Japan Camera Hunter StreetPan 120 Black & White film is now available for preorder

DP Review News - Mon, 31/07/2017 - 19:13

Bellamy Hunt of Japan Camera Hunter has just launched the JCH StreetPan 120 Black & White film for preorder through the company's online shop. Hunt first released a 35mm version of the StreetPan film in 2016, and he has now launched this 120 version in response to popular demand.

According to Hunt, "It is the same old StreetPan you know and love, just in a larger size" for medium-format photographers.

Hunt goes on to explain that, while the film is available for preorder now, it is still in production; if everything goes as planned, the film will launch in mid-to-late August with shipping starting in early September. The film is offered in various quantities starting at a 3-pack for ¥3900 / $35 USD and ranging up to a 10-pack for ¥13,000 / $118 USD. Shipping is available globally.

As with the original StreetPan film, the 120 version offers a very fine grain alongside 'excellent penetration' through atmospheric conditions like fog and haze. Japan Camera Hunter explains that this high-speed film is sensitive to red light and has "near IR sensitivity." Full details on its properties, including development times, are available here.

Categories: News

Sample gallery: Tamron 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD

DP Review News - Mon, 31/07/2017 - 18:25

The Tamron 10-24mm F3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD is an ultra wide angle lens for crop sensor DSLRs. It offers a 15-36mm equivalent field of view on Nikon DX and a 16-38.4mm equivalent field of view on Canon's APS-C format DSLRs.

We've been out and about with the 10-24mm recently in and around Seattle, shooting on the Canon EOS 80D.

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Categories: News

This is the first photo of a total solar eclipse ever taken, shot in 1851

DP Review News - Mon, 31/07/2017 - 18:22
The first successfully captured photograph of a total solar eclipse, this daguerreotype was shot on July 28, 1851, by Prussian photographer Johann Julius Friedrich Berkowski.

Here's a little history lesson to help you pass the time between now and the next total solar eclipse on August 21st. The photograph above, a daguerreotype captured almost exactly 166 years ago, is the first successfully-captured photograph of a total solar eclipse.

The photo was captured by master daguerreotypist Johann Julius Friedrich Berkowski, a Prussian photographer who was commissioned by the Royal Prussian Observatory at Königsberg to do what nobody else had managed up until that point: capture an appropriately-exposed photograph of a total solar eclipse.

Up until that point, every photograph taken had been over or under-exposed, and/or didn't capture sufficient contrast between the bright corona and the obscuring disk of the moon.

According to a paper in the journal Acta Historica Astronomiae, the photograph was captured using a small refracting telescope attached to the hour drive of the 15.8-cm Fraunhofer heliometer. Berkowski began exposing the image shortly after totality, and the final daguerreotype took 84-seconds to capture.

To learn more about this photograph, click here. And if you want to learn how to capture the August 21st eclipse for yourself (and why you should maybe put the camera down for this one...) check out our own eclipse how-to.

How to photograph the August eclipse, and why you probably shouldn't try.

Categories: News

Behind the scenes: Shooting a $2.5 million car with a $50,000 camera

DP Review News - Mon, 31/07/2017 - 17:02

Photographer Richard Thompson recently had the chance to shoot one of the most advanced (and expensive) cars in the world with one of the most advanced (and expensive) camera systems in the world. Fortunately for those of us who enjoy salivating over both camera gear and gorgeous cars, there's a behind the scenes video for us to enjoy.

The car in question is the Pagani Huayra BC, and the camera a Phase One XF 100MP medium format—an appropriately advanced camera system to capture such an advanced piece of automotive machinery.

The behind the scenes video was created by Phase One, which (of course) means that it feels a bit ad-like at several points. But Thompson throws in plenty of information about the photo shoot, why he captured the car the way he did, and showing off some of final images to make you salivate freely on your keyboard.

Check out the full BTS video above, and then click here to see the final composites on Thompson's website.

