Recent Science Articles

British Police Make First Arrest via Facial Recognition Camera Van

In a story that's either a case of camera and computer technology taking a step forward or another nail in the coffin of privacy, the South Wales Police recently arrested a man using a mobile automatic facial recognition (AFR) system deployed in a van.

Photo Opportunity of the Week: Manhattanhenge

Manhattanhenge, the name given to a Stonehenge-style phenomenon that occurs twice a year in New York City, is happening this week. Want to check it out? Here’s how.

This Video Shows You an Astronaut's View During a Spacewalk

Back in March of this year, ESA Astronaut Thomas Pesquet and NASA Astronaut Shane Kimbrough went for a spacewalk outside the International Space Station. Pesquet recorded the walk, and the footage is truly astounding.

The Beautiful Video Made When a Computer Predicts 100,000 Frames

Machine learning is an incredibly powerful thing. Damien Henry, a technical program manager at Google, took advantage of this, feeding a machine learning algorithm a single image and asking it to generate an hour-long video of approximately 100,000 frames by predicting the next frame based on the previous one. The result is gorgeous to watch.

World's Fastest Camera Is Faster Than Light Itself

You think your camera is fast? Check this out. A group of researchers at Lund University in Sweden have developed a camera that is way faster than yours. I guarantee it. Their camera captures at a frame rate equivalent to five trillion images per second, a rate faster than previously thought possible. It’s so fast that even captures light in flight.

Examining the Myths and Confusion Around Crop Factor Equivilancy

There are countless videos and forum threads discussing and debating about the principles of crop factor, depth of field, and sensor size. However if you are the type to geek out over the math and physics of photography then this is the video for you. This is no simple examination, at 35 minutes long it requires some advanced knowledge on camera sensors.

Here's a 700-Year-Old 'Photograph' of a Person

Science is amazing. Using careful measurements and some advanced techniques, scientists reconstructed a remarkably precise account of the life of one of their neighbors from 700 years ago.

Beautiful New Photo of Jupiter Looks Like a Painting

Space is endlessly cool. As our ability to send more and more advanced cameras deeper into space continues to evolve, the images we receive in return are becoming more stunning by the day. Such is the case with this image from the Juno mission.

Here's Why Focusing and Recomposing Photographs Fails

Focus and recompose is an extremely common method for getting around AF sensors with limited AF point spread, but it's an imperfect technique that could be causing you more issues than it's worth.

Mindset: Can Skill Alone Bring Success?

At this point in our lives, the majority of us have come to understand our capabilities and our limitations. If we were never good at sports, we have come to accept this as truth. If we are great at math, we have likely received this "gift" and possibly moved into a career field where we can maximize the ease of which numbers have come to us. As photographers, you have the "eye" for it, or you don't. Are these established beliefs, based likely on past evidence in reality, or are they limitations we have placed upon ourselves?

The Extreme Guide to Forecasting and Shooting the Northern Lights

Ah, the crown of the (Ant)arctic. Known in the northern hemisphere as the Aurora Borealis (northern lights), and as the Aurora Australis in the southern hemisphere, these brightly colored bands of moving and waving light are a majestic display in the night sky. Who doesn't want to take a picture of this otherworldly phenomenon? Here's exactly how to do it.

Researchers Record 'Photonic Boom' at 100 Billion Frames Per Second

We've all heard of sonic booms, which occur when the shock waves produced by an object traveling faster than the speed of sound accumulate to produce a giant pressure wave, but what about "photonic" booms? Researchers have just shown that indeed, light exhibits the same effect, and they used a camera that records 100,000,000,000 frames per second to show it.

NASA Creates Supercomputer Simulation of Drone to Understand Aerodynamics

"NASA Supercomputer" and "DJI Phantom 3" are not words I ever expected to hear in the same sentence. Nonetheless, using advanced computer analysis, the agency has created this simulation of a drone's aerodynamics to help design better models in the future. It's pretty neat to watch.

First Ever 360-Degree View of Earth From Inside the International Space Station

When guests aboard the International Space Station look for a place to escape for a little rest and relaxation, options can obviously be limited. The “Cupola” was built in 2010 to provide astronauts with the best view possible while operating the ISS’s Mobile Services System’s robotic arm (the Canadarm2). The Cupola's seven bay windows allow for an incredible view that's become a favorite for photographers aboard the ISS. Russian Cosmonaut Andrey Borisenko brings us inside the Space Station’s observational dome with the first 360-degree 4K video of Earth from within the International Space Station.

Photographer Prepared For Years To Grab This Epic Supermoon Photo, Which Has Since Caught NASA's Attention

Earlier this week, the largest moon of almost 70 years could be seen around the world. This "supermoon," as it is being hailed, occurred after it appeared 222,000 miles from Earth — to put it into perspective, that's some 30,000 miles closer than the most distant point it ever pops up. According to NASA, that caused it to appear 14% bigger and 30% brighter than what we’re used to. Naturally, photographers everywhere were out in full force trying to grab the best photo. But one image in particular is garnering attention after making NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day.

The Best Piece of Equipment To Improve Your Star Photography

Improving night photography is an ever closing gap riddled with tech-tips, tricks, and expensive gear. The Star Adventurer by Sky Watcher-USA seeks to be the reasonably, all-in-one option to improve your starscape photography. The built-in tracking head and accompanying accessories are the perfect companion to viewing and photographing the night’s sky.

