Tag Archives: photography

Parker Solar Probe reveals dazzling image of Venus

Image of the comet NEOWISE by WISPR. Credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Naval Research Lab/Parker Solar Probe/Guillermo Stenborg

Launched in 2018, the Parker Solar Probe is a NASA mission focused on observing the Sun’s corona, zooming closer and closer to our star. The spacecraft is currently the closest object to the sun made by humans and it’s already shown us the highest resolution image of the sun, revealing insights such as the stunning solar ‘campfires‘.

When not looking at the Sun, the Parker probe is focusing on comets. On 2019 September 2, it observed the comet 322P/SOHO in its closest approach to the sun. The spacecraft detected the dust particles being ejected through 322P’s tail. In 2020, a more interesting image showed the NEOWISE comet with its double tail — the brightest comet in the northern hemisphere since. The astonishing photo of NEOWISE depicted above was made with Wide-Field Imager the instrument aboard the Solar Probe (WISPR), designed to provide images of the corona and inner heliosphere in visible light.

This time, WISPR brought us an incredible view of Venus. Parker Solar Probe is tightly intertwined with Venus, as the planet sustains the spacecraft’s orbit, and sometimes there is a good opportunity for a flyby. Scientists didn’t lose the opportunity of photographing the planet and the result was a stunning image of the Venusian surface.

Image of Venus by WISPR. Credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Naval Research Laboratory/Guillermo Stenborg and Brendan Gallagher

The shot was taken when the spacecraft was 12,380.68 km (7,693 miles).  What grabs attention first is the aura-like around the planet which makes the dark sky a little brighter. Scientists believe it is like Earth’s airglow, an emission of light caused by particles in the atmosphere. This is notoriously difficult to overcome in astronomy photography.

If you take a closer look, you will notice a darker region on the surface of the planet. This is the Aphrodite Terra, a highland area roughly as big as the African continent. It seems darker because it is cooler than the surroundings. Aphrodite Terra also features some large mountains and lava flows, which you can’t really see in this photo.

It is however possible to see streaks all around the surface, although scientists are not sure yet what they mean. There are many possibilities, they could be cosmic rays, dust reflected by sunlight or even ejected by the spacecraft itself.

The team had already taken a similar shot with the latest flyby on 2021 February 20, This time they decided to observe in the near-infrared as well. This wavelength is the one used in remote controls of your TV. It is not absorbed by dust, so will be able to see a clear image of the surface of the planet. The results will be received by the end of April, so fingers crossed for more surprising announcements from Venus.

The longest known exposure photograph ever was captured using a beer can

It took duct tape, a 500ml cider can, and Ilford Multigrade photographic paper to construct the makeshift camera. The result may look blurry, but to the trained eye, the arced lines are not an accident: they represent trails of the sun as it rose and fell, going higher in the summer and lower in the winter; 2,953 of these trails, to be precise, because that’s the exposure time of the photo: 2,953 days.

Image Credits: University of Hertfordshire.

The image was taken by Regina Valkenborgh, who began capturing it towards the end of her MA Fine Art degree at the University of Hertfordshire in 2012. Valkenborgh was interested in capturing photos without the use of modern technology. She prefers beer or cider cans to soft drinks because they’re taller and create a better image. The can is used as a pinhole camera.

She trialed exposure periods of 6 months and one year, the latter turning much different from the former. But one particular setup, she forgot about. The equipment was laid in place in 2012 at the University of Hertfordshire’s Bayfordbury Observatory. and forgotten about. The makeshift camera apparently remained static until late 2020, when it was discovered by the Observatory’s Principal Technical officer, David Campbell. — a matter of pure luck, and ironically, contradicting what Valkenborgh intended for the image (which was to spin it around and look at different parts of the sky).

“It was a stroke of luck that the picture was left untouched, to be saved by David after all these years. I had tried this technique a couple of times at the Observatory before, but the photographs were often ruined by moisture and the photographic paper curled up. I hadn’t intended to capture an exposure for this length of time and to my surprise, it had survived. It could be one of, if not the, longest exposures in existence.”

Regina Valkenborgh pictured at the University of Hertfordshire’s Bayfordbury Observatory, where she placed the camera – the ‘solar can’ beer can she is holding – in a telescope in 2012. Image credits: University of Hertfordshire.

Long exposure photography is a technique that uses a long-duration shutter speed to sharply capture the stationary elements of images while blurring, smearing, or obscuring the moving elements. Usually though, this longer period means a few seconds or at most, a few hours.

Extreme long exposure photography has been carried out before, notably by German photographer Michael Wesely, whose work includes cameras with exposures of up to 34 months. But as far as we could find, Valkenborgh’s is the longest exposure photography ever taken — and it will be hard to break her record.

The basic idea of using a pinhole is straightforward, but you need to leave the camera undisturbed for the entire duration. A single perturbation could ruin a years-long exposure photography.

Valkenborgh now works as a photography technician at Barnet and Southgate College.