Categories: News

The Comedy Pet Photography Awards – in pictures

The Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards founders have launched a new show for pet pictures. Here are the finalists, selected from 2,500 entries

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Categories: News

Former Google SVP prefers iPhone over Android for mobile photography

DP Review News - Mon, 31/07/2017 - 15:55

Vic Gundotra was an SVP of engineering at Google for almost eight years before leaving the company in 2014, and heavily involved in running Google's mobile initiatives. However, despite being one of the main drivers behind Android from 2007 to 2010, Gundotra appears to prefer Apple's iPhones over Android devices, at least for photography.

In a Facebook post, Gundotra called the results of the background-blurring iPhone 7 Plus portrait mode "stunning" and "the end of the DSLR for most people". When replying to comments on the post he went on the say that, in terms of imaging, Android phones were years behind the iPhone:

Here is the problem: It's Android. Android is an open source (mostly) operating system that has to be neutral to all parties. This sounds good until you get into the details. Ever wonder why a Samsung phone has a confused and bewildering array of photo options? Should I use the Samsung Camera? Or the Android Camera? Samsung gallery or Google Photos?

It's because when Samsung innovates with the underlying hardware (like a better camera) they have to convince Google to allow that innovation to be surfaced to other applications via the appropriate API. That can take YEARS.

Also the greatest innovation isn't even happening at the hardware level - it's happening at the computational photography level. (Google was crushing this 5 years ago - they had had "auto awesome" that used AI techniques to automatically remove wrinkles, whiten teeth, add vignetting, etc... but recently Google has fallen back).

Apple doesn't have all these constraints. They innovate in the underlying hardware, and just simply update the software with their latest innovations (like portrait mode) and ship it.

Bottom line: If you truly care about great photography, you own an iPhone. If you don't mind being a few years behind, buy an Android.

Apple's portrait mode doesn't come without its limitations, but it's probably fair to say among all the various incarnations of depth or bokeh effects we have seen so far it is the best performing. On the other hand some Android smartphones, such as the Google Pixel or HTC U11, offer an advantage over the latest iPhone models in terms of detail resolution and textures.

So, like with so many things, the smartphone camera that is best for you depends a lot on your personal requirements. Vic Gundotra definitely seems to have made his mind up, though. In another post he says he "would NEVER buy an Android phone again if I cared about photography." Do you agree? Let us know in the comments.

Categories: News

Leica releases TL2 firmware update, fixes critical Visoflex bug

DP Review News - Mon, 31/07/2017 - 15:05

Last week, Leica confirmed that the newly-released Leica TL2 had a serious issue: when used with the company's Visoflex electronic viewfinder, the camera could simply stop working... permanently. Fortunately, the company has come up with (and rigorously tested) a firmware update that will fix the issue.

The new firmware, version 1.1, is available to download from Leica's website now, and it fixes the 'defect' the company described in its original notice to customers. If you own a TL2 and Visoflex viewfinder, consider this update mandatory, not optional.

Here is the official statement from Leica:

Important Information for Leica TL2

The fault when using the Leica TL2 together with the external electronic viewfinder (Visoflex) has been identified.

In order to rectify this defect, an updated Firmware can now be downloaded now from the Leica Corporate Website and at your local authorized Leica Dealer. With the new Firmware 1.1 the Leica TL2 is fully functional; camera and viewfinder can be used without any restrictions.

We thank you for your continued trust.

Categories: News

Best photos of the day: mass swimming, a shooting star and high divers

A selection of photo highlights from around the world, including high divers in Bosnia and a shooting star in Canada

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Categories: News

DPReview on TWiT: How to take macro photographs

DP Review News - Mon, 31/07/2017 - 11:00

DPReview has partnered with the TWiT Network (named after its flagship show, This Week in Tech) to produce a regular segment for The New Screen Savers, a popular weekend show hosted by technology guru Leo Laporte.

