Seeing the Lab from a Different Viewpoint

As a science geek, I never really enjoyed my one obligatory art class in college. [My definition of art is “If I can do it, it’s not art.”] However, there was one project that I really enjoyed: Students were required to use a camera to capture images of everyday objects from a different perspective, leaving the viewer to try to determine what the subject of the photo was. Recently, I decided that this would be a fun project to do in the lab, so I grabbed my camera and safety glasses and spent a few hours trying to capture images of things that many of us see everyday in the lab in a different light. Here are a few of those images. Can you determine what they are?

To find out what the image is, simply mouse over the image for a description or click on the image to bring up a pop-up window showing it in a larger context or from a different viewpoint.

I’ll start out with a few simple ones.


A view of a laboratory faucet from below

Aluminum foil covering a beaker full of tubes


Control panel of a microwave oven

OK, now that you’re warmed up, here are a few more.


A view of chemical bottles from above

A view of a Vac-Man vacuum manifold from above


Tube racks stacked in the refrigerator

Ice bucket with an inverted lid

Ready for a few more challenging ones?


A graduated clinder viewed from above

A robotic workstation


Cotton swabs left out to dry


Three bottles of SDS-containing buffer

Capillary array of an Applied Biosystems 3130 Genetic Analyzer

So, how many did you know?

All of them correct: You really know your way around the lab, but maybe you should consider spending a little more time outside of the lab once in a while.
9–11 correct: Obviously you were up to the challenge. Maybe I should have made this more difficult.
5–8 correct: Not too shabby!
1–4 correct: Maybe you should spend a little more time in the lab.
None of them correct: Quit fooling around, and get into the lab.

What do you think: Were these too easy for you?
If so, let me know, and I can grab my camera again and head back into the lab to try to get more challenging images. Alternatively take your own photos, and send them to me. If I get enough submissions I can include them in a future blog entry.

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Terri Sundquist

Terri has worked as a Scientific Communications Specialist at Promega Corporation for more than 13 years, and prior to that, spent more than 5 years solving problems and answering questions as a Promega Technical Services Scientist. She graduated with B.S. degrees in Chemistry and Biology at the University of Wisconsin—River Falls, then earned her M.S. in Molecular Biology from the Mayo Graduate School in Rochester Minnesota.

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