Let the Olympus Image of the Year Award 2019 dazzle your imagination in these stressful times

Doing science may be hard, but it definitely pays off dividends — especially when it comes to the awesome pictures it provides.

A mix of amino acids L glutamine and beta-alanine crystallized out of an ethanol solution and photographed at 50X using polarizing filters.
Image credits Honorable Justin Zoll (U.S.A.).

The contest is run by Olympus Life Science, an optical and digital imaging manufacturer based in Germany.

And they like pretty pictures

An image of a foldable insect wing, named “a road in the sky”.
Image credits Hamed Rajabi (Germany).

For the past few years, the company has been running various types of photo competitions revolving around the beauty that can be extracted using cutting-edge imaging instruments. The images never disappoint.

Olympus has just announced the winners of its Image of the Year Award 2019, and the entries are available for the public to enjoy. Since it’s Friday and they are all excellent images, I thought we could all use to take a break from our quarantined schedules and enjoy the beauty mother nature hides among its tiniest details. First off, let’s start with the runner-ups:

Image of the ovary of a gall-inducing wasp anselmella miltoni girault showing their eggs. The image was captured with a confocal microscope.
Image credits Ming-Der Lin (Taiwan).
Different photonic crystals in insects on the elytron of the longhorned beetle Sternotomis pulchra.
Image credits Rudolf Buechi (Switzerland).

Photonic crystals are nanostructures that show a particular interaction pattern with light. Some butterflies’ wings get their iridescence and dazzling colors from the presence of such crystals on their surface.

Sweet beach, isn’t it? Nope! This is an image of green prase opal magnified through the microscope to make it look like a shoreline.
Image credits Nathan Renfro (U.S.A.).
Mouse spinal cord with green fluorescent protein expression and cleared with the CLARITY method.
Image credits Tong Zhang (China).

The Finalists

Image credits Howard Vindin (Australia).

This image of a mouse embryo created from 950 tiles stitched together won Howard Vindin, a PhD student at the University of Sydney, the Asia-Pacific regional prize.

Image credits Alan Prescott (U.K.).

This image, titled “The Mouse’s Whiskers”, shows a section through a frozen mouse’s tissues captured using fluorescent protein labels. It won the Europe, Middle East, and Africa regional prize.

Image credits Tagide deCarvalho (U.S.A.).

This image won the Americas regional prize and it is incredibly cute. The image showcases the inside of a tardigrade with colorful details. Isn’t it just so plump?

And now, the overall winner:

A brightly-colored fluorescence image showcasing a section through a mouse brain captured with a super-resolution confocal microscope system.
Image credits Ainara Pintor (Spain).

Some stunning highlights from previous years

Fluorescence image showing a marine snail shell covered in algae and cyanobacteria. First prize in 2018.
Image credits Håkan Kvanström.
Droplets of solidified dopamine captured using polarized light. Second prize in 2018.
Image credits Karl Gaff.
The intricate ‘mouth brushes’ of a mosquito larva seen through interference contrast microscopy. Third prize in 2018.
Image credits Johann Swanepoel.

If you need a fill of pretty and amazing science photographs, Olympus runs a pretty sweet Instagram page you should check out, and entries from their previous contests can be seen on their site here (after some scrolling down). They have also made the images available as wallpapers so you can enjoy them on your device or — for the fancy amongst you — draped over your walls.

For a less zoomed-in appreciation of natural beauty you can take a look at the “Capturing Ecology” competition, the “Nikon Small World” contest, Alexey Kljatov’s brilliant depiction of snowflakes or, of course, The libraries of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Smithsonian, and that of The Biodiversity Heritage Library (which have been made public).

If you’re rather looking for some peace and quiet, these pictures of the surface of Moon and Mars might do just the trick for you. If peace is what you’re after but quite definitely isn’t, researchers at Cornell University’s Lab of Ornithology have made a huge library of animal sounds free to use for anyone interested.

Beautiful ‘Capturing Ecology’ photo competition winners announced

Every year, the British Ecological Society (BES) runs the ‘Capturing Ecology’ photo competition to “celebrate the diversity of ecology”. This year’s finalists have just been announced and they definitely delivered on that goal. So let’s take a look at the charming and sometimes adorable moments that the photographers captured on film.

Worth a thousand words

The Overall Winner of the competition was an image of a Malagasy tree boa taken by Roberto García Roa, Ph.D., an evolutionary biologist at the University of Valencia. He wanted to showcase the plight of Madagascar, whose ecosystems have suffered severe damage at the hands of human poaching and fires.

“Red Night” / Roberto García Roa.

“Unfortunately, many areas of Madagascar are suffering huge anthropic pressures including poaching and fires, and big snakes are becoming increasingly difficult to see,” Roa explained on the submission. “During my visit to Madagascar, I had the pleasure of finding this outstanding snake and photographing it. To offer a dramatic scenario reflecting the conditions that these snakes are suffering, I used an external red light as a source of light and severe blurring to capture the environment.”