On this week's episode of The New Screen Savers, the hosts discussed emojis, action cameras and Macro photography. DPReview editor Barney Britton spoke to Leo Laporte and Jason Snell about how to get great closeup pictures, without breaking the bank. We'd recommend watching the whole episode, but if you're especially interested in macro photography tips (or if you're Barney's mum) jump to 43:00 for the beginning of our segment.

You can watch The New Screen Savers live every Saturday at 3pm Pacific Time (23:00 UTC), on demand through our articles, the TWiT website, or YouTube, as well as through most podcasting apps.

Categories: News

International Garden Photographer of the Year macro art winners – in pictures

Photographic competition awards a special prize for close-up pictures, with photographers encouraged to capture the world of plants and gardens in miniature, while showcasing the beauty and complexity of nature

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Categories: News

Unseen David Bowie – in pictures

In 1967, a wide-eyed 20-year-old posed for the cover of his debut album. It failed to chart and Gerald Fearnley’s photoshoot with David Bowie remained hidden – until now

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Categories: News

Photographer finds film in 1929 Zeiss Ikon camera, here are the developed photos

DP Review News - Sun, 30/07/2017 - 17:00

When photography enthusiast Martijn van Oers stumbled upon an original 1929 Zeiss Ikon 520/2 medium-format camera at a second-hand store, he didn't expect to find an old roll of used film inside. The film, marked only with the word 'EXPOSÉ,' was made between the 1940s and 1970s, and the roll didn't provide any clues about what lay hidden inside.

As Oers explains in a recent post on Bored Panda, the roll of film was successfully developed with the help of his friend Johan Holleman. Only four of the resulting photos contained enough detail to discern anything about the film's history, but it was proven enough. Operating on a tip from a contact, Oers compared the photos to Google Street View imagery and determined that they were likely taken in the French city Biarritz.

Oers shared scans of the photos with the public; two elderly individuals, one man and one woman, are visible in them, though both people remain unidentified.

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He also shared photos of the folding camera itself, and the process by which the shots were developed:

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We spoke to Oers briefly, and he seemed thrilled by his find and all of the attention the photos were getting. And while you might think he plans to put the camera on a shelf as a memento, that's not actually the case. He tells us that, while he normally prefers to shoot Nikon, he plans to start using the 1929 Zeiss Ikon camera as well.

Check out the final images and behind the scenes shots in the galleries above, and then head over to Instagram to see more of Oers work.

All photos courtesy of Martijn van Oers and used with permission.

Categories: News

Best photos of the day: sunrise and samurai racing

The Guardian’s picture editors bring you a selection of photo highlights from around the world, including samurai horse racing in Japan, election campaigning in Rwanda, cosplay in Hong Kong and a sunrise in Egypt

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Categories: News

Beautiful images from the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist

DP Review News - Sun, 30/07/2017 - 11:00
Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist

A Battle We Are Losing © Haitong Yu (China)

The Milky Way rises ominously above a small radio telescope from a large array at Miyun Station, National Astronomical Observatory of China, in the suburbs of Beijing. The image depicts the ever-growing light pollution we now experience, which together with electromagnetic noise has turned many optical and radio observatories near cities both blind and deaf – a battle that inspired the photographer’s title of the shot. The image used a light pollution filter (iOptron L-Pro) and multiple frame stacking to get the most of the Milky Way out of the city light.

The Royal Museums Greenwich has announced the shortlist for its ninth annual Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition. Thousands of entries were received from over 90 countries; winners will be announced on September 14th.

