Peeter Paaver, a junior researcher of geology at the University of Tartu, is the winner of the Science Photographer of the Year award of the Estonian Science Photo Competition held by Wikimedia Estonia. Let’s find out more about Peeter and his hobby(ies).
I graduated last autumn with a PhD in environmental engineering and today I work as a research fellow in geology, focusing on solid waste recycling and circular economy in the Estonian oil shale industry.
I have dabbled with photography and videography ever since high school, but took it up more seriously in 2016 as I hitchhiked from Estonia to Vietnam over the course of six months before starting my doctoral studies. Since then my portfolio in photo and video production has gradually expanded. At the end of last year I also launched my own brand.
In addition to my research and work as a photographer and videographer, I have organised student days in Tartu, play guitar in the punk band of geologists Eterniit, and keep myself occupied with plenty of other minor hobbies.
My usual mindset is “What do you mean it’s not possible?” and then I try to get things done myself or somehow find a way to make them happen.
Photography definitely supports research as well as all other hobby activities because good visuals and the accumulated image bank help to popularise science, promote the study of geology, and even provide illustrations for conference papers.
Similarly, years of research and other hobbies support the photographer’s profession in many ways. Firstly, by broadening one’s horizons and developing the skills and prior knowledge to search for different perspectives and ideas for taking pictures and, secondly, by developing the ability to quickly and efficiently search for information and understand how things actually work.
In addition, being educated as a geologist has certainly given me the opportunity to see and take photos of many interesting places, in Estonia and abroad, that an average traveller would not even know to visit.
The regularly updated portfolio can be followed: