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.