Window Light: The Biggest, Bestest Softbox You Already Own

This article will probably seem like a giant “duh” to a lot of you out there. Hell, even most avid selfie-shooters have figured this out. This is geared more towards the photographers who lust after huge, expensive light modifiers and overlook the amazing light source that is probably staring them in face. I suggest you start staring back!

An Alternative to VFX: Interactive Dynamic Video

Science meets art once again. Abe Davis, a computer science PhD student at MIT, recently published a research about interaction with the objects in videos, by measuring and mapping the vibrations of their movements. His project, which he developed with Justin Chen and Fredo Durand, and patented by MIT, aims to be used both in engineering and videography.

New High-Speed Camera From NASA Captures Incredible Dynamic Range of Rocket Test

Trying to capture a rocket test using a high-speed camera requires some specialty equipment. Trying to capture that footage with enough dynamic range to see the detail in the plume and in the booster required NASA to develop a whole new camera. Watch this latest footage from a new camera NASA developed to capture a rocket test in slow motion and with high dynamic range.

Princeton Research Makes Selfies Look Like They Were Shot With Portrait Lenses

What if you could change the focal length of your lens in post-processing? Princeton has figured out how to take a regular selfie and warp it to look like it was shot with a portrait lens. Their research allows for all sorts of possibilities, but above all, it’s fun as hell to play around with.

NASA Releases a Time-Lapse One Year and One Million Miles in the Making

NASA's aptly named EPIC (Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera) camera sits about one million miles from our planet, where it uses an array of sensors to monitor and provide observations of cloud heights, aerosols, vegetation growth, and the state of ozone in the atmosphere. It also provides some pretty neat images of Earth, which NASA has assembled into a year-long time-lapse.

Researchers Create Cameras the Size of a Grain of Salt

Imagine cameras so small they could be injected into your body via a syringe: medical imaging becomes less invasive and more capable. A team of researchers has created a camera that can do just that.

Deep Learning Algorithm Automatically Colorizes Photos

This is one of those sites you're going to want to try yourself. Take any black and white image, feed it to the algorithm, and watch as it spits out its best guess at a color version, which is often quite convincing.

Tiny1 Is the Astrophotography Camera for Everyone

Astrophotography is tough to master; it takes a lot of specialized equipment, careful post-processing, and a nocturnal lifestyle. Tiny1 aims to alleviate at least some of those issues (you'll still have to stay up late) and make astrophotography accessible for anyone interested in the genre.

How Snapchat Filters Work

If you're one of the hundreds of millions of people who uses Snapchat every day, you've probably played with its lenses that transform your face into all sorts of humorous, interesting, and horrifying things (trust me, I face-swapped with a clock once, and I looked like a Dali disaster). Making all that magic happen takes a lot of math and computing power, however, and the process is fascinating.

Beware the Golden Myth of Photography

As someone who has spent a life in mathematics, I see a lot of attempts to ascribe mathematical concepts to real-world ideas in an overly simplistic way. The media misinterpreting a single medical study and reporting that a glass of red wine is equivalent to an hour at the gym does not mean you should forget the treadmill and buy more Malbec. Weathermen in Kansas do not expect the flapping of butterfly wings to cause tornadoes. But in photography, there's one incessantly perpetuated myth that drives me crazy.

Learn About the Process of Tintype Photography

Tintypes continue to fascinate us. Despite the process being over 150 years old, its methodical, almost meditative procedure and striking results have kept it alive. It's also a fairly scientific process that involves a good bit of chemistry. Check out this video to learn more about the technical and practical aspects of the practice of shooting tintypes.

Suren Manvelyan: The Person Behind ‘Your Beautiful Eyes’ Extreme Macro Photography

I have known Suren Manvelyan for more than 10 years. When I first met him, I was a graphic designer who was fascinated by photography and he was a physics teacher at school who was looking for opportunities to grow as a photographer. We used to gather with our small Armenian photographer’s community each Friday to share experiences, discuss photography, and develop our skills. Years passed, a lot of the enthusiasts gave up and only a few stayed faithful to their art. Suren, on his behalf, not only grew to a professional photographer, but also didn’t give up on his other interests.

How to Photograph Air

Air is pretty unintrusive when it comes to photography, but what do you do when air is the thing you want to take pictures of? You turn to Schlieren photography.

Liftware Put a Gimbal in a Spoon

A gimbal is an important piece of technology that makes for some smooth video. It's the device that stabilizes the camera so you can get that cinematic look in your shot. It removes the vibration and shake. The gimbal's motors keep the camera level as the camera operator moves it. Drones use them, the DJI Ronin is basically a large gimbal, and the DJI Osmo is the latest handheld gimbal that DJI brought to market.

Trick Your Brain Into Seeing a Black and White Image in Color

Eyesight is a remarkable thing, but it's also imperfect, which is exactly what optical illusions seek to take advantage of. In this one, you'll be able to trick your eyes into seeing a black and white image in full color.

Capturing Light Itself: Photography at 1,000,000,000,000 FPS

Light moves fast — like really fast. 299,792,458 meters per second in a vacuum, to be exact. Capturing it might seem like a pipe dream, but one MIT professor has done it by doing something remarkable: creating a camera that shoots at 1 trillion frames per second.

Colorblindness and How One Company Is Helping to Fix It

One in twelve men suffer from color vision deficiency (CVD). It’s a guarantee that many of the people reading this suffer from it as well. There is now a company that offers a solution to color blindness.