Press Room


November 12, 2012


Media Contact:
Andre Salles, Fermilab Office of Communication. Office: 630-840-3351, cell: 630-940-8239, email:

Download hi-res versions of the winning Photowalk images here:

Fermilab photo contest winners chosen; will advance to international competition

The judges have spoken, and the winners have been chosen in this year’s Fermilab Photowalk competition.

On Sept. 22, the Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill., invited 50 amateur and professional photographers to take pictures in five high-tech areas of the lab, areas not part of the public tour. The photographers, chosen on a first-come, first-served basis, were then asked to submit their best shots to a panel of five local Photowalk judges.

Earlier this month, the judges selected their favorites from the 234 submissions. Their choices range from close-up shots of machinery to depictions of the iconic Wilson Hall, some in color and others in stark black and white. The judging process was spirited, requiring several rounds of voting to arrive at the 25 favorites.

The winning photo was taken by Stan Kirschner of Mundelein, Ill. Kirschner has been a photography enthusiast since he was 13, when his parents bought him his first camera – a Kodak Baby Brownie Special. He has taught photography at the University of Vermont and is active in two camera clubs.

“I feel very honored to be a participant in Fermilab’s 2012 Photowalk,” Kirschner said. “What a wonderful opportunity and experience to learn about particle physics and be able to look for creative images to photograph.”

Brian Schultz of Naperville, Ill., snapped the second- and third-place photos. Matthew Swenson of Wood Dale, Ill., took the fourth-place picture, and John Williams of Mundelein, Ill., captured the fifth-place image.

The top 25 photos have been posted online at the Fermilab website, and will be featured on a new exhibit to be displayed in the Wilson Hall atrium. The top five photos will be entered into the international Photowalk competition, run by the particle physics collaboration A total of 10 laboratories around the world will take part in the contest, with public voting set to begin in December.

Fermilab was one of two U.S. Department of Energy laboratories to participate in this year’s Photowalk. The other, Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York, has also chosen their top five photos for the international competition. Brookhaven’s winners can be seen here.

Fermilab’s Photowalk drew participants from as far away as Atlanta, Ga. It’s the second time Fermilab has held a Photowalk, and the first since 2010.

This year’s panel of judges:

  • Michael Branigan s the co-owner of Sandbox Studio, Chicago, a small communication design firm founded in 1998. Since 2004, Michael has collaborated on myriad science communication projects for Fermilab, SLAC, Argonne National Laboratory and the DOE Office of Science, to name a few, and has worked on symmetry magazine.
  • Steve Buyansky started his career in photography at the Beacon-News in Aurora in 1983. He became photo editor at the Herald-News in Joliet in 2000. He is now a photo editor for Sun-Times Media, responsible for the Beacon-News, the Courier-News and the Naperville Sun.
  • Marty Murphy works in the Fermilab Accelerator Operations Department and is a member of the Fermilab Photo Club. He is an avid photographer and has photographed Fermilab’s landscapes, machines, people and wildlife for the past 15 years.
  • Jessica Orwig is a science writing intern for Fermilab’s Office of Communication. She is a graduate student at Texas A&M University, studying science and technology journalism.
  • Georgia Schwender has been the visual arts coordinator at Fermilab since 2001 and operates the second-floor art gallery at Wilson Hall. She graduated from the Art Institute of Boston and previously worked at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York.

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