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28 March 2012

Portraying the Life behind ESO’s Telescopes

The award-winning editorial and commercial photographer Max Alexander is currently visiting ESO’s sites in Chile, portraying ESO’s staff as part of a collaboration for ESO’s 50th Anniversary. Max is now at the Paranal Observatory, home of the Very Large Telescope. Focusing on the human story behind Paranal’s scientific success, Max is portraying a very diverse pool of staff members — from engineers to cooks, from drivers to scientists, capturing their daily working environment, both indoors and outdoors.

Through this endeavour, Max aims at giving a sense of the daily life and activities of the Paranal hub, such as observing runs, daytime engineering, life in the Residencia, and giving a sense of the scale and context in which staff work, high in the Atacama Desert.

Before Paranal, Max was on the Chajnantor Plateau in the Chilean Andes, where ESO, together with its international partners, is building ALMA — a state-of-the-art telescope to study light from some of the coldest objects in the Universe.

Max’s work will be featured in ESO’s Anniversary coffee-table book and DVD, two products which showcase ESO’s 50 years of reaching new heights in astronomy. The book and the DVD will be released to coincide with the anniversary date itself on 5 October 2012.

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