Here are just a handful of the more than 130 images that made the shortlist – head to the Royal Museums Greenwich site to learn more about the competition.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist

A Brief Rotation of Mount Olympus © Avani Soares (Brazil)

A series photos of Mars taken between 1 June and 3 July 2016 showing Mount Olympus in three different positions. Mount Olympus also known as Olympus Mons is the tallest volcano in the Solar System. The features on the surface of Mars as seen from Earth change rapidly, as seen in the contrast between the central photo, made during the opposition (when Mars is at its closest to the Earth), and the photo on the left, taken 33 days later.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist

An Icy Moonscape © Kris Williams (UK)

A lone stargazer sits atop the peak of Castell-Y-Gwynt (Castle of the Winds) on Glyder Fach Mountain in Snowdonia, North Wales, beneath a starry night sky during freezing temperatures in mid-winter. The lunar-like landscape was formed through a process called freeze-thaw weathering: water seeps into cracks in the rock, freezing and expanding as ice forms, eventually cracking the rock over hundreds and thousands of years.

Despite the full cloud and fog on the night the photographer set up his one-man tent in the snow and began the long wait of 15 hours of darkness in -10°C temperatures but the sky clearing for a mere 20 minutes, was all the time needed to capture this shot.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist

Aurora over Svea © Agurtxane Concellon (Spain)

The purples and greens of the Northern Lights radiate over the coal mining city of Svea, in the archipelago of Svalbard. The earthy landscape below the glittering sky is illuminated by the strong lights of industry at the pier of Svea.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist

Beautiful Trømso © Derek Burdeny (USA)

The aurora activity forecast was low for this evening, so the photographer remained in Tromsø rather than driving to the fjord. The unwitting photographer captured Nature’s answer to a stunning firework display as the Northern Lights dance above a rainbow cast in the waters of the harbour in Trømso made for a spectacular display, but did not realize what he had shot until six months later when reviewing his images.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist

Crescent Moon over the Needles © Ainsley Bennett (UK)

The 7% waxing crescent Moon setting in the evening sky over the Needles Lighthouse at the western tip of the Isle of Wight. Despite the Moon being a thin crescent, the rest of its shape is defined by sunlight reflecting back from the Earth’s surface.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist

Eastern Prominence © Paul Andrew (UK)

A large, searing hedgerow prominence extends from the surface of the Sun on 29 August 2016. There are a number of different prominence types that have been observed emanating from the Sun, and the hedgerow prominence is so called due the grouping of small prominences resembling rough and wild shrubbery.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist

Fall Milk © Brandon Yoshizawa (USA)

The snow-clad mountain in the Eastern Sierras towers over the rusty aspen grove aligned perfectly in front of it, whilst our galaxy the Milky Way glistens above.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist

Ghostly Sun © Michael Wilkinson (UK)

The Sun photographed in Calcium-K light, depicting the star’s inner chromosphere. In the colour-rendering scheme used, the surface is shown as negative, with the sunspots as bright spots, but the area outside the limb is shown with increased contrast, highlighting a surge on the western limb, and several small prominences. Although the Sun is shown entering a quieter phase, a lot of activity is still taking place, illustrating just how dynamic our star is.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist

Hustle and Peaceful © Prisca Law (Hong Kong)

Taken from The Peak, the highest mountain on Hong Kong Island, the image shows the hustle and bustle of the city in contrast to the peaceful starry sky. The haze above the beautiful landscape reminds us that light pollution prevents us from enjoying an even more stunning sky view. Along the coastline the sharp, vibrant light signifies the fast-paced life of cities that many of us have become accustomed to.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist

Ignite the Lights © Nicolas Alexander Otto (Germany)

After a long hike from his small cabin to Kvalvika, Lofoten Islands in Norway, the photographer arrived at the slopes above the beach around midnight. During the hike the auroral display was relatively weak, but when he made it to the beach the sky ignited in a colourful spectacle of greens and purples framed by the mossy, green landscape. The image is stacked from six different exposures to combat high ISO and thermal noise in the foreground. The sky was added from one of these exposures.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist

ISS Daylight Transit © Dani Caxete (Spain)

