SU mathematician’s photograph shortlisted for the World Photography Awards
A Stellenbosch University mathematician’s panoramic and surreal photograph of quiver trees and the Milky Way has been shortlisted in the open category for the World Photography Awards.
With over 122 000 entries from 170 countries, the World Photography Awards is one of the world’s leading global photographic awards programmes.
Prof Florian Breuer, who specialises in number theory and arithmetic geometry, says he only started taking photography seriously about four years ago after he acquired a second-hand Canon EOS 40D.
A number of his photographs have been published in popular magazines like Getaway and Weg. For the World Photography Award, ‘Quiver trees by night 3’ was selected as a finalist, while ‘Quiver trees by night 2’ received a commendation.
“I am now really passionate about photography and should probably spend less time on it and more on my research!” he quips from his office in the Mathematics building where he heads up the Mathematics section in the Department Mathematical Sciences (Mathematics, Applied Mathematics and Computer Science).
He enjoys familiarising himself with the technical details of photography in general and that of his camera specifically: “Because of my mathematical background I grasp the technical stuff quite quickly. It also helps to be familiar with your camera and what it can do, because often there is not a lot of time if you want to capture a specific moment.”
After the shortlist was announced, he received comments from all over the world, with some people commenting that they have never before seen the Milky Way. It is also not so often that he receives so many comments on something that he produces: “There are perhaps ten people in the world who will read one of my scientific articles,” he remarks drily.
“The panorama picture is unusual in that it is a 240 degrees view of the Milky Way compressed in one picture. I made a total of 16 exposures, covering the whole sky, each 30 seconds at f/2.8 and ISO 3200. For the final panorama I only used 12 of the exposures, covering the right two-thirds of the full sky view,” he explains (the techies can read more about his techniques on his blog at floriansphotographs).
The winners will be announced on 19 March during an awards gala and ceremony in London, followed by a month-long exhibit of the finalists’ work at Somerset House in London.
Until then “I will just have to sweat it out!” he commented on his blog.
Issued by: Wiida Fourie-Basson, firstname.lastname@example.org, 021 808-2684