Category Archives: Photography

The $1 origami Foldscope: Democratizing access to microscopy

Check out this rather brilliant Kickstarter project from some Stanford scientists on a mission to broaden access to the wonders of exploring our world:

Foldscope is a real microscope, with magnification and resolution sufficient for imaging live individual cells, cellular organelles, embryos, swimming bacteria and much more.   Because the Foldscope is so affordable and can be used anywhere, it brings science to your daily life, whether that means looking at what’s growing in your flower pot or watching bacteria from your mouth or analysing the bee stinger that got your thumb. Our goal is to encourage and enable the curious explorer in each of us and make science happen anywhere, anytime.

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[YouTube]

A flight over Mars

Wanna actually go to Mars & feel perpetually jetlagged? Hmm—while thinking that over, take a beautifully painterly flight over the planet surface, courtesy of Jan Fröjdman working with real NASA data:

The anaglyph images of Mars taken by the HiRISE camera holds information about the topography of Mars surface. There are hundreds of high-resolution images of this type. This gives the opportunity to create different studies in 3D. In this film I have chosen some locations and processed the images into panning video clips…

It has really been time-consuming making these panning clips. In my 3D-process I have manually hand-picked reference points on the anaglyph image pairs… The colors in this film are false because the anaglyph images are based on grayscale images. I have therefore color graded the clips. But I have tried to be moderate doing this.

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[Vimeo] [Via]

Snapseed gains Double Exposure, Face Pose, and more

The team esta en fuego!. On the heels of recent releases that added sharable looks, curves, and more, comes some new hotness:

Snapseed 2.17 starts rolling out today and it brings you three new awesome tools:

  • Double Exposure allows you to blend two photos and choose from blending modes that are inspired by analog film techniques as well as digital image processing.
  • Face Pose lets you correct the pose of portraits based on three dimensional models.
  • Expand allows you to increase the size of your canvas and fill up the new space in smart ways with content from your image. 

Enjoy, and as always, please let us know what you think.

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Sony enables in-camera ND filters

Hmm, interesting—I honestly had no idea that Sony cameras could install apps, but in retrospect the idea seems blindingly obvious: Why not be able to modify your light-capturing computer like this? PetaPixel writes,

Actually, it’s more than a grad. When you open up the app, you get several options: Graduated ND, Reverse Graduated ND, Color Stripe, Blue Sky, Sunset, and two Custom options for setting up your own presets. The presets will capture preset exposure and white balance values, and if you pick Custom, you can adjust the location and feathering of each boundary, the effect above and below that boundary, and more!

[YouTube]

Photography: How the BBC filmed animals in total darkness for “Planet Earth II”

“Days of Miracles & Wonder,” part 9,287:

PetaPixel writes,

There’s no longer any need to disrupt the animals’ habits and habitat using artificial light; thanks to advances in camera sensors and non-visible spectrum capture, the BBC is shooting the kind of wildlife footage that was simply unimaginable in the 80s and 90s. […]

The Vox video dives into the challenges nature documentaries like Planet Earth used to have back in the days of film, and then advances rapidly through the decades until we reach the jaw-dropping footage shot for Planet Earth II using infrared technology, thermal imaging, and incredible low-light cameras like Sony’s famed A7s.

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[YouTube]

New Google Photos courses land on Lynda.com

Photographer and educator Seán Duggan covers Google Photos in this week’s Mobile Photography Weekly, and he dives deep in Google Photos: Tips, Tricks, and Techniques:

Photographer and educator Seán Duggan shares a collection of power tips that can help you get the most out of Google Photos. Learn how to manage photo storage, use the stellar search capabilities of Google Photos, edit your photos, and make animations, slide shows, and movies from your images. Plus, learn how to share photos securely with friends and family.

Check it out—and thanks, Seán!

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Big Snapseed news: Save & share presets, apply selective Structure, and more

So, this happened. 🙂 In Snapseed 2.16 on iOS & Android, you can:

  • Edit faster by using reusable “looks”: save the edits on any photo as a look, and apply saved looks to other images.
  • Share looks with friends and other users by generating a QR code for each.
  • Apply Structure to individual areas of your photo via the Selective tool.

And on Android you can:

  • Automatically correct the perspective of your photos using the the enhanced Perspective tool.
  • Find inspiring tutorial content via the Insights stream. [already available on iOS]

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The QR-based sharing is a fun twist. The team writes,

You now can easily share these looks with your friends and followers. Snapseed will generate a QR code that embeds your look. Scan this QR code [below] in Snapseed to apply the look to the current photo. You can easily share it through social media, on your web site, or by email and instant messaging! 

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Uncanny cam: A “levitating” chopper thanks to synced camera FPS

Whoa:

As PetaPixel put it when describing an older clip,

Since each frame has to ensure the blade is in the same position as the last it therefore needs to be in sync with the rpm of the rotar blades. Shutter speed then needs to be fast enough to freeze the blade without too much motion blur within each frame.

Here the rotor has five blades, now lets say the rpm of the rotor is 300. That means, per rotation, a blade is in a specific spot on five counts. That gives us an effective rpm of 1500. 1500rpm / 60secs = 25.

Therefore shooting at 25fps will ensure the rotor blades are shot in the same position every frame. Each frame then has to be shot at a fast enough shutter speed to freeze the blade for minimal motion blur.

Tangentially related: Lance Armstrong cycling without pedaling:

[YouTube] [Via]