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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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Compound Eye

Announcing Insects Unlocked

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A while back I wrote a feature for Ars Technica on the dysfunctional online copyright landscape. The piece was personal. My photographs average around $50 each to make, mostly in time, equipment, and travel costs. These costs have traditionally been covered by commercial users who buy permissions, as copyright law requires. Yet fewer than 10% [...]

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Compound Eye

Then and Now: A Decade Later, A Decade Better

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Every once and a while I stumble across a dusty forgotten folder on my hard drive, full of photos so old I don’t even remember taking them. Like this 2002 shot of an Azteca adrepens ant from Paraguay: I was terrible at photography. I mean, I still make impressive numbers of truly bad photographs, but [...]

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Compound Eye

Build a World-Class Insect Imaging System for under $6,000

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Compound Eye has been quiet of late. My silence is for a good cause, though! The past few months have been hectic as I transitioned from freelance photography in Illinois to a new job: Curator of Entomology at the University of Texas in Austin. The move has meant a blogging hiatus. My new academic digs [...]

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Compound Eye

The Ethics of our Brave New Drone Photography World

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It’s a marvelous time to be a photographer. The blossoming tech industry has made us all kids in a candy shop, suddenly realizing the whole street is candy shops, on a street with peppermint cobblestones and licorice fountains. And if that weren’t enough, flying robots are now dropping candy from the sky. With the advent [...]

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Compound Eye

Window To A Wetter Past In Tucson

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When I lived in Tucson a few years back, I often wondered why a city even existed there. Modern Tucson is completely dry, save a few artificial ponds propped up for the golfing set. The few desert washes that pass through town are bare sand most of the time, filling only briefly during the heaviest [...]

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Compound Eye

Recipe For A Photograph #5: The Angry Ant

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This 2007 photograph of a fire ant brandishing her stinger is among the most heavily circulated images from my collection. Since several people have asked how I managed to coax the animal into such a dramatic pose, I bring you the following recipe. But first, a digression into fire ant biology. Everyone knows fire ants [...]

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Compound Eye

Into the Public Domain

In honor of January 1st being Public Domain Day, I am releasing a few of my older images from copyright: These images are now available for all uses, including commercial use, without the need for attribution or permission. Enjoy! Why am I doing this? Public Domain Gallery at Alex Wild Photography Wikimedia Commons  

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Compound Eye

My Personal Best Photographs of 2014

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2014 was a busy year, and an odd one in terms of subject matter. Usually my stream is full of ants. I am trained as an ant biologist, after all, and these charming social insects typically weigh heavily in my photographs (see 2013, 2012, 2011). I’ve been broadening my scope, though. Wandering out of my [...]

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Compound Eye

January 1 is Public Domain Day!

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[The following piece is a modified repost from 2013] Every year, on the first of January, copyrights on certain older creative works expire and the works pass into the public domain. In 2015, for example, a selection of pieces by mythologist Joseph Campbell and artist Edvard Munch will, in some countries, become open for anyone to [...]

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Compound Eye

These Spider Fangs Aren’t Going To Photograph Themselves

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Here is a photograph of a Sydney funnel-web spider, Atrax robustus: I won’t explain the biology of this delightful animal here – you may read about it at Wikipedia in greater arachnological detail. Instead, I want to show the process by which I arrived at this composition. Most photographs involve some combination of creativity and constraint, and [...]

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Expeditions

Extreme Ice Survey: Water and Electronics Don’t Mix

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Editors Note: Members of the Extreme Ice Survey team are returning to South Georgia Island and the Antarctic Peninsula to maintain time-lapse camera systems. These cameras have been patiently snapping a photo every hour of every day since they were installed and are part of a much larger project that includes 38 time-lapse cameras spread [...]

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Expeditions

Call of the Orangutan: A Camera Trap Menagerie

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In order to get more information about the forest here at the Sikundur research station in North Sumatra, I’ve set up four camera traps, which I’m using to get a better look at the wildlife around the site. The traps have been so successful in such a short time period that together with another graduate [...]