The International Space Station (ISS) whizzes across the dusky face of the Earth’s natural satellite, the Moon, whilst photographed in broad daylight. Shining with a magnitude of -3.5, the ISS was illuminated by the Sun at a height of 9º on the horizon. Like the Moon, the ISS receives solar rays in a similar way during its 15 orbits of the Earth a day, making it possible to see it when the Sun is still up. This is a real shot, with no composite or clipping in the process.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist

Moon Rise Reflections © Joshua Wood (New Zealand)

An unexpected shot of the Moon rising over the glistening ocean off the Wairarapa coast, bearing a remarkable resemblance to the Sun. As the photographer was capturing the sunset over Castlepoint, he looked over his shoulder to see the Moon rising behind, reflecting off the wide expanse of the Pacific Ocean, and it became the new subject of his image.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist

Mr Big Dipper © Nicholas Roemmelt (Denmark)

A stargazer observes the constellation of the Big Dipper perfectly aligned with the window of the entrance to a large glacier cave in Engadin, Switzerland. This is a panorama of two pictures, and each is a stack of another two pictures: one for the stars and another one for the foreground, but with no composing or time blending.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist

Near Earth Object 164121 (2003 YTI) © Derek Robson (UK)

On 31 October 2016, Near Earth Asteroid 164121 (2003 YT1) made a close encounter with Earth at 3 million miles. This Apollo asteroid with an orbital period of 427 days was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey on 18 December 2003. The photographer’s first attempt at imaging the asteroid was done with a camera on a fixed tripod, controlled by Astrophotography Tool software.

The asteroid moved so fast I could see it moving on the live screen. The negative image is a stack of 56 cropped images created using PIPP and Deep Sky Stacker software and was processed with IrfanView and Photoshop for scientific content rather than cosmetic appearance.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist

NGC 2023 © Warren Keller (USA)

Lying in the constellation of Orion, at a distance of 1467 light years from our planet is the emission and reflection nebula NGC 2023. Most often photographed next to the famous Horsehead Nebula, the photographer has instead given NGC 2023 the spotlight in order to try and bring out all of the wonderful detail seen across its diameter of 4 light years, making it one of the largest reflection nebulae ever discovered. Partner Steve Mazlin is the lead processor on this one for SSRO.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist

NGC 7331 – The Deer Lick Group © Bernard Miller (USA)

NGC 7331 is an unbarred spiral galaxy found some 40 million light years away from Earth, in the constellation Pegasus. Of the group of galaxies known as the Deer Lick Group, NGC 7331 is the largest, and can be seen dominating the image whilst the smaller galaxies NGC 7335, NGC 7336, NGC 7337, NGC 7338 and NGC 7340 drift above it.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist

Orion’s Gaseous Nebula © Sebastien Grech (UK)

Lying 1,300 light years away from Earth, the Orion Nebula is found in Orion’s Sword in the famous constellation named after the blade’s owner. The Orion Nebula is one of the most photographed and studied objects in the night sky due to the intense activity within the stellar nursery that sees thousands of new stars being created, which also makes it a relatively easy target for beginners. The nebula is thought to measure about 24 light years across and have a mass 2000 times that of our Sun.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist

Reflection © Beate Behnke (Germany)

The reflection in the wave ripples of Skagsanden beach mirrors the brilliant green whirls of the Aurora Borealis in the night sky overhead. To obtain the effect of the shiny surface, the photographer had to stand in the wave zone of the incoming flood, and only when the water receded very low did the opportunity to capture the beautiful scene occur.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist

Scintillating Sirius © Steve Brown (UK)

The seemingly pop art inspired canvas of the rainbow of colours exhibited by the brightest star in our sky, Sirius. These colours are obvious to the naked eye and more so through the eyepiece of a telescope, but are difficult to capture in an image. To do this the photographer had to somehow ‘freeze’ each colour as it happened by taking a series of videos at different levels of focus and then extracted the frames from each video to make up this composite image.

