The ostensible reason was to help boost spirit during Big Game Week, but given the outcome in the stadium we’ll maintain the illusion that the special lighting on the Campanile, the University Library, and Sather Gate was there to foreshadow holiday cheer. If nothing else, it inspired photography, from the simple snapshot of the normally-naked gate to more careful, tripod-anchored compositions like Michael C. Moore’s script-Cal-emblazoned blue tower and Keoki Seu’s regal north face of the Doe.

Seu’s lens is often trained on the wider urban scene surrounding the campus — he is a frequent contributor to the blog Berkeleyside, a successful newcomer on the city scene — but his day job overlooks the campus. He works at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, doing research at the Advanced Light Source (which, on demand, can produce light in the x-ray region of the electromagnetic spectrum that is one billion times brighter than the sun).

Michael Moore is a fourth-year Ph.D. student specializing in materials chemistry, focusing in particular on synthesizing semiconductor nanowires. His work takes place in Giauque Hall, which is named for William F. Giauque, a Canadian who came to Berkeley for his undergrad and graduate degrees (B.S. ’20, Ph.D. ’22), taught here virtually his entire career, and along the way won the 1949 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on the behavior of matter at very low temperatures (close to absolute zero), which paved the way for stronger steel, better gasoline, and more efficient processes in a score of industries. Michael Moore came to Cal in part because so much groundbreaking work happened here and partly because “many of the professors and researchers I worked with prior to Cal had been alums. I admired their equal passions for education and research, something that seems to run in Cal’s DNA, and chose to follow a similar trail.”  Moore caught the photography bug from his dad, but didn’t really develop his skill until arriving in the Bay Area, which provides “an endless supply of visual inspiration.”

The wide range of Moore’s work may be seen at his photostream on Flickr, where he is known as therealmichaelmoore. Keoki Seu has an extensive Flickr photostream as well.

Sather Gate with Cal Colors

(Photos: Keoki Seu, Dick Cortén, and Michael C. Moore,)


Categories: Featured in eGrad: December 2010, Texture
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