IYL 2015 Opening Ceremony Anniversary

Today we commemorate the anniversary of the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 (IYL 2015) Opening Ceremony that was held on 19-20 January 2015 at UNESCO-HQ in Paris, France.

Over a thousand participants attended the ceremony to learn about the many ways in which light is making a difference in our daily lives and to exchange ideas on the solutions light-based technologies can provide to current global challenges. The two-day ceremony gathered leading scientists, as well as decision makers, NGO representatives and industry representatives to discuss all aspects of light.

The programme included lectures by five Nobel Prize laureates: Ahmed Zewail, Steven Chu, William Phillips, Serge Haroche and Zhores Alferov.

You can watch below some highlights from the ceremony.

Light is Here installation at UNESCO HQ. Credit: Kari Kola.

Light is Here installation at UNESCO HQ. Credit: Kari Kola.

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Inspired by Light: Reflections from the International Year of Light 2015 Book

IYL_2015_Inspired_by_Light_coverInspired by Light: Reflections from the International Year of Light 2015, is a collection of 56 blog posts from researchers, industry professionals, students, NGO representatives, a Nobel laureate, and other authors from 24 countries that were published on the IYL 2015 blog. This book, to be published in January 2016 for distribution at the IYL 2015 Closing Ceremony, was produced by SPIE in concert with the European Physical Society and the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) to celebrate the achievements of IYL 2015. Contributions in the book cover, light in culture, education, science, and technology with essays that pay homage to the people throughout history who have advanced light-based technologies, and to the many ways humanity has been influenced and inspired by light.

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LPWA builds a Giant IYL 2015 logo on the North Sea

In Dorum-Neufeld, Germany, members of Light Painting World Alliance (LPWA) gathered to re-create the International Year of Light logo with light itself and long-exposure camera shooting. Last year LPWA already yet shot IYL 2015 logo as part of the 1st International Light Art Congress and 3rd worldwide light painting exhibition in Oviedo, Spain. This time light painters used the North Sea as perfect background for another giant IYL 2015 logo. The Camera was installed on the Oberveresand Lighthouse.

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The Light Painting World Alliance held a very special meeting and last dedicated event to celebrate International Year of Light and Light Based Technologies 2015 (IYL 2015) by UNESCO. We asked everyone who was interested to join us, and we gather 35 artists in just two weeks. While discussion on this dedicated group, we clarify some nice ideas for massive art collaboration, taking in mind that some cool ideas could be realized only by common efforts. First, our location supervisor Jörg Miedza find this marvelous place – Oberveresand lighthouse. Jörg had negotiations with lighthouse owner, explained our goals and required settings for proper work. Fortunately, lighthouse administration liked our idea and they gave us unlimited possibilities for the activity – all lights on bridge and inside lighthouse itself were switched off. Second, we were lucky with weather and complete low tide of North Sea. Also, we used 3D modeling software (to reconstruct the camera positioning) and took a few test shooting some days before (to clarify details for special 5 meters long light tool, which can do in separated steps a 20m IYL 2015 logo). And finally, 25 participants from 5 countries came to set up the installation!

Last year LPWA already yet shot IYL 2015 logo as part of the 1st International Light Art Congress and 3rd worldwide light painting exhibition in Oviedo, Spain.  This time, we decided to use Nord Sea bottom as perfect background with ultimate reflections, also we planned to make new logo 3-Dimensional, because of nice point of view from lighthouse top desk (about 26 meters over water).

We follow these steps: 1) we fixed a point in the middle, 2) we built a 10m dome with a pole while fixing a light at the end, 3) outside the dome, another 5 meters around the dome, we painted at first the sun-rays (each of them 5m long), 4) at the end the colors between the sun-rays like the flags on IYL 2015 logo. Sure thing, some colors don’t match perfectly, perhaps it was by different angles of some “flags”, aligned to camera. Our resulting image took 1,300 seconds exposure!

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We have to thank to all participants, making this event possible:

Creative idea and organization: Sergey Churkin & Jörg Miedza

Artists: Dirk Schütze, Eike Henning, Frank Upmeier, Gunnar Heilmann, Holger Kneifel, Jannes Bauer, Jenja Ospanov, Jenny Kretschmer, Jörg Miedza, Jörg Schmidt, Leonie Hoppe, Liela-Paulin Krause, Marc Krug, Norbert Götz, Olaf Schieche, Oliver Schnepper, Ralf-Martin Tauer, Timo Kretschmer, Werner Heisenberg (all Germany); David Brams and Jan Teunis from Belgium; Maarten Takens (Netherlands), Leonardo Lopez (Argentina) and Sergey & Natalia Churkin (Russia).

Sponsors: Cullman (Germany) and Led Lenser (Spain).


Sergey-Churkin-portraitSergey B. Churkin is the  Light Painting World Alliance founder. He was born in Siberia, and now is living in Moscow, Russia. Churkin is a self-educated graphic and motion designer since 1990. He started to paint with light in 2009. In 2011 he launched the Light Painting World Alliance, a non-for-profit organization for promotion of light painting art form.

Passing on the Light

“Having light we pass it on to others” is the motto of my undergraduate alma mater, Wittenberg University. But it could easily be a theme for the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 (IYL 2015). As the celebratory year closes, those of us who have light (who understand its unique position in and promise for our world) have a duty to continue passing on to others our love & appreciation of light.

H. Philip Stahl with Physics PhD students at SPIE Photonics West. Credit: SPIE.

H. Philip Stahl with Physics PhD students at SPIE Photonics West. Credit: SPIE.

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Light as we know it….

When was the last time you typed “Light” in the Google search bar? Can’t recall? Perhaps that’s because you did not. Light, being a topic that we have been studying ever since we were kids, doesn’t really entice one to especially look it up on the internet. That is until the topic of light surfaces as the theme of a special edition in a youth newspaper. That was exactly our aim, making the subject of light conspicuous and encourage the students to know the rather unknown about light in The Global Times (1), a registered student newspaper.

The first and foremost initiative undertaken as a part of the special edition was to decode why we are celebrating the International Year of Light. Not many children in India know that it is Ibn al-Haytham, dubbed as the ‘Father of Modern optics’ who brought light into our lives. Thereafter, students did a series of research work on the life of Ibn al-Haytham which were then converted into the top story of the edition. The story Ibn al-Haytham presented in very simple words was homage to this man who made outstanding contribution to the understanding of vision, optics and light.

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