Brandy Watts

Alum Brandy Watts's Book of Alain Liogier’s Field Photographs featured in UCLA

By Joanie Harmon

By Joanie Harmon

Although many students in UCLA’s Department of Information Studies have had internship and job experience that often leads to prestigious positions in a variety of fields, it is uncommon for students like Brandy Watts to end up with a published book before graduation. However, the MLIS candidate, who graduates this spring, has done just that. Her volume on “The Field Photographs of Alain H. Liogier: Plants of Hispaniola, Dominican Republic, 1968-1969” (New York: New York Botanical Garden Press. 2017, Print) examines the renowned botanist’s practice of capturing plant specimens through Kodachrome prints that depict each of them in their natural environment.

While earning her first master’s degree in lens-based media at the School of Visual Arts, Watts worked as an intern at the William and Lynda Steere Herbarium at the New York Botanical Garden, which involved curating and digitizing plant specimens for a project on the Caribbean region, she came across a specimen of Liogier’s, which attracted her attention.

“[Liogier had] collected some 20,000 specimens, and roughly 217 of them had field photographs attached to the specimen sheets, which is an unusual method for botanists,” says Watts. “The field photograph shows the plant specimen growing in its natural habitat before having been collected. By attaching it to the specimen sheet, Liogier may have seen a certain research value in having all the collection material together, which consists of the plant specimen, collection label, locality map, and field photograph.”

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Newest book release From Alum Brandy Watts

The Field Photographs of Alain H. Liogier

Plants of Hispaniola, Dominican Republic 1968–1969

By Brandy Watts

This volume represents an important selection of 116 photographs from a specific window of time and place as viewed through the camera lens of one of the greatest botanists of all time. Ms. Watts has curated an impressive collection of images that not only serve to document Dr. Liogier's research but bring to light the unique way this particular scientist saw the world of plants in their environment. As Ms. Watts states, "Each photograph is an instant within diverging and overlapping trajectories: plant science research, photographic technology, plant species adaptation, habitat transformation, land conservation, climate change, a particular botanist’s research, and an individual’s lifetime." If you are interested in where science and fine art merge, then this book is for you.

General Books | hc | 5" x 7" | 4 color | 256 pp. | 117 images | no. 5549 | US $48.99

Order here.