On August 7, more than 200 photographers had the rare opportunity to go behind the scenes at five laboratories in Asia, Europe and North America as part of the first Global Particle Physics Photowalk. Thousands of photographs were submitted to the laboratories for local and global competitions. The laboratories have made their choices, each nominating three photographs for global competition. Now it’s your turn – starting today, you may vote for up to three of your favorite photographs as part of the “people’s choice” global photowalk competition.
On the day of the big event, CERN in Geneva, Switzerland; DESY in Hamburg, Germany; Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois; KEK in Tsukuba, Japan; and TRIUMF in Vancouver, Canada, all opened their doors to photographers armed with cameras, lenses and hungry, hungry eyes. Each laboratory conducted its own local competition with panels of judges or tallying votes from laboratory staff. The winners are a diverse group, ranging from a high school student in Canada to a lead technician in a manufacturing company in Germany.
As a nature photographer and retired landscape designer, Chuck Peterson, a finalist who attended the photowalk at Fermilab, has a creative eye for juxtaposing nature with man-made objects. When presented with the rare opportunity to photograph the inner sanctum of a particle physics laboratory, he jumped right on board.
“Fermilab’s unique combination of natural areas and scientific research create very interesting juxtapositions in photography,” said Peterson, a resident of St. Charles, Illinois. “It is a fun site to photograph.”
Ali Lambert, a junior in high school from Vancouver, Canada, won the local competition at TRIUMF. She had never entered a photo contest before and spent last summer working as a receptionist to save up for her camera, now her most prized possession. “I really enjoy photographing the simple things that people usually take for granted,” she said.
The Particle Physics Photowalk is organized by the InterAction Collaboration, whose members represent particle physics laboratories in Asia, North America and Europe.
"The reason we decided to do the photowalk was to invite people in who might have a different way of looking at things, at our laboratory, than the people who work here every day. And the results show that we were right - we have some wonderful photographs taken by participants," said James Gillies, head of communication at CERN.
In the spirit of friendly competition, the laboratories have organized two global competitions. In addition to the people’s choice winner, a panel of international judges will select a second global winner. Both winners will be announced in October. The winning photographs will be featured in the December issues of the particle physics publications the CERN Courier and symmetry. All five participating laboratories will also feature the global winners and their local photowalk selections in temporary exhibits in 2011.
View the 15 finalists and cast your vote at Interactions.org.
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