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February 3, 2020

ScienceFest 2020 Photography Contest

In May 2020, students from various programs were invited to submit photographs to the second annual ScienceFest/SPACE Photography contest. A total of eighteen students explored their interpretations of the SPACE 2019/20 theme, Technique. The winning photographs were selected by a panel of expert jury members composed of Nadim Boukhira, veteran physics professor at Dawson College, musician, martial artist and photographer (certified by Dawson’s CTD); Joel Trudeau, physics professor and SPACE coordinator; and Katarzyna Wolfson, anthropology professor and professional photographer.

The entire competition took place virtually with over 100 people casting their vote for the Public award online—you can view all the submissions here—as the physical campus of Dawson remained closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

The grand winner, Save The Beer! by Sandy Nguyen, won the heart of both jury and public with its sharp photography technique, original caption, clever integration of science, multi-aspect adhesion to the theme, and, of course, its title.

The jury and the public were also in agreement in awarding second place to Mirella Bacco for Contemplation of Transformed Ideas, a beautiful black and white work of art with great attention to detail, framing, composition, and lighting.

In third place the jury selected Virtual Light by Sherwani Daud, a visually compelling capture of sunrise, coupled with fine scientific insight.

Grand Winner (Jury and Public Award): Save The Beer! by Sandy Nguyen

One foot on top of the skateboard. Second foot following the first step. Stabilize the skateboard.

Bend down the knees.

Contract the leg muscles.

1, 2, 3,


Propel your body up in the air.

1, 2, 3,


How is the air up there?

Keep eye contact with the skateboard. Land your feet on the deck.

Smile because you succeeded,

Or not.

And lastly, don’t forget,

Always save the beer.

Second Place (Jury and Public Award): Contemplation of Transformed Ideas by Mirella Bacco

This entire image is the product of technique. From the carefully rolled pine trees, to the very own stone building and even Edison’s brilliant invention – now technically adapted. But most importantly, I dare say, is the photo itself made with a 35-mm film camera. Spot on settings and my careful development of the film make tangible what was only in my head, since it’s impossible to instantly see the image taken. It wasn’t enough to have a camera, the masters of old had to understand light and all the chemical processes associated with it. Perfect marriage of science and art.

Third Place (Jury Award): Virtual Light by Sherwani Daud

In this picture the driver is witnessing the visible light emitted by the sun as it rises. The rear-view mirror on the car is a convex mirror which is specifically designed and positioned to reflect light into the vision of the driver. The camera has been positioned at an angle to collect the reflected light rays. Since the convex mirror diverges light rays the driver witnesses a virtual image (the light is seen to be larger than it is actually).

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