Working for the science

This week has been really crazy. Ciudad Real’s Chemistry Faculty (Spanish) has organized a symposium about young science. During three days 36 young researchers have been given the opportunity to tell what they do, how they do it and, most importantly, explaining why what they do is important. The fact that the registration was free implied the assistance of more than 125 people, which supposes a very high acceptance for a scientific local event. These events suppose a very positive effort for allowing people to get close to real science, to the real fields where people are now developing new solutions for tomorrow. Some of the topics included research against cancer, developing of new methods for the production of green and biodegradable polymers and plastics, management of industrial residues, recycling of industrial residues in order to produce new valuable products, new advances in the determination of many substances, and many other topics that will yield better solutions to actual problems.

I have been designated as the main photographer of the event by the organization staff, which means a lot of work. Non photographers usually think that after the pictures are taken, the work is done. But the real thing is that once you reach home, you have to download all material (this year have been almost 33 GB in pictures), classify them, correct their color, sharpness and framing, and finally distribute them to the interested people. The point that the illumination is not constant and the flash has some variations along time makes the processing more laborious, as batch processing is impossible. It is necessary to process all pictures on their own in order to get the best possible values for each one of them.

This kind of events doesn’t provide very artistic pictures, as usually a direct and explanatory approach is desired. The main target is their use for internal promotion (as advertising the next year event or promoting the faculty for new students) and to be used in the report published in the faculty’s magazine (Spanish. Usually month of May, this year will be in June). Illumination conditions are usually poor and the use of hard light is a necessity more than an option. Still, I think I might have a couple of pictures enough artistic to be published, if I get the permission for it. I will work on this topic a little bit.

If you have the opportunity to participate in an event of this style in your city, I highly recommend it. It’s an easy and fun way to know the efforts that many young people are doing every day to increase our life quality, and it is also a good way of learning a little bit of science. Also, for those researchers exposing, knowing that you are interested in their work can be a real confidence boost and might increase their motivation to keep working on such hard fields.

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