the core of her major exhibitions: Canada ~ Landscape of Dreams and The Arid Edge of Earth.
The Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation commissioned Roberta to write and photograph for their 2009 calendar for which she chose the theme of the Toronto tree canopy. The large panoramas have been exhibited in galleries across Canada.
Dr. Bondar’s large fine art photographic prints are exhibited by The Loch Gallery, Toronto, Calgary and Winnipeg, The Art Gallery of Algoma, Sault Ste. Marie, and Hoopers Gallery, London, UK. Her works can be found in private, corporate and institutional collections in Canada, the USA and England.
On establishing The Roberta Bondar Foundation, Dr. Bondar donated a significant collection of images to the Foundation for its use.