Professor Richard Bardgett, President of the BES, finds the image “stunning” and deserving of the Overall Winner prize, saying it “not only captures the beauty of the Malagasy tree boa, which is endemic to the island of Madagascar, but also its vulnerability, especially to hunting and fire.”

Nilanjan Chatterjee, Ms.C. at the Wildlife Institute of India, won the Overall Student Winner award for his picture titled Flames in Flumes, showing a plumbeous water redstart waiting for its hapless prey by a cascade.

“Flames in Flumes” / Nilanjan Chatterjee.
“Autumn Texture” / Mikhail Kapychka.

Kapychka’s photograph of a birch forest in the autumn is the Overall Runnerup of the competition.

Up Close and Personal

A category aimed at “displaying the intricacy of nature using close-up or macro photography.”

“Fluorescence” / Roberto García Roa.

Not content with simply winning outright, Roa also claimed the Up Close and Personal award with this picture of a fluorescent scorpion glowing under UV light. Don’t worry, the scorpion wasn’t the end of him — either in real life or in this competition.

Khristian Valencia won the Student award in this category with the picture below. The frog he captured “exhibits one of its less common morphs” of the species.

“Harlequin” / Khristian V. Valencia.

Dynamic Ecosystems

This category rewarded images that “demonstrat[e] interactions between different species within an ecosystem”

Roa claimed this award with this picture Small Warrior. It showcases a Malayan spider taking on an ant several times its size — and winning.

“Small Warrior” / Roberto García Roa.

The student award in this category went to Pablo Javier Merlo from the Universidad Nacional de Córdoba. Are You Seeing the Same as Me? shows a domestic cow and a chimango — a relative species of the falcon — pondering something over a breathtaking visage of the Beagle Channel (the southernmost tip of South America). I don’t know what they’re meditating on, but this is my personal favorite entry in the competition.

“Are You Seeing the Same as Me?” / Pablo Javier Merlo.

Individuals and Populations

“A unique look at a species in its environment, either alone or as part of a population” was the subject of this category.

The winner here was Felix Fornoff from the University of Freiburg with Sleeping Still. The image shows leafcutter bee offspring developing in intricate nests of several leaven layers constructed by adult bees.

“Sleeping Still” / Felix Fornoff.

The Student prize in this category was awarded to Khristian Valencia from the University of Antioquia, Colombia. Watchful shows a dazzling black-and-white snake fixing its gaze on its (soon-to-be-caught) prey.

“Watchful” / Khristian V. Valencia.

People and Nature

Looking for “an interesting and original take on the relationships between people and nature,” the award in this category went to Andrew Whitworth a Ph.D at the University of Glasgow and a member of the Osa Conservation group, for Why Did the Sloth Cross the Road?.

The photograph shows a female three-toed sloth navigating a busy road — luckily, she was spotted by the driver of an oncoming truck and everybody lived to see another day.

“Why Did the Sloth Cross the Road?” / Andrew Whitworth.

Gergana Daskalova, a student at the University of Edinburgh, Thawing Away, A human silhouette is dwarfed by the size of a retrogressive thaw slump on Qikiqtaruk-Herschel Island in Canada. The shifts resulting from these slumps can echo through the whole ecosystem. This photo was taken on an expedition supported by the National Geographic Society.

“Thawing Away” / Gergana Daskalova.

Ecology in Action

Molly Penny at the University of the West of England won this category for best “showcasing the practice of ecology in action” with The Rhino’s Annual Haircut. This annual procedure is protects the animals from poaching.

“Rhinos Annual Haircut” / Molly Penny.

Gergana Daskalova at the University of Edinburgh won the student prize in this category for capturing how drones are helping us better map climate change with Capturing Tundra Vegetation Change.

“Capturing tundra vegetation change” / Gergana Daskalova.

The Art of Ecology

The final category asked for “a creative and original take on photography denoting ecology”. Peter Hudson from Penn State University won with a picture of a heart-shaped flock of flamingos over Lake Magadi.

“For the Love of Flamingoes” / Peter Hudson.

Sanne Govaert from Ghent University captured a tiny, dew-laden Mycena spp. mushroom growing inside a rotten tree trunk.

“Teeny Tiny World” / Sanne Govaert.

Photographing the unseen: Winners of Nikon Small World 2017

Nikon just announced the winners of the 2017 Small World Photomicrography Competition and the entries are simply stunning. The contest invites everybody to submit their photos, as long as they are taken under the microscope. More than 2,000 entries were received this year, from participants spread across 88 countries in 2017. Here are some of them.

The 12th place winner shows a closeup of the eye of an Opiliones (daddy longlegs) magnified 20x. By Charles Krebs, Issaquah, Washington.

The big winner, submitted by Dr. Bram van den Broek, Andriy Volkov, Dr. Kees Jalink, Dr. Reinhard Windoffer & Dr. Nicole Schwarz. Immortalized human skin cells (HaCaT keratinocytes) expressing fluorescently tagged keratin, 40x.

