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TRIUMF image takes podium in both jury and people’s choice competitions in 2018 Global Physics Photowalk

30 September 2018

Over the summer, hundreds of amateur and professional photographers visited 18 world-leading science laboratories as part of the Global Physics Photowalk 2018, run by the Interactions Collaboration. Participants submitted thousands of photos for the competition and Interactions revealed the results this morning: an image from TRIUMF’s local Photowalk competition has placed…in both the jury and public vote!

In the jury competition, photographer Jon McRae’s capture of DESCANT was awarded the judges’ equal third place alongside Gianluca Micheletti’s photo from Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso, Italy. McRae’s image also took second place in the public vote.

We caught up with Jon to ask about his award-winning image, and he had this to say:

“The kind of science and advancements made at labs like TRIUMF knocks me off my feet. (TRIUMF) is a world I admire deeply, though I can just barely grasp the concepts, much less take any part in that level of work. There is no shortage of imagery out there of amazing scientific apparatus, but that may be part of why people gloss over it. The challenge of yesteryear was to broadcast scientific knowledge and imagery to the public, in order to engage them. The challenge of today is to distinguish that knowledge and imagery somehow from the glut of general knowledge and imagery available for consumption. The little crystal ball in this image is my secret weapon on that field. It slaps the viewer with a new, unexpected perspective on a subject they might otherwise dismiss or pass over. It helps convey my own excitement to the viewer.”

Jury member Ale de la Puente, a Mexican artist and designer, described the image as “…an enchanting metaphor of the photographed, the illusion of the unreachable to our perceptions held in a hand”. 

Dr Vanessa Mexner, a science communicator at Nikhef (the National Institute for Subatomic Physics in the Netherlands), represented the sponsoring Interactions Collaboration on the judging panel and described the competition as inspiring and amazing: “The pictures capture the beauty of science and the people behind this in such an amazing way. Through all these wonderful pictures, we can offer a broad audience a unique glimpse into the people, the engineering and technology, the science – so a big ‘thank you’ to all the photographers who took part in the global competition."

TRIUMF would like to thank all of the photographers who contributed to the 2018 TRIUMF Photowalk, our local jury members, as well as our laboratory community for assistance and contributions to the TRIUMF Photowalk People’s Choice Awards.

Congratulations, Jon McRae!

The full release can be found here. The full set of 2018 TRIUMF Photowalk images can be found here. Discover more images from the global competition using the hashtag #PhysPics18. You can also check out this feature in WIRED to view top images from the 2018 Global Physics Photowalk.