Category Archives: Photography

Crazy Train: A wild drone flight into & under a moving train

Tommy played piano like a kid out in the rain
then he lost his leg in Dallas he was dancin’ with a train

Man, I thought that my flying a drone off the back of a boat on the Mississippi was risky—but that seems laughably sane compared to Paul Nurkkala flying his drone flying onto, next to, inside, and under a moving freight train.

If you can’t take the queasy-making camera moves, jump to 3:20 to go underneath & 3:30 to go inside:

PetaPixel writes,

Nurkkala specializes in flying camera drones through a first-person point-of-view using a live feed through goggles. His custom-assembled drone was equipped with a GoPro HERO5 Session action camera, which is light enough to keep the craft fast and nimble.

“I recognize that this isn’t the most ‘flowy’ video or anything, but all of the things were all in the same flight, so I wanted to show that off,” Nurkkala writes.




Snapseed gets refreshed with presets, reorganized tools, and perspective

More power & speed for the millions of people who use Snapseed every day:

We’re excited to announce that Snapseed 2.18 has started rolling out today to users on Android and iOS. This update includes a fresh new UI, designed for faster editing with more efficient access to your favorite features.

You’ll find Looks are now available from the main screen, making it easier than ever to apply your customized filters to your photos. Looks are a powerful way to save your favorite combinations of edits and apply them to multiple images. We’ve added 11 beautiful new presets (handcrafted by the Snapseed team) to help you get started – give them a try!

We’re also bringing the Perspective tool to iOS to allow you to easily adjust skewed lines and perfect the geometry of horizons or buildings.



Explore the world’s photos in Google Earth


Starting today you’re invited to explore a global map of crowdsourced photos in Google Earth

To get started, open the Google Earth app on Android and iOS, or go to Google Earth in your Chrome browser on desktop. Open the main menu and turn on the Photos toggle. As you explore the world and zoom in, relevant photos from each location will appear. Click on any thumbnail to see a full-screen version of the photo, and then flip through related photos.





iPhone’s new “Portrait Lighting” looks compelling

I’m eager to try this out: 

When framing a subject, you’ll have a number of different lighting options to choose from for giving your portrait different looks — things like Contour Light, Natural Light, Studio Light, Stage Light, and Stage Light Mono.

These “aren’t filters,” Apple says. Instead, the phone is actually studying your subject’s face and calculating the look based on light that’s actually in the scene using machine learning.

Check out PetaPixel or Apple’s site for larger sample images. 


Photography: Viewing the eclipse from space

Scientists at UW Madison observed the eclipse through the eye of one of the world’s most advanced weather satellites, GOES-16. The eclipse images from the satellite were taken at a rate of one every five minutes, then stitched together:


Elsewhere, Liem Bahneman loaded four cameras (three stills, including a Ricoh Theta 360, plus a GoPro) onto a high-altitude and shot what the total solar eclipse looks like from the edge of space. PetaPixel writes,

The 9-minute video above is what one camera recorded over Central Oregon. […] He launched the balloon shortly before totality pass over the state. As you’ll see in the video, the cameras were able to capture the shadow of the moon creeping across the land and plunging everything into darkness for minutes during totality. At around 5 and 7 minutes, you can hear the sounds of jets flying over the mountains below.

Photography: An eye-popping Cathedral flowmotion

How exactly Rob Whitworth pulls off these vertiginous shots (drones, lifts, hidden cameras?), I couldn’t tell you, but it’s a fun breakneck tour no matter what:

Probably the world’s first cathedral flow motion. Something of a passion project for me getting to shoot my home town and capture it in it’s best light. Constructed in 1096 Norwich Cathedral dominates the Norwich skyline to this day. Was super cool getting to explore all the secret areas whilst working on the video.



Check out the crowdsourced “Eclipse Megamovie”

Google partnered with UC Berkeley and The Astronomical Society of the Pacific to create the Megamovie. Here’s how it all went down:

Over 1,300 citizen scientists spread out across the path of totality with their cameras ready to photograph the sun’s corona during the few minutes that it would be visible, creating an open-source dataset that can be studied by scientists for years to come. Learn about their efforts, and catch a glimpse of totality, in this video. Spoiler alert: for about two minutes, it gets pretty dark out.

Check out the results: 

This is a small preview of the larger dataset, which will be made public shortly. It will allow for improved movies like this and will provide opportunities for the scientific community to study the sun for years to come.


[YouTube 1 & 2] [Via]

Membit: “Pokémon Go for your Memories”

There’s something happening here/What it is, ain’t exactly clear… But it’s gonna get interesting.

Membit is a geolocative photo sharing app that allows pictures to be placed and viewed in the exact location they were captured.

When you make a membit, you leave an image in place for other Membit users to find and enjoy. With Membit, you can share the past of a place with the present, or share the present of a place with the future.

I’m reminded of various interesting “rephotography” projects that juxtapose the past with the present. Those seem not to have moved beyond novelty—but perhaps this could? (Or maybe it’ll just induce vemödalen.) Check it out: