Scene at MIT: In a stroke of lightning, beauty of nature and architecture

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“I started my postdoc in February 2020. Despite my short time enjoying life at MIT, I immediately learned how lively it was at the Stata Center! It is an architectural landmark of modernity and a center of aggregation for students and employees. It is a special place, and I thought it deserved a special picture.

I work in biological engineering studying chromatin conformation with super-resolution microscopy. So I am very passionate about picturing the world, from DNA molecules to spectacular landscapes! I also like challenges, and I noticed that in the Boston area, thunderstorms are relatively rare, and storms blow very fast. It is challenging to capture them, especially with the composition you have in mind. I had already tried few times to take this picture I had in mind, but I was not satisfied.

Recently I was monitoring the weather carefully since I was planning a small road trip to enjoy the beauty of New England. I then realized I had to cancel my trip because severe thunderstorms had been predicted, which are not very friendly for driving – but perfect for photography! While I was taking microscopy recordings, I realized a potential thunderstorm would have crossed my workplace. So without hesitation, and despite the rain, I biked home to get my camera gear, and I came back to the lab, from where I have a beautiful sight of the Stata Center. The conclusion is that I was taking photographs both of microscopic and gigantic natural phenomena at the same time! It was such a rewarding day.”

-Michele Gabriele, postdoc in the Department of Biological Engineering

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