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Posts Tagged "photography"

The Artful Amoeba

The Surprising Subject of the First Book of Photographs

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In these hyperlinked days, one might reasonably guess that the subject of the first book of photographs may have been along the lines of the True Purpose of the Internet (ask someone who’s seen “Avenue Q” if you don’t know). Or if not that, perhaps cityscapes, or naval vessels, or still lifes, or battlefields. But [...]

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Beautiful Minds

Why Education Needs More Radioactive Spiders

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Education needs more radioactive spiders. Stay with me. Remember Peter Parker? His childhood wasn’t easy. Both of his parents– Richard and Mary– were killed on a mission as double agents. Raised by his Uncle Ben and Aunt May in Queens, Peter spent most of his childhood without an identity. Now, Peter was a good student. [...]

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But Seriously...

Insect Paparazzi: Leafhoppers!

Japanese Maple Leafhopper-Brian Malow

You might not know this about me but I have a particular science art fetish: I’m into insect photography. By which, of course, I mean photographs taken by insects. In pursuit of this art, I’ve chased insects around so doggedly – sweating in the summer sun, getting bitten all to hell by malarial mosquitos – [...]

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Compound Eye

The World’s Most Viewed Landscape, A Decade Later

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Anyone who booted up a Windows computer in the early 2000′s is likely familiar with the grassy hillsides and brilliant sky of “Bliss”, a 1996 photograph by California wine country photographer Charles O’Rear. The image is precisely what a basic background should be: clean, bright, airy, inviting. Fittingly, “Bliss” lacks an immediate point of interest, [...]

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Compound Eye

Photographing Uncooperative Insects: The Time-Out Trick

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And now, the technique I find most useful in the studio for calming an overly active insect. I call it the time-out trick. It goes like this: Place the insect on a flat surface, confine it with an upside-down petri dish (you can buy them here) or a small glass, and wait. In a pinch, [...]

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Compound Eye

Photographing Uncooperative Insects: The Nest Entrance Trick

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Earlier, I mentioned that chilling active insects to more easily photograph them can give unnatural results. How is the intrepid photographer to work with animals that do not sit still? A strategy that works well with species that build nests- especially, bees, wasps, and ants- is to find and stake out their nest entrances. The [...]

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Compound Eye

Getty Images Confronts Online Copyright Infringement With A Carrot – And A Stick

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Stock photography giant Getty Images took a gamble yesterday, releasing 35 million files for free non-commercial and editorial uses. Images are served in a YouTube-style embedder that displays a credit and links back to the licensing page at Getty. How does it work? Look around. I have used the embedder to display a few of [...]

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Compound Eye

Freezing Insects To Slow Them Makes Terrible Photographs

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I often find myself in discussions over how to photograph uncooperative insects, and these invariably descend into the technique of slowing the animals by chilling. I don’t approve. Having fridged a lot of insects in the line of nature photography, my experience with chilling is largely negative. Insects out of the freezer just look… bad. [...]

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Compound Eye

What Aperture Does, In Two Photos

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Curious about why you’d want to pay attention to that f/number on your camera settings? Consider: Same subject, same lens, same camera, very different image.

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Compound Eye

40 years ago: our sister planet revealed

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On February 5, 1974, NASA’s Mariner 10 returned this surprising image of Venus. The photograph was the first to record our neighboring planet’s clouds in such detail, polar vortex and all. NASA isn’t above a little bit of image manipulation, though. In real color, Venus looks like this: To generate the sharp, contrasty visage, Mariner’s [...]

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Compound Eye

Ants run vast honeydew ranches just under our feet

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You may know the classic story about how ants and aphids live together in an ecological partnership. Aphids feed ants their excess sugars in the form of honeydew, and in return ants protect the aphids against predators and carry them to new host plants. The relationship forms a sort of miniature version of humans and [...]

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Compound Eye

My best photographs of 2013

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Since I made everyone else share a selection of their best photos, it is only fair that I post my own favorites from the past year. Click on each to view large.

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Compound Eye

In recognition of Public Domain Day, I am releasing these 30 photographs

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The full set- plus a few photos I released last year- are in my public domain gallery. They have also been uploaded to Wikimedia Commons under a CC0 public domain license. Why? January 1st is Public Domain Day. As I explained earlier this month: …current copyright law ensures that most creative works, even from the [...]