2nd Place: A Senecio vulgaris (a flowering plant) seed head, magnified 2x. By Dr. Havi Sarfaty, Yahud-Monoson, Israel.

11th place shows an image of plastic fracturing on a credit card hologram, magnified 10x. By Steven Simon, Grand Prairie, Texas.

Image of Distinction: Nsutite and Cacoxenite (minerals), magnified 5x. By Emilio Carabajal Márquez, Madrid, Spain.

Image of Distinction: A natural bridge (petiole nodes) connecting the abdomen and thorax of an ant, magnified 5x. By Can Tunçer, Izmir, Turkey.

5th Place: Mold on a tomato magnified 3.9x. By Dean Lerman, Netanya, Israel.

Honorable Mention: A Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) cross section showing curved stigma with pollen, magnified 25x. Dr. Robert Markus, Nottingham, United Kingdom.

Image of Distinction: A group of rotifers magnified 20x. Frank Fox, Konz, Germany.

The 4th place winner shows the everted scolex (head) of a Taenia solium (tapeworm), magnified 200x. Teresa Zgoda, Rochester, New York.

18th place shows Synapta (sea-cucumber) skin magnified 100x. Christian Gautier, Le Mans, France

Image of Distinction: Moth eggs in spider silk, magnified 16x. Walter Piorkowski, South Beloit, Illinois.

National Geographic chooses winners for their 2017 Travel Photographer of the Year — and they’re stunning

Judges chose this amazing photo of an erupting volcano hit by a bolt of lightning as the winner.

Grand Prize, and 1stPrize. Photo and caption by Sergio Tapiro Velasco/ National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year.

Right when we think we’ve seen it all, the National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year stuns us with more and more awesome images. This year, out of more than 15,000 entries, the winner is this masterpiece by Sergio Tapiro Velasco, who photographed the eruption of the Colima Volcano in Mexico on December 13th, 2015. That night, the weather was dry and cold, friction of ash particles generated a big lightning of about 600 meters that connected ash and volcano, providing the necessary illumination for the photo. This earned him a 10-day trip for two to the Galápagos Archipelago with National Geographic Expeditions.

Here are some of the other winners for their respective categories.

Cities

Image credits: Norbet Fritz / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year.

The beautiful library in Stuttgart sports a modern and minimalist design. It’s a place where you can expand your knowledge in an attractive and relaxing setup.

Image credits: Andy Yeung / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year.

The Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong was one of the densest populated places on Earth, with hundreds of houses stacked on top of each other enclosed in the center of the structure. Much of it was demolished in the 1990s, but the city is more alive than ever, as can be seen here.

Image credits: Misha De-Stroyev / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year.

The football field in Henningsvær in the Lofoten Islands is without a doubt one of the most impressive in the world. Barely enough space to do anything, but people want their football.

Nature

Aside from the grand prize (presented at the beginning of the article), these are the other winners.

Image credits: Hiromi Kano/ National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year.

These flying swans took the second prize in Nature, and it’s easy to understand why.

Image credits: Tarun Sinha/ National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year.

The photo was taken in Costa Rica. While Sinha was crossing a bridge, he could see 35 giant crocodiles. He captured the stark difference between the ones hidden in the water and the ones who emerged, showing their tremendous size.

Image credits: Reynold Riksa Dewantara / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year.

This photo of Mount Bromo, an active cinder cone on Java, Indonesia, was an Honorable Mention, though it could have won just as easily.

People

Image credits: F.Dilek Uyar / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year.

A moment that appears to be trapped in time — the ‘dance’ of the Whirling Dervishes is called Sema and is a symbol of the Mevlevi culture. The Dervish are a Muslim order who have taken vows of poverty and austerity.

Image credits: Julius Y. / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year.

It was a curious moment at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, as visitors and the people in this Rembrandt painting appeared to carefully study each other.

Image credits: Rodney Bursiel / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year.

Bursiel says all the surfing photos have been already done, so you need to get a bit creative with your surfing photos. He was looking for new angles that make you look twice. I’d say it worked out amazingly for him.

Deliciously funny finalists from the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards 2016

Photo by Gil Gofer.

We all know the classical wildlife photography shots: majestic tigers, glorious elephants, dazzling landscapes. But nature isn’t only about that – nature can be funny too. So while photography may be a serious matter, every year, the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards celebrate the wild and the fluffy, the cute and the hilarious animals which we see too rarely.

Founded by two passionate wildlife photographers, the awards are not only about the laughs, though: “way more importantly, this competition is about conservation,“ organizers told Bored Panda. They’re working with Born Free Foundation, a conservation charity which attempts to protect wildlife. Here are some of the best photos of this year:

Photo by Angela Bohlke.

Photo by Adam Parsons.

Photo by Philip Marazzi.

Photo by Perdita Petzl.

Photo by Mario Gustavo Fiorucci.

Photo by Artyom Krivosheev.