By capturing the star out of focus, the light from Sirius was spread out over a larger area, which resulted in the colours it displayed being more obvious. The image is made up of 782 different frames at different levels of focus. There is a single frame of a focused Sirius in the centre of the image.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist

Sh2-249 Jellyfish Nebula © Chris Heapy (UK)

Lying in the constellation of Gemini, IC443 is a galactic supernova remnant, a star that could have exploded as many as 30,000 years ago. Its globular appearance has earned the celestial structure the moniker of the Jellyfish Nebula. Pictured to the upper left of the Jellyfish Nebula is a much fainter background area of nebulosity, which is actually a large cloud of mostly molecular hydrogen gas and dust.. ‘The Jellyfish’ is a convoluted tangle of gaseous filaments rapidly expanding away from the initial explosion.

Professional observatory data shows that what we are actually seeing are two lobes superimposed on each other, but from this angle one appears as the head of the jellyfish (to the left) and the other lobe (to the right) as the dangling tentacles. It is illuminated by a few young blue embedded stars and criss-crossed by tendrils of dark dust clouds lying between us and the bright nebula.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist

Shooting Star and Jupiter © Rob Bowes (UK)

A shooting star flashes across the sky over the craggy landscape of Portland, Dorset, as the planet Jupiter looks on. The image is of two stacked exposures: one for the sky and one for the rocks.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist

Solar Trails above the Telescope © Maciej Zapior (Poland)

Taken with a solargraphy pinhole camera, the image charts the movement of the Sun over the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague with an exposure of half a year (21 December 2015–21 June 2016). As a photosensitive material, regular black-and-white photographic paper without developing was used, and after exposure the negative was scanned and post-processed using a graphic program (colour and contrast enhancement).

The exposure time was from solstice to solstice, thus recording the solar trails above the telescope dome and the rainbow of colours of the trails are the result of the sensitivity of the paper changing as it is exposed to different temperatures and humidity.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist

Star Track in Kawakarpo © Zhong Wu (China)

The stars beam down on to the Meili Snow Mountains, also known as the Prince Snow Mountains - the highest peaks in the Yunnan Province, China. It is world-renowned for its beauty and is one of the most sacred mountains in Tibetan Buddhism. The moonlight striking the top of the mountains appears to give them an ethereal quality.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist

Starburst Galaxy M82 © Bernard Miller (USA)

The starburst galaxy M82, also known as the Cigar Galaxy, gleams five times brighter than our galaxy lies some 12 million light years away from Earth in the constellation of Ursa Major. In a show of radiant oranges and reds, the superwind bursts out from the galaxy, believed to be the closest place to our planet in which the conditions are similar to that of the early Universe, where a plethora of stars are forming.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist

Super Moon © Giorgia Hofer (Italy)

The magnificent sight of the Super Moon illuminating the night sky as it sets behind the Marmarole, in the heart of the Dolomites in Italy. On the night of 14 November 2016, the Moon was at perigee at 356.511 km away from the centre of Earth, the closest occurrence since 1948. It will not be closer again until 2034. On this night, the Moon was 30% brighter and 14% bigger than other full moons.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist

The Blue Hour © Tommy Eliassen (Norway)

The setting crescent Moon and Mars gaze over Saltfjellet, Norway as the Northern Lights appear to emanate from the snowy landsape. The Aurora Borealis were an unexpected guest in the shot as the Sun was only about ten degrees under the horizon meaning the early display came as a surprise.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist

The Lost Hour © Andrew Whyte (UK)

The radiant, concentric star trails seemingly spinning over a lone stargazer against the glowing purples and pinks of the night sky during the hour when the clocks ‘spring forward’ to begin British Summer Time. With time so intrinsically linked to celestial activity, a one-hour star trail seemed the perfect metaphor. Through the use of long exposures, the trails depict the rotation of the Earth on its axis centring on the north celestial pole, the sky moving anti-clockwise around this point.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist

The Road Back Home © Ruslan Merzlyakov (Latvia)

Noctilucent clouds stretch across the Swedish sky illuminating a motorcyclist’s ride home in this dramatic display. Noctilucent clouds are the highest clouds in the Earth’s atmosphere and form above 200,000 ft. Thought to be formed of ice crystals, the clouds occasionally become visible at twilight when the Sun is below the horizon and illuminates them.

Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017 shortlist

Winter Ice Giant Uranus © Martin Lewis (UK)

The distant ice giant Uranus, the seventh furthest planet from the Sun, some 2.6 billion kilometres (at its closest) away from our own planet is entered into the competition for the first time. Found in the constellation of Pisces, here it can be seen surrounded by its five brightest moons: Ariel, Miranda, Umbriel, Titania and Oberon.

Taken on an exceptionally still night in late December, an infrared filter was used to further improve the viewing and to bring out the planet's belt and cloud details. As the planet lies so far away and appears so dim to us on Earth, Uranus seems to be tiny at 3.7-arcseconds across.

Categories: News

Shine a light: readers' photos on the theme of dazzling

For last week’s photography assignment in the Observer New Review we asked you to share your photos on the theme of dazzling via GuardianWitness. Here’s a selection of our favourites

  • Share your photos on this week’s theme ‘rain’ by clicking the button below
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Categories: News

Your pictures: share your photos on the theme of 'rain'

Wherever you are in the world, this week we’d like to see your pictures on the theme ‘rain’

The next theme for our weekly photography assignment in the Observer New Review is ‘rain.’ Share your photos of what rain means to you – and tell us about your image in the description box.

The closing date is Thursday 3 August at 10am. We’ll publish our favourites in The New Review on Sunday 5 August and in a gallery on the Guardian site.

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Categories: News

Selfies in church? It’s not really the end of the world | Barbara Ellen

The Guardian on Photography Technology - Sun, 30/07/2017 - 00:05

Be charitable, at least these tourists are exhibiting curiousity

Priests at Oxford’s University Church of St Mary the Virgin, the UK’s most visited parish church, have complained about tourists taking selfies, making too much noise, being unaware that they’re in a House of God and having the attitude: “Photo or it didn’t happen.”

I sympathise if the tourists are disturbing worshippers – it can’t be easy communing with God with people pouting furiously up at their iPhones, trying to be more photogenic than the Virgin Mary. Recently, I was at the Vatican and it was notable how many people disobeyed the Sistine Chapel’s “no photography” rule. One guy had an ingenious technique involving sliding his phone up through the neck of his T-shirt.

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Categories: News

Feline fronds: when cats and plants collide – in pictures

Since 2008, Chicago-based artist Stephen Eichhorn has been making surprising cat collages, drawing inspiration from his overflowing collection of houseplant guides and books about cats. “There was a quirkiness and humour to the still life compositions of the house plants that the cat photos shared,” he says. “It made sense to combine them.” Focusing his collages on flowers one week and succulents the next, over the past decade he has hand-crafted several hundred pieces, now collected in his debut book, Cats & Plants. “There’s usually something about the expression or pose of the cat that dictates the direction of the collage,” says Eichhorn. “The collage-making itself is very spontaneous.”

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Categories: News

Photo of the week: Point of Transition

DP Review News - Sat, 29/07/2017 - 17:00

At the end of the Tsauchab Dune Valley in Namibia is the famous Deadvlei, which was cut off from Sossusvlei—and any water source—by a low dune an estimated 700-800 years ago.

The lack of water, the arid climate and the hard wood of the Namibian Camel Thorn tree have kept the trees of Deadvlei from decomposing. The result is a collection of ghostly trees rising from a cracked white clay surface. The pan is deceptively large and offers about 50 of the oddly shaped trees to photograph.

I took this morning shot back in 2014 while scouting for my Namibia workshop. The sun was coming up behind a huge dune, gradually lighting the pan. This was the moment the light started to touch this unique tree, leaving it partly lit and partly in shade, a point of beautiful transition. The shade line can also be seen on the dune behind.