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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

Guinness-Busting Bug

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Credit: China News Service/Zhong Xin Source: Bec Crew’s Largest aquatic insect in the world found in China on Running Ponies Remember the Guinness Book of World Records? Poring over the pages of tiny text and black and white images of record breakers was a hallowed summer time-busting tradition, at least in my circle of friends. [...]

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Image of the Week

The Emerging Mosquito

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Image Credit: © Alex Wild Source: Recipe For A Photograph #4: The Emerging Mosquito, on Compound Eye As the weather warms and spring marches into summer, mosquito pupae are shedding their skins and emerging from stagnant pools to search for warm mammalian blood. The thought of swarms of pesky mosquitoes and the itchy red welts [...]

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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

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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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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

SciArt in the Crowd

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Welcome to a new feature here on Symbiartic! SciArt in the Crowd will share some of the most interesting crowdfunding projects by a variety of artists engaged in SciArt. Help them create and expand the circle of scientific literacy, visually. Mammoth is Mopey by David & Jennie Orr Mammoth is Mopey is a new children’s [...]

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Symbiartic

The Symbiartic SciArt Roundup: Exhibits On View Now

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Our recent effort to galvanize people around great #sciart on Twitter was a raging success, proving to us that science art is growing by leaps and bounds. These scienceart exhibits are ones you can see in the flesh and are popping up all around the country. Get out and see them while you can! EXHIBITS: [...]

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Symbiartic

A Perfect Museum Photo

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This photo, taken a few weeks ago at the Royal Ontario Museum by ROMKids Assistant Coordinator/force of nature Kiron Mukherjee, captures a perfect museum moment. Liz Butler is a high school teacher and artist who regularly draws what she sees at the museum – and the ROM has been sharing her marvellous work for well [...]

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Symbiartic

Science and Art Exhibits To Launch 2015

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The number of exhibits combining science and art in some capacity has grown steadily since I began blogging about them in 2011. With exhibits in galleries and museums across the country, there’s something for everyone. Enjoy! EXHIBITS: NORTHEAST REGION WILDERNESS FOREVER: 50 Years of Protecting America’s Wild Places September 3, 2014 – TBD Smithsonian Museum [...]

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Symbiartic

A Photographic Survey of the American Yard

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Though it’s tempting to think you must spend thousands of dollars on equipment to take great photographs, Joshua White is helping prove that the best camera is the one you have on you when the inspiration strikes. His series, titled “A Photographic Survey of the American Yard,” is taken entirely with his iPhone and is [...]

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Symbiartic

The ScienceArt Exhibit Roundup This Fall

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So much good scienceart on display… where to begin!? EXHIBITS: NORTHEAST REGION LIFE: Magnified June – November 2014 Gateway Gallery Between Concourse C and the AeroTrain C-Gates station Washington Dulles International Airport Washington, D.C. Life: Magnified is an exhibit of scientific images showing cells and other scenes of life magnified by as much as 50,000 [...]

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Symbiartic

Looking Back on 30 Science Artists in 30 Days

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For three years now we have been celebrating science artists here on Symbiartic. Every September we have stepped it up a notch to feature a different science artist each day in our September SciArt Blitz. In case you missed any of them, here is a visual summary of the 2014 SciArt Blitz artists (click on [...]

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Symbiartic

ScienceArt Exhibits Heat Up This Summer

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Take a break from the heat this summer to step into some cool galleries exhibiting scienceart. If the exhibits keep pouring in at this rate, I’ll have to split up this post by region. There are five scienceart exhibits in New York alone! But for those of you who are not in the NY-region, don’t [...]

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Symbiartic

How Well Will You Age?

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When we’re young, we quietly take stock of those around us and reject notions that we will eventually gain weight, deflate, wrinkle and sag. When we’re old, we reminisce about the smooth, taut and strong bodies of our youth. You can look to your relatives for rough facsimiles of how you might age, but ultimately, [...]

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Symbiartic

The ScienceArt Exhibit Roundup for Spring

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This is the dish on the latest exhibits combining science and art around the country. This time the prize for the most bumpin’ scienceArt scene goes to the Northeast, amirite? Lucky you if you live there: EXHIBITS: NORTHEAST REGION JESSICA DRENK: An Allegory of Algorithms and Aesthetics April 12 – May 12, 2014 Adah Rose [...]

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