Photo by Ashish Inamdar.

Photo by Henrik Spranz.

Photo by Tom Stables.

Photo by Anup Deodhar.

Photo by Patricia Bauchman.

 

Nat Geo showcases the beauty of nature, one picture at a time

Photographers everywhere, clean your lens and get the tripods out because the 2016 National Geographic Natural Photographer of the Year competition is in full swing.

National Geographic has become almost synonymous with quality photographing. The images their magazine showcases are nothing short of breathtaking, lending a lot of weight to the articles they accompany. Each year, the publication calls out to all photographers out there for the most amazing pieces of nature they can capture under the Natural Photographer awards.

And that time is now.

“The 2016 Nature Photographer of the Year contest is an opportunity for photographers to show us the power of nature and their love of it through their imagery,” said Sarah Leen, director of photography for National Geographic magazine and National Geographic Partners.

This year’s photographs will be judged in four categories: Landscape, Environmental Issues, Action, and Animal Portraits.

“The four categories of this year’s contest will give photographers a chance to capture the complexity and beauty found in the world around us. We anticipate compelling and revealing images,” added senior producer for National Geographic Travel and manager of National Geographic photo contests Sarah Polger.

The contest will end on Saturday, Nov. 4, at 12 p.m. EDT (U.S.). So while we can expect to see many more amazing shots uploaded, here are some highlights of the submissions so far. Sit back, and let’s enjoy some tiny — but beautiful — pieces of nature.

Image credits Alejandro S. / 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year. "Long exposure shot taken from the top of Fjar·rglj˙fur Canyon Trail. The the moss covered cliffs surrounding the river shows how calm and lively mother nature can truly be," Alejandro S. said.

Image credits Alejandro S. / 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year.
“Long exposure shot taken from the top of Fjaðrárgljúfur Canyon Trail. The moss covered cliffs surrounding the river shows how calm and lively mother nature can truly be,” Alejandro said.

Image credits Kim Aikawa / 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year. "While looking for alligators at a swamp in Louisiana, this beautiful little creature wanders out of the murky waters right into the morning light, pausing just long enough to capture," Aikawa said. Really good shot.

Image credits Kim Aikawa / 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year.
“While looking for alligators at a swamp in Louisiana, this beautiful little creature wanders out of the murky waters right into the morning light, pausing just long enough to capture,” Aikawa said.
Really good shot.

Image credits Lidija Kamansky / 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year. "A storm was rolling in from the west and the few of us gathered for sunrise were watching and hoping that day would break before the rains came. The moment the sun peeked above the horizon, we were hit with incredible winds and sideways driving rain. My husband jumped behind me to block the blowing sand and to try to shelter me from the wind. I kept shooting as the skies lit up, while gripping the tripod to keep it steady. This image is the result of those efforts from this memorable sunrise!"

Image credits Lidija Kamansky / 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year.
“A storm was rolling in from the west and the few of us gathered for sunrise were watching and hoping that day would break before the rains came. The moment the sun peeked above the horizon, we were hit with incredible winds and sideways driving rain. My husband jumped behind me to block the blowing sand and to try to shelter me from the wind. I kept shooting as the skies lit up, while gripping the tripod to keep it steady. This image is the result of those efforts from this memorable sunrise!” said Lidja.

Image credits Virginia Zoli / 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year. "Silence and the desert A breathtaking view of Valle de La Luna from Piedra del Coyote, San Pedro de Atacama, north of Chile."

Image credits Virginia Zoli / 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year.
Zoli captured this “breathtaking view of Valle de La Luna from Piedra del Coyote, San Pedro de Atacama, north of Chile.”

Image credits Aaron Baggenstos / 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year. Brown Bears, Katmai National Park, Alaska.

Image credits Aaron Baggenstos / 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year.
Brown Bears, Katmai National Park, Alaska.

Image credits T. King / 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year. Jellyfish.

Image credits T. King / 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year.
Jellyfish.

Image credits S. Dere / 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year. "A Snowy Owl lands on Jones Beach New York from out over the Ocean where it captured a Loon. It stands over its prey while tenderizing it with its talons."

Image credits S. Dere / 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year.
“A Snowy Owl lands on Jones Beach New York from out over the Ocean where it captured a Loon. It stands over its prey while tenderizing it with its talons,” Dere adds.

Photo and Caption by Wendy Sinclair / 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year. "An unusual and intricate spider-web shaped rice field in Cancar - Flores, Indonesia."

Image credits Wendy Sinclair / 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year.
“An unusual and intricate spider-web shaped rice field in Cancar – Flores, Indonesia,” Wendy recals.

 

I’ve left these two for last so you can compare them. We’ve at a point where we can easily choose one world or the other.

Image credits Jassen T. / 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year. "A quarter century ago, scientists warned that if we kept burning fossil fuel at current rates would melt the Arctic. The fossil fuel industry (and most everyone else in power) ignored those warnings, and what do you know: The Arctic is melting, to the extent that people now are planning to race yachts through the Northwest Passage, which until very recently required an icebreaker to navigate." New York Times, May 12, 2015. Midway-Sunset, California. Aerial photo.

