Thursday, June 10, 2010


Last week I visited TRIUMF, Canada's nuclear and particle physics research laboratory and the world's largest cyclotron particle accelerator.  This was part of Photoclub Vancouver's participation in TRIUMFs Artists in Residence program.

The tour went to 3 locations, stopping for 30 minutes at each.  It was like I had imagined, but way cooler: lots of really complicated looking equipment with exposed wires and metal.  I spent most of my time shooting details with a telephoto lens.  In the end, most of my favourite shots were not details.  Probably because I was running around like an idiot and didn't have the patience to experiment with composition (especially considering how awkward and time consuming it is with a tripod.)  I played around a bit with coloured flash, but found it impossible to use more than one colour: there was so much ambient light that the longest exposure I could muster was 2" (f/22).  Unfortunately, there weren't many people around.  I was expecting to get one or two shots of a guy in a white lab coat with exploding grey hair scurring about, but no such characters materialized.

Here's a sample (a more comprehensive set can be found on Flickr)

This is a tank being filled with liquid nitrogen.  I almost discarded it initially because it was significantly overexposed.  Turns out that after adjusting the exposure, it contains some lovely steam details.  Other shots of this tank render the steam as a fuzzy textureless gray mass.

This is a shot of someone working in a clean room.  I focused on the clear vinyl wall separating the room from the outside, which results in a neat texture.

Here's a hollywood shot of some shiny pipes.  I thought I would get many more like this.
Lastly, a detail shot of a frosty spigot.  This one was the result of a bit more persistence.  My first few shots weren't very interesting.  Eventually I noticed a tall blue concrete pylon in the background, and positioned myself so it would appear behind the spigot.

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