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CERN Foto-Happening - Sensors beyond Full-Frame photoworkshops


Photoworkshop photos - PreviewA Photography Workshop 100 meters below ground level

Info for this past workshop, which took place on March 15th, 2008.

It is the worlds largest particle accelerator, which is being built at CERN in Geneva. With this huge installation, and its core, a 27 kilometers long tunnel, physicists attempt to simulate the big bang in order to better understand the fundamental basics of matter.

This sounds very complicated, but it's even more impressive when standing in front of it. The large detectors and machines constructed in the course of the last 10 to 15 years are installed in 4 gigantic caverns deep below ground level.

The large experiments are about to start this coming summer 2008. This is the reason, why access to the caverns will be closed for visitors in April.

Almost as a last minute opportunity, Peter Fauland, a physicist at CERN and a passionate photographer himself, will give us a unique insight into the cavern of the experiments he's involved in.

Preview Workshop PhotosWe will take our cameras more than 100 meter below ground and take impressive photos of a world that is about to be closed for the public.

We will first visit the Microcosm, CERN's interactive visitor center and then have the opportunity to go into the cavern of the LHCb detector. If time permits, we will try to get a nice sunset view at the globe.


Workshop information:

Date: Saturday, March 15th, 2008*

Participants fee:
CHF 200.-, payable prior to the workshop*/** (no additional entrance fees)

Number of participants: limited to 10 (The workshop will take place from a minimum of 5 participants)

Time and duration: Pick-up at Geneva train-station will be around 10 to 10:30 a.m. The workshop last until approximately 5 - 6 p.m.

Required participant-experience:

  • The workshop is intended for advanced users only.
  • Participants should be familiar with their camera's functions and should have previously worked with tripods under low-light conditions.

You need to bring along:

  • An ID-card and or a valid passport: Our cavern is located in France.
  • Solid, closed shoes.

Recommended photo equipment:

  • A digital or analog camera. We will take pictures under various light-sources, whereby a digital camera is a great advantage.
  • Wide-angle lenses in the range of 20mm or shorter (35mm equivalents / full-frame, or about 12mm or less with APS-C sized camera sensors (factor 1.5 or 1.6)).
  • Fast, wide-open lenses, if you prefer to shoot handheld or with a monopod.
  • Tripod or monopod (since space can be limited).
  • Flashlights are not required, but wireless flashes can open up additional opportunities.

Workshop language:

Depending on the mixture of our group, we will communicate in English or German.

Workshop guides:

Preview Fotos Workshop

* At CERN, very complex experiments are being prepared. In rare cases, they can lead to a short notice closure of the caverns, which is beyond our influence. In the worst case, this can lead to an unexpected date change for the workshop or even a full cancellation.
In case we would have to cancel the workshop or if a participant cannot join us after a date-change, or also if the workshop would not take place due to not having enough participants, prepayed participation fees will be fully refunded.

** If a participant withdraws from participation less than 10 days prior to the workshop, or if an inscribed participant does not show up, payed participation fees will not be refunded.


Quick Details:

Date: March 15th, 2008

Level: Advanced users

Where: CERN, Meyrin close to Geneva

Participants: max. 10 (min. 5)

Price: CHF 200.-

CERN dimensions:

"...circumference of the LHC accelerator is 26 659 m, with a total of 9300 magnets inside."

"At full power, trillions of protons will race around the LHC accelerator ring 11 245 times a second, travelling at 99.99% the speed of light."

"When two beams of protons collide, they will generate temperatures more than 100 000 times hotter than the heart of the Sun"

"When the LHC begins operations, it will produce roughly 15 petabytes (15 million gigabytes) of data annually – enough to fill 100 000 DVDs a year!"

More on the CERN particle accelerator can be found on the CERN Website.