Image credits Jassen T. / 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year.
“A quarter century ago, scientists warned that if we kept burning fossil fuel at current rates would melt the Arctic. The fossil fuel industry (and most everyone else in power) ignored those warnings, and what do you know: The Arctic is melting, to the extent that people now are planning to race yachts through the Northwest Passage, which until very recently required an icebreaker to navigate.” New York Times, May 12, 2015.
Midway-Sunset, California. Aerial photo.

Image credits Flamine Alary / 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year. "Early this morning we were on our way for hiking at the Bruce Peninsula National Park. The sun was rising, it was misty, eerie and we did not see very far away when suddenly these wind turbines appeared out of the mist. It was quite spectacular."

Image credits Flamine Alary / 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year.
“Early this morning we were on our way for hiking at the Bruce Peninsula National Park. The sun was rising, it was misty, eerie and we did not see very far away when suddenly these wind turbines appeared out of the mist. It was quite spectacular,” according to Alary.

I know which one I’d pick.

If you’re a photographer and would want to submit a picture to the contest, you can do so here. The entry fee is US$15 per shot.

The grand-prize winner will receive a 10-day trip for two to the Galápagos with National Geographic Expeditions and two 15-minute image portfolio reviews with National Geographic photo editors. You can see all the details and official contest rules here.

 

 

More breathtaking photography from National Geographic’s Travel contest

National Geographic’s Travel Photographer of the Year is nearing its conclusion, where the winners will be crowned. It’s not easy to decide from so many amazing photos, as you can see for yourself below. Which one is your favorite?

Gentle Giants

Photo and caption by Kathleen Cameron / National Geographic Travel Photographer of the Year Contest Gentle Giants Elephants hold onto each others tails as they walk the fields of The Crags Elephant Sanctuary, Plettenberg Bay. Location: Plettenberg Bay, Western Cape, South Africa

Photo and caption by Kathleen Cameron / National Geographic. Elephants hold onto each others tails as they walk the fields of The Crags Elephant Sanctuary, Plettenberg Bay. Location: Plettenberg Bay, Western Cape, South Africa

Mystical forest

You don't need to travel far from cities to visit Narnia. This 7 gill shark was photographed in a kelp forest just off the shore of Simonstown near Cape Town.

You don’t need to travel far from cities to visit Narnia. This 7 gill shark was photographed in a kelp forest just off the shore of Simonstown near Cape Town.

Eligible contestants can visit natgeo.com/travelphotocontest to submit photographs in any or all of three categories: Nature, People and Cities. The entry fee is $15 (USD) per photo, and there is no limit to the number of submissions per entrant. First-, second- and third-place prizes will be awarded in each category. The prizes are substantial.

Blue Lagoon

People enjoying their time in the legendary Blue Lagoon outside of Reykjavik in Iceland.

People enjoying their time in the legendary Blue Lagoon outside of Reykjavik in Iceland.

Midnight Thirst

In the still of a star lit night, buffalo cautiously approach to quench their thirst. A long exposure with light painting allows me to capture the moment forever

In the still of a star lit night, buffalo cautiously approach to quench their thirst. A long exposure with light painting allows me to capture the moment forever

Fire on the rocks!

Fire on the ROCKS!

Fire on the ROCKS!

River Delta

One of a series of aerial shots taken from a helicopter over the fabulous river deltas in South Iceland.  This one depicts one river winding its way to the ocean.  The brilliant colors are a result of mineral deposits picked up by the glacial waters as they flow towards the sea. We were lucky to shoot on a gorgeously sunny day

One of a series of aerial shots taken from a helicopter over the fabulous river deltas in South Iceland. This one depicts one river winding its way to the ocean. The brilliant colors are a result of mineral deposits picked up by the glacial waters as they flow towards the sea. We were lucky to shoot on a gorgeously sunny day

Time to go home

The youngster are having fun at the roof top of the train. There are too many people who rushing home after the Bishwa Ijtema at Tongi train station of Bangladesh.

The youngster are having fun at the roof top of the train. There are too many people who rushing home after the Bishwa Ijtema at Tongi train station of Bangladesh.

The Colourful Ho Chi Minh City

This is taken from the 12th floor of a hostel. Me and my friends were amazed how beautiful is the night view, let alone the vibrant side of Ho Chi Minh City in the morning.

This is taken from the 12th floor of a hostel. Me and my friends were amazed how beautiful is the night view, let alone the vibrant side of Ho Chi Minh City in the morning.

Rain in the desert

Over the last 7 years I had one aim - photograph rain in the driest desert of Africa. In 2015 finally I found the rain. In the breathtaking scenery of the Namibrand-Park right at the border of the Namib Naukluft Nationalpark. An enormous thunderstorm came in and the setting sun created a wonderful rainbow. The challenge was, to not have my shadow in the picture.

