Misconceptions about scientists, this one at Berkeley Lab

Self-portrait by Daniel Parks taken with a Sigma 30mm, f/1.4 @ f/2. Camera on a tripod with timer

Daniel Parks is one of Berkeleyside’s favorite photographers. You will have seen, and probably admired, many of his images here over the years, including “Storm over Berkeley”, the photograph we recently offered as a gift to readers who lent their support to the site.

Parks is not, it may surprise you to learn, a professional photographer. He is, in fact, based at the Berkeley Lab, doing research for his doctorate.

Parks recently uploaded to the Berkeleyside Flickr pool the photo above. Here’s what he had to say about it:

Self portrait of the photographer alone at LBNL, working hard on experiments that are hardly working. Listening to the political news sometimes it seems people outside science think the endeavor proceeds approximately as follows:

1. Show up
2. Do some sweet stuff with lasers
3. Profit/junkets!

But the reality of science is more like:

1. Fail
2. Fail
3. Fail
4. Minor success
5. Fail
6. Fail
7. Another minor success which allows you to spend months writing a paper five people will read.

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  • Those particular experiments I was working on also failed. Science!

  • Love it!

  • “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” ― Thomas A. Edison

  • Anonymous

    Just love the composition of this photo … and the way the christmas cables framed your glasses … lit up by the light behind the viewing glass.

    Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.
    — Winston Churchill

  • One thing for sure is their passion for the unknown. Impressive photography! And as Albert Einstein said,  “Not everything that counts can be counted; and not everything that can be counted counts.”

  • Elizabeth Olson

    I love his photos.  Can they be bought anywhere???

  • Elizabeth: I will be in touch with you directly and give you Daniel’s contact details so you can reach out to him.

  • Anonymous

    I figured he worked at the lab, as it would be a dedicated photographer indeed to get the mood pictures for each day, which are fantastic by the way.

    Love the description of science in the real world, lol.

  • deirdre

    I don’t know which is better:  DH’s luminous photographs or his Confucius-like rejoinders in the Berkeleyside comment section.  Take heart, DH:

    “If at first you succeed, then what?”
    — Charlie (“Winning!”) Sheen.