Ladies and gentlemen: he is Sopas (Spanish for “soups”), a young chemistry researcher (and also a Rock Star), doing real work in the laboratory (it’s not a pose, it’s not fake, it’s just… actual science).
Yesterday, just after the fluorescence session, I took some other pictures in the laboratory before storing the camera in the bag. People tend to be very shy when they see a camera (or at least my camera), but he let me photograph him while laboring. He is working in the development of new antitumor drugs that could be effective against cells resistant to the current treatments. His compounds are just in an early stage so it’s soon to know yet if they will be effective, but for now they are suitable candidates for testing, and we hope some of them will prove useful. It’s a really hard job to create new substances never developed before and purify them in enough quantity and quality to test their viability, but many young researchers around the globe are doing it, expending a lot of their time on this task, just to create a better world for tomorrow. When sick, we tend to thank the doctors for their help, but we barely think on all the people behind the whole process, all the people designing the medicines, discovering ways to make them, testing their behavior on the body and making their production viable. This picture, although is dedicated to Sopas for his collaboration, is also dedicated to all those researchers worldwide and the work they are doing every day. They are the hidden side of the “saving lives process” and they don’t get all the recognition they deserve.
The picture itself is a really simple portrait, using the “natural” lightning provided by the artificial environment. The main light comes frontal to him (lateral relative to the camera) while a filling light is provided from upwards. Depth of field is reduced due to the necessity of increasing aperture in such conditions and the focus is placed on the glass vial he is working with. A high-contrast black and white development was chosen in order to provide more strength, and the micro-contrasts were selectively adjusted for every part of the picture to achieve a hard (but still natural) effect. To attract more attention to the picture, a short focal length was used, allowing me to get close to him and adding a radial distortion that increases the perspective sensation and separates the vial from his face. Although a narrower aperture would have worked better I’m pleased with the final result of the picture.
This picture is posted on my Flickr, 500px and Instagram accounts, in case you want to see it larger. Do you have any opinion about science, drug development, the picture itself or any related topic? The comments section is open for you to express it!