Over the last 7 years I had one aim – photograph rain in the driest desert of Africa. In 2015 finally I found the rain. In the breathtaking scenery of the Namibrand-Park right at the border of the Namib Naukluft Nationalpark. An enormous thunderstorm came in and the setting sun created a wonderful rainbow. The challenge was, to not have my shadow in the picture.

 

Even More Spectacular Fungi Photos by Steve Axford

In September 2014, we were telling you about Steve Axford’s spectacular mushroom photography. I was truly fascinated by the art and the insight he provides into this tiny and mysterious world. Most of his work is done on Australian fungus, and he says he likes to take pictures of things that are close to home.

“My photography has been my avenue into this world as it slows me down and allows me to look at things more closely. Most of my photography is still pictures, as you will mostly see on this site. I try to combine the beauty I see with some scientific accuracy, so most of my photos could be used to identify things and will show the fine detail,” he told us back then.

Since, he has made it his mission to document some of the world’s most unique and spectacular species. But his work is not just art – there might be some real scientific value here. Because he goes to such extreme lengths to capture the perfect photo, he suspects that many of the species he found are in fact entirely unknown to science. Hopefully, we’ll learn the truth soon, but in the meantime, we can definitely enjoy the beauty of his work.

You can find out more about him (or see some of his other pictures, fungi or non-fungi) on his smugsmug Page or on his Flickr.

winning_entry

Astronomy Photographer of Year: 2014 winning entries

Every year the Royal Observatory Greenwich, in partnership with BBC Sky at Night Magazine and Flickr, invites astrophotographers from all over the world to share their best work that captures the contest’s values: spectacular beauty of the night sky and the natural wonders of our universe. Below, you can find all the winning entries for the current edition of the Astronomy Photographer of the Year, along with honorable mentions, chosen by the jury and divided into four categories (Earth and Space, Our Solar System, Deep Space, and Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year) and three special prizes (People and Space, Robotic Scope, and the Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer).

Overall Winner / Earth and Space: Winner

winning_entry

Aurora over a Glacier Lagoon by James Woodend (UK)

Earth and Space: Runner-up

Wind Farm Star Trails by Matt James (Australia)

Wind Farm Star Trails by Matt James (Australia)

Earth and Space: Highly Commended

Totality from Above the Clouds by Catalin Beldea (Romania)

Totality from Above the Clouds by Catalin Beldea (Romania)

Earth and Space: Highly Commended

Moon Balloon by Patrick Cullis (USA)

Moon Balloon by Patrick Cullis (USA)

Earth and Space: Highly Commended

Venus-Lunar Occultation by O Chul Kwon (South Korea)

Venus-Lunar Occultation by O Chul Kwon (South Korea)

People and Space: Winner

Hybrid Solar Eclipse 2 by Eugen Kamenew (Germany)

Hybrid Solar Eclipse 2 by Eugen Kamenew (Germany)

People and Space: Runner-up

Lost Souls by Julie Fletcher (Australia)

Lost Souls by Julie Fletcher (Australia)

Deep Space: Winner

The Horsehead Nebula (IC 434) by Bill Snyder (USA)

The Horsehead Nebula (IC 434) by Bill Snyder (USA)

Deep Space: Runner-up

The Helix Nebula (NGC 7293) by David Fitz-Henry (Australia)

The Helix Nebula (NGC 7293) by David Fitz-Henry (Australia)

Deep Space: Highly Commended

Veil Nebula Detail (IC 340) by J P Metsävainio (Finland)

Veil Nebula Detail (IC 340) by J P Metsävainio (Finland)

Deep Space: Highly Commended

California vs Pleiades Rogelio by Bernal Andreo (USA)

California vs Pleiades Rogelio by Bernal Andreo (USA)

Deep Space: Highly Commended

At the Feet of Orion (NGC 1999) Full Field by Marco Lorenzi (China)

At the Feet of Orion (NGC 1999) Full Field by Marco Lorenzi (China)

Our Solar System: Winner

Ripples in a Pond by Alexandra Hart (UK)

Ripples in a Pond by Alexandra Hart (UK)

Our Solar System: Runner-up

Best of the Craters by George Tarsoudis (Greece)

Best of the Craters by George Tarsoudis (Greece)

Our Solar System: Highly Commended

Calcium K Eruption by Stephen Ramsden (USA)

Calcium K Eruption by Stephen Ramsden (USA)

Our Solar System: Highly Commended

Diamonds and Rubies by Tun Tezel (Turkey)

Diamonds and Rubies by Tun Tezel (Turkey)

Robotic Scope: Winner

NGC 3718 by Mark Hanson (USA)

NGC 3718 by Mark Hanson (USA)

The Sir Patrick Moore Prize for Best Newcomer: Winner

Coastal Stairways by Chris Murphy (New Zealand)

Coastal Stairways by Chris Murphy (New Zealand)

Young Astronomy Photographer of the Year: Winner

The Horsehead Nebula (IC 434) by Shishir and Shashank Dholakia, aged 15 (USA)