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Culturing Science

Seeing the Blue Marble for the First Time

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I’ve never really appreciated how lucky I am to have grown up with the blue marble. A poster of the earth floating in an endless black sea decorated the walls of my science classrooms since I was in elementary school. Even if it wasn’t spoken regularly, that image ensured that I knew the duality of [...]

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Culturing Science

Why Sociable Weavers Nest Together

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Dillon Marsh’s photographs of sociable weaver nests, taken in the Kalahari Desert of Southern Africa, beautifully illustrate traditional nature–the realm of wild animals–overlapping with human civilization. The apparent bales of hay draped over the tops and sides of telephone poles are home to hundreds of songbirds, which construct and maintain their monstrous nests communally. While [...]

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Expeditions

We’re in Iceland – thanks for traveling with us!

Whoa, we are in Iceland. Our thirty days at sea are over. This is the sappy wrap up post, so I’ll try to keep the poetic waxing to a minimum. In the last 30 days, the scientists aboard the R/V Knorr have woken up early, gone to bed late, collected data, fought about which condiments [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Film Fakery: Does Shark Week Harm Conservation Efforts?

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Great White Serial Killer. World’s Deadliest Sharks. I Escaped Jaws. Sharkpocalypse. These are just a few of the programs airing this week during the Discovery Channel’s annual Shark Week and NatGeo Wild’s new copycat, Sharkfest. Undoubtedly these programs will attract their usual massive ratings, but they may be guilty of the same kinds of film [...]

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Image of the Week

A Mitey Claw

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If the key to happiness is appreciating the little things in life, then take a moment to appreciate the claw of a microscopic mite only 600 µm long. It’s from a new species discovered in the soil of a chestnut plantation where they use their nubbles and knobs (technically known as palettes) to “swim” through [...]

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Image of the Week

Painting the Air

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  From: My best photographs of 2013 Source: Alex Wild As a painter, one of the challenges I face is pushing the paint around until it resembles real life. On occasion, a photo does the same in reverse. This charming firefly seems to magically stand astride a pair of diarylide yellow paintbrush strokes in mid-air. [...]

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Image of the Week

Freezing, Boiling, Dehydration and Starvation

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  From: Why Life Does Not Really Exist by Ferris Jabr at Brainwaves Source: Goldstein Lab on Flickr Tardigrades are among the most hardy creatures on earth. These tiny, half-millimeter long organisms can survive freezing, boiling, dehydration, and starvation. This scanning electron micrograph, taken in Bob Goldstein’s lab at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, shows the [...]

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Image of the Week

Skeletons of Light

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From: Tripping the Light Fantastic: Artists Paint With Light by Jennifer Ouellette at Cocktail Party Physics Source: Janne Parvianen Light painting is a 125-year-old art form where long exposure cameras capture the path of light, rending a sometimes other-worldly image. In 2011 Finnish artist Janne Parviainen produced a series of light paintings called “Light Skeletons” in [...]

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Observations

Cassini Spacecraft Takes 1 Last Look at Home Today

Photo credit: CICLOPS, JPL, ESA, NASA

For a quarter-hour today, some of us on Earth can look up and know that almost a billion miles away, above the sky, a set of robotic eyes is looking right back. The Cassini spacecraft will be passing into Saturn’s shadow at that time, slewing its cameras to catch the planet’s majestic rings backlit by [...]

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Observations

Amazing Video of Solar Eclipse Shows Sun’s Structure

Eclipse showing the Sun's chromosphere

This time-lapse video of Sunday’s solar eclipse highlights the Sun’s outer layers: The photographer Cory Poole constructed the video by pasting together 700 photographs taken with a Coronado Solar Max 60 Double Stack telescope. According to Jason Kottke, Poole used a filter that only allows light from hydrogen atoms moving from the 2nd excited state [...]

