Newswise — Vancouver, B.C. Canada – A photographer took an innovative approach to capture the winning image in the 2018 TRIUMF Photowalk, shooting a TRIUMF-built particle detector through a small, spherical lens held between his fingers.

Jon McRae, a Vancouver-based photographer and the creative behind Four Eyes Portraits, beat out 19 other photographers to take first place with his image of the neutron-tagging detector array DESCANT. His unique perspective wowed the jury and the TRIUMF community alike, garnering top spot for both the overall TRIUMF Photowalk jury competition and the TRIUMF Community Choice Award. “The challenge of yesteryear was to broadcast scientific knowledge and imagery to the public, to engage them,” said McRae. “The challenge of today is to distinguish that knowledge and imagery somehow from the glut of general knowledge and imagery available for consumption. The little crystal ball in this image is my secret weapon on that field.”

“Like a fortune teller would read a person's future in that ball, McRae has captured the scientific possibilities that this piece of advanced technology will bring to humanity,” said TRIUMF Photowalk jury member, Dr. Ian O’Neill, science writer and communicator.

McRae was also awarded the second-place win for a photograph he took in the TRIUMF main control room, while third-place went to Matthias Le Dall from Victoria, B.C. for a photo of the GRIFFIN detector apparatus.

All three images will be entered as TRIUMF’s contribution to the Global Physics Photowalk 2018, an international competition involving major science laboratories from around the world sponsored by the Interactions Collaboration and supported by the Royal Photographic Society. The Global Physics Photowalk includes both jury and people’s choice competitions, with online voting beginning on August 27th. For more details and to cast your vote, visit the Interactions Collaboration's Photowalk website. You can also follow #PhysPics18 on social media for updates.

The full set of 2018 TRIUMF Photowalk images can be found on TRIUMF’s Flickr page here.

Media contact:

Stuart Shepherd

Communications Specialist



TRIUMF is Canada’s particle accelerator centre. From the hunt for the smallest particles in the universe to the development of new technologies, including next-generation batteries and medical isotopes, TRIUMF is pushing the frontiers in research to advance science, medicine, and business. For more information, visit and and @TRIUMFLab on social.