The final image was taken with my Sony a7R and Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS.

Erez Marom is a professional nature photographer, photography guide and traveler based in Israel. You can follow Erez's work on Instagram, Facebook and 500px, and subscribe to his mailing list for updates. Erez offers photo workshops worldwide.

Categories: News

I made a book of pictures of my cat, and I think it's going to make me a better photographer

DP Review News - Sat, 29/07/2017 - 11:00

Hear me out.

Many years ago I made a Blurb photo book that was beautiful, but required hours and hours of my time to get it all just right. It was an enjoyable process really, but I just don’t find I have that kind of time or patience anymore. But I love a nice photo book – what better way to get photos off your phone or hard drive and make them into something tangible?

Whatever your level of interest and
time commitment, there’s a photo book
service for you

In the years since I made my first book, options for would-be photo book makers have exploded. They range from time-intensive to almost totally automated. Whatever your level of interest and time commitment, there’s a photo book service for you.

The other part of this story is that I’ve been struggling with finding inspiration for my personal photography lately. It's hard to find a reason to bring a dedicated camera when I know I can get usable snapshots with my phone. Above all, I don't end up doing anything with the photos I do take. I post the stray photo to Instagram or Facebook, but that's as far as they go.

But recently, I downloaded Mosaic, an app from Mixbook that creates incredibly simple photo books out of 20 of your photos – no more, no less. You pick the photos from your camera roll, Facebook or Instagram account, put them in an order you like – and that's about it.

The photos are arranged into a mosaic (see what they did there) for your front cover, which you can 'shuffle' to re-organize, but you can't manually select how the images are arranged. Text can be added to the first page, but none on the following pages.

In trying it out I dove into my camera roll and looked for a story I could tell in 20 photos and by pure coincidence, I happened to have a large number of photos of my cat. I saw a theme emerge and began filling the pages of my book with pictures of him sleeping.

I know, I know. But you wouldn't believe this cat. He sleeps in the strangest positions, and the photos fell into a neat symmetry as I placed them on opposing pages: two photos of him curled into a donut shape in his bed, two photos of him sprawled on the floor next to his bed, for some God damn reason. The book materialized in front of my eyes, and the temptation of the 'order now' button became too great.

See what I mean? He's ridiculous.

Cats are bona-fide jerks but I'm in the part of the population that finds them irresistible against better judgement. And I know this sounds ridiculous, but my cat really does have a funny personality. One day he'll be gone, not roaming around my apartment screaming for treats and attention, and I'll have this silly little book to remember him by.

Mosaic is definitely not designed for professional photographers. For one, it only exists in app form, so it lends itself best to photos taken with your phone. You can source them from your Dropbox or a social media account, but the app certainly lacks the customization features a pro would want.

Creating a book is dead simple, and without the option to add text or captions, all emphasis is on the images and the story they tell

So Mosaic isn't really intended for 'serious photography,' but to me there's beauty in its limitations. Creating a book is dead simple, and without the option to add text or captions, all emphasis is on the images and the story they tell.

By making this book I may have unlocked a new cat lady achievement, but it also made me think about other stories I could tell in 20 photos. Open-ended photo projects feel too overwhelming to me, but the thought of assembling just 20 photos on a theme and having an easy, yet polished output mechanism for them is very appealing. Suddenly, I'm reconsidering the projects that seemed too onerous to take on. Documenting a trip or a social outing seems doable with a purpose, vision and boundaries for the final product.

Maybe this experience will help nudge me forward on a path I'm currently stalled on

Realistically, I'm not going to be making huge number of $25 photo books (plus an extra $5 for shipping). But maybe this experience will help nudge me forward on a path I'm currently stalled on. And isn't that what it's all about? At the very least, I've got one very fancy book of cat photos.

Also read: Ten ways to shake 'photographer's block' for good

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