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Observations

Google Doodle’s Galloping Steed Commemorates Pioneering Photographer Edward Muybridge

Today’s Google doodle pays homage to the photography of Eadweard J. Muybridge, pioneering photographer and inventor of the zoopraxiscope. If he had somehow survived to witness the multimedia era, Muybridge would be marking his 182nd birthday. The running horse video, which replaces the Google logo today, comes from Muybridge’s most famous photographic experiment. Renowned for [...]

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Observations

Photographer Vincent Fournier Opens Eerie Window on the World’s Space Programs [Video]

There’s a reason that so many sci-fi thrillers are set in space. Well, there are probably many reasons. But it’s certainly true that the tools of space exploration often have a haunting, sterile, almost creepy quality. Vincent Fournier captures that quality in his photographs, taken at the research and operations facilities of space programs around [...]

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PsiVid

Chris Hadfield Photographs the World in New Book!

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Today, Chris Hadfield shared in social media a previously released video, Chris Hadfield’s Snapshots from Space! “Throughout his ISS mission, CSA Astronaut Chris Hadfield has been taking some of the most incredible photos of Earth ever seen. In this video, the Station Commander takes us to the best seat in the house to gaze at [...]

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Running Ponies

Humpback Heat Runs: How to Photograph the Biggest Courtship Battle on Earth

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There’s something about humpback whales that makes them seem so peaceful. Just elegant, wonderful creatures that wouldn’t hurt a soul, unless that soul happens to be contained by a small fish or a delicious crustacean. But there comes a time in every male humpback’s life when he has to step up and fight. Imagine nine [...]

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Symbiartic

Original Gifts for Science and Art Geeks

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Looking for a knock-out gift for the science geek in your life? Look no further. If you like art and you like science, these artists, all featured on Symbiartic at one point, have gifts that will impress even the most jaded gift recipients… Made With Molecules Jewelry by Raven Hanna, PhD. Raven Hanna, PhD. left [...]

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Symbiartic

What Artists Know About Light That Physicists Are Missing

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Whether you learned that light was a particle or a wave in high school physics, you likely inferred that only physicists could ultimately weigh in on the subject. Technically true, I suppose, but there are a number of artists demonstrating quite deftly that light is a medium, too. Artist Darren Pearson is one such person. [...]

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Symbiartic

Five Tips to Get You Started as a Science Artist

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Last month, my co-blogger Glendon Mellow wrote a great summary for scientists who are wondering how to go about hiring science illustrators. It was received with open arms in the research community (cool, they seem receptive) and made me think of the many, many inquiries I get each year from emerging science illustrators who want [...]

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Symbiartic

Stone-faced Birds Staring Out From Beyond the Grave

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The best Halloween stories are true. There is a lake in Tanzania, Lake Natron, that is so hostile to life that only two species, alkaline tilapia and blue-green algae can live in its deadly waters. For the rest of us, its water is so caustic it will burn your lungs (and melt the ink off [...]

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Symbiartic

SciArt on the Scene in Nov/Dec. 2013

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Ahhh, fall. Time to look for more indoor activities. And aren’t you lucky? Here’s a list of sciart exhibits that will warm your heart while you warm your toes. EXHIBITS: NORTHEAST REGION CLIMATE CHANGE IN OUR WORLD: Photographs by Gary Braasch October 16, 2013 – July 6, 2014 Museum of Science 1 Science Park Boston, [...]

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Symbiartic

A Mosaic of September SciArt Glory

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How many times do you have to do something before it is considered tradition? Last year, Glendon had the excellent idea to post a different #sciart image each day in the month of September. This year, we did it again and called it a blitz. In case you missed anything, here is a handy recap. [...]

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Symbiartic

Stellar Photography By A Citizen Astronomer

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By now you might be used to spectacular images of celestial bodies thanks to organizations like NASA and the ESA. But it’s still possible to be wowed by these images, especially when they’re taken by people like you and me. Citizen astronomer Alan Friedman takes breathtaking photographs of the sun’s roiling surface from his backyard [...]

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Symbiartic

Your Kitchen Is a Chem Lab and This Is Your Textbook

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Maybe you cook, maybe not, but I bet you eat from time to time. If you’re reading articles on Scientific American, I also bet you are at least partially interested in science, and whether you eat gazpacho or goulash, KFC or cronuts, you have to concede this point: cooking is essentially applied chemistry. The beauty [...]

