I am a researcher in a physics laboratory at the University of Namur (Belgium). Consequently,
when I have to introduce myself, most of the time, I end up explaining why studying the influence of electrons
and light on the minute vibrations of atoms or molecules attached to crystal surfaces is so important for everyday
life. (Yes, it is!) Here, fortunately, I shall not have to, but…
Light and research
Did I mention light?
In the laboratory, light allows me to discover, in its own, particular way, a quite unique world: our world at the atomic scale. An enticing world, filled with beauty, order, some oddities also, and, I might add, impregnated with mystery. For all its grandeur, its microscopic size renders it nevertheless difficult to experience, at least without the help of those special "lenses" that belong to a research laboratory.
Light and photography
In my spare time, I use light to create photographs. This, I assume, entitles me to pursue by telling that, in addition to being a physicist, I also enjoy being a photographer.
Light defines probably much of how we see the world, but likely less so of how we look at it. Indeed, I think we mostly perceive the world as we want to, often without observing. Therefore, in spite of the tangible dimensions of our environment, it can elude us and we fail to notice the origin of many of our perceptions. Using a camera thoughtfully requires however to watch carefully and, nicely, permits to convey the resulting vision.
Light, photography, and research
In this regard, photography and scientific research share common qualities, as both require a sense of observation and creativity, to supply new points of view. Of course, in science, this point of view should be valid within the frame of already known facts, while photography allows for more freedom in the interpretation.
Photography and me
I started photography as a hobby, a few years ago, focusing my interest mainly on nature and landscape photography. I particularly appreciate macrophotography. Among my favorite subjects would be autumn leaves, trees, barks, or rocks, but I should mention mountain and river sceneries as well. I have also liked trying to understand the interplay of natural atmospheric phenomena, light physics, and the principles of photographic techniques with the rather unpredictable nature of the photographer and, I must probably add, of the people finally viewing the image.
Some of the pictures shown here may thus not always reflect what you would have seen of the location from where they were taken. Others may however not be very different. In any case, I hope you'll enjoy them!
So, then, why are the interactions between light, electrons, and atomic or molecular vibrations at crystal surfaces so capital for our daily life, you might ask. Isn't it obvious? (…that this website is dedicated to photography and not to my research work!) Therefore I shall leave the proof of it as an exercise to the reader.
Finally, do not hesitate to contact me! Comments and suggestions are always welcome!