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A marriage of art and engineering

Ilknur Colak is a high-energy physics accelerator engineer at CERN.

But when she is not is calibrating machinery that accelerates protons to near the speed of light, she is avidly taking photographs. How does she balance these two very different disciplines? "I see myself in a kind of matrimony where engineering is my marriage and photography is my mistress. I find myself escaping to photography or vice-versa."

For Colak, there is a synergy between her engineering and art. Her engineering skills help her to calculate the distance of objects in order to position them accurately in her photo frames; while her photography enables her to build external relationships and socialize outside of work.

'Chaos.' Image courtesy Ilknur Colak

"My motto about photography has always been 'keep it simple,' " said Colak. The images she captures are spontaneous and that have a story, which are both real and explain many concepts in a simple way. The adjacent photo is simply called 'chaos' and she took it one busy evening in a crowded underground station. This painting on a stain-glassed window instantly hypnotized her. Colak then realized that many of the people rushing past her to get home or catch the next train probably never even noticed this beautiful image. The rushing crowds also evoked a chaos in her mind, she commented

Ilknur Colak is a member of the CERN photo club and her photography can be seen here.

- Adrian Giordani

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