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Symbiartic

The SciArt Buzz: ScienceArt on Exhibit in Sept/Oct 2013

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Summer may be coming to a close, but there are buckets of good science art exhibitions opening at venues near YOU! EXHIBITS: NORTHEAST REGION SENSING CHANGE July 1, 2013 – May 2, 2014 Chemical Heritage Foundation Gallery 315 Chestnut Street Philadelphia, PA Sensing Change, an initiative of the Chemical Heritage Foundation, invites us to explore [...]

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Symbiartic

The SciArt Buzz: ScienceArt on Exhibit in July/Aug 2013

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Looking for a way to escape the summer heat? Pop into any of these galleries nationwide or abroad and get your fix of cool temps and hot sciart. EXHIBITS: NORTHEAST REGION WINGED TAPESTRIES: Moths at Large through September 29, 2013 American Museum of Natural History Central Park West and 79th St. New York, NY Witness [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Urban Wildlife in San Francisco Bay [PHOTOS]

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I think that hanging out in a heavily touristed area of San Francisco’s Embarcadero means that these California sea lions – one mature individual and one pup – qualify as urban wildlife. For good measure, here’s a western scrub jay and a pigeon.

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The Thoughtful Animal

Camera Trap Tuesday: Islands in Los Angeles

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“Is Griffith Park an island?” That’s the question that Miguel Ordeñana, a wildlife biologist at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles who also does field work in Nicaragua, wanted to know. Griffith Park isn’t surrounded by water. It’s not found offshore, like Catalina Island, and it isn’t encircled by a moat. What Griffith Park, [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Photoblogging: The Most Underrated of the African Megafauna

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It’s the hippo of course. Did you know that a fully grown hippo can bite a crocodile in half? Taken at the San Diego Zoo on October 11, 2013.

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The Thoughtful Animal

Photoblogging: Gorilla Through Glass

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One of the main challenges with photographing the non-human animals at the zoo is shooting through glass. Sometimes you just can’t get an angle without any glare, but sometimes it doesn’t matter. Photos taken October 11, 2013 at the San Diego Zoo. Top, with a Canon 60D and Canon 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 telephoto zoom lens. Bottom, [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Photoblogging: Muppet or Flamingo?

Flamingo

Sometimes, from just the right angle, a flamingo strongly resembles a muppet. Life imitates art, which imitates life. Photo taken July 14, 2013 at the San Diego Zoo with a Canon 60D and Canon 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 telephoto zoom lens. Previously: Photoblogging: Flamingo Family

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The Thoughtful Animal

Photoblogging: The Giraffe is Not Impressed

Masai Giraffe

A Masai Giraffe lazily chews on some leaves at the San Diego Zoo. Photo taken July 14, 2013 at the San Diego Zoo with a Canon 60D and Canon 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 telephoto zoom lens.

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The Thoughtful Animal

Photoblogging: Lazy Hyena

Sudanese Striped Hyena

A Sudanese Striped Hyena takes a nap at the San Diego Zoo. From the Thoughtful Animal Archives: Hyenas Give Up Eating Garbage for Lent, Hunt Donkeys Instead Silver Spoon Hyenas: Maternal Social Status Affects Male Reproductive Success Photo taken October 11, 2013 at the San Diego Zoo with a Canon 60D and Canon 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Photoblogging: Secretary Bird

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Photo taken October 11, 2013 at the San Diego Zoo with a Canon 60D and Canon 75-300mm f/4.0-5.6 telephoto zoom lens.

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The Thoughtful Animal

Photoblogging: Portrait of a Meerkat

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Meerkats are one of the few other species in the animal kingdom that has something close to human-like teaching. Read about it in an old piece of mine at BBC Future: Pay attention… time for lessons at animal school Photo taken October 11, 2013 at the San Diego Zoo with a Canon 60D and Canon [...]

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The Thoughtful Animal

Photoblogging: Airborne Pelicans

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It’s interesting what a small change in wing position does to a photo of a single bird. In this first photo of a Brown Pelican, Pelecanus occidentalis, the forward bend in the wings gives the bird a magnificent, almost regal quality. But the illusion of a slight backwards fold in the wings – really due [...]

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