The Horsehead Nebula (IC 434) by Shishir and Shashank Dholakia, aged 15 (USA)

Fantastic Fungi: Mind Blowing Mushroom Diversity Photographed by Steve Axford

Marasmius haematocephalus mushroom

Marasmius haematocephalus

mushroom

Panus fasciatus

cup mushroom

Cup mushroom

These truly wonderful photographs were taken by Steve Axford. Let’s leave Steve describe himself:

I live in the Northern Rivers area of NSW and I am doing essentially what I like. What I like is photography and exploring the world. The world, for me, is dominated by living things and the planet we live on . My photography is an avenue into exploring this world. My interests cover everything from micro fungi to volcanoes, though more of my time now is spent with the fungi than the volcanoes.

stinkhorn mushroom

Stinkhorn mushrooms

mushroom

mushroom

Leratiomyces

mushroom

mushroom

Mycena chlorophos – a bioluminiscent mushroom.

The mushrooms he photographs look like they are not from this galaxy – let alone from this planet! Axford says that most of the mushrooms seen here were photographed around his home and are sub-tropical fungi, but many were also taken in Victoria and Tasmania and are classified as temperate fungi.

 

My photography has been my avenue into this world as it slows me down and allows me to look at things more closely. Most of my photography is still pictures, as you will mostly see on this site. I try to combine the beauty I see with some scientific accuracy, so most of my photos could be used to identify things and will show the fine detail. Recently I have started to take time lapse videos of mushrooms, and other things, growing. This adds another dimension to an already fascination world and sometimes allows a glimpse into the world of interactions between different life forms.

mushroom

Big Scrub Loop.

mushroom

Cyptotrama aspratum or Gold tuft

Mycena aff. adonis

Mycena aff adonis

He made it his mission to track down some of the world’s strangest and brilliantly diverse mushrooms and take fantastic pictures of them.

Hairy mycena

White mycena.

Orange Marasmiaceae

Favolaschia cyathia

Mauve splitting waxcap

Panus lecomtei

You can find out more about him (or see some of his other pictures, fungi or non-fungi) on his smugsmug Page or on his Flickr.

mushroom

Schizophyllum commune

Red Marasmiaceae

Mutinus boninensis

Leathery Goblet

Phillipsia subpurpurea

Orange crepidotus

 

 

 

 

Felix Salazar’s amazing pictures of aquarium corals

Felix Salazar is a very talented photographer currently working in Los Angeles — doubling as a guitarist and composer. Among his favorite themes are corals, like these ones he photographed in salt water aquariums. The shocking variety of color almost makes it look like they’re enhanced in Photoshop, but Salazar ensures that his pictures are 100% real, no modifications.

To me, this is yet another reminder that remarkable environments can be found everywhere – even in urban aquariums. You can check out these pictures and many, many more on his website.

Contrary to popular belief, corals are animals — not plants. Corals are marine invertebrates which can breed both sexually and asexually. The group has been around since the early days of the Cambrian, more than 540 million years ago, but are now in dire straits. Locally, corals suffer coral mining, agricultural and urban runoff, pollution (organic and inorganic), overfishing, blast fishing, disease, and the digging of canals and access into islands. Also, globally, corals are at a very high risk due to climate change and pH changes from ocean acidification, all associated with greenhouse gas emissions. So while you appreciate the beauty of these magnificent creatures, also spend a moment thinking about their conservation.

 

 

 

abe_lincoln

Why you look ugly in photos – and some ways to solve it

Let’s face it,  if you’re not a rare photogenic beauty or if you don’t have good photographers as friends, you most likely look terrible in photos. So, does that mean you’re ugly? If so, why is it that you look so much better when looking at yourself in the mirror? Let’s explore these questions and try to find out how we can look our best in photos.

ugly_photos

A window into a flat world

Your eyes capture the visual essence of the outside world. Simply closing your eyes and imagining what it would be like to be blind is terrifying in and of itself. But have you ever thought about what it would be like to live with only one eye? When we try to focus our view on something really small or far away, we close one of our eyes. However, there’s something missing when we utilize this technique –– it’s the stereo vision!

Human eyes come in twos, but unlike horses which have one on each side, we have both of them right in front of our heads. Thanks to the close side-by-side positioning, each eye takes a view of the same area from a slightly different angle. The two eye views have plenty in common, but they also complement each other — each eye picks up visual information the other doesn’t. You can easily see what I’m talking about by closing each of your eyes for a second and then comparing the views. So, each eye takes a separate view, but in the end, both images are combined after processing occurs in the brain. The small differences between the two images add up to a big difference in the final picture! The combined image is more than the sum of its parts: it is a three-dimensional stereo picture. The brain also ignores the nose which would have been a drag to always see for the rest of your life. Thank you, brain!

I’d recommend you follow the story of Susan Barry, a woman who, for 48 years of her life, was stuck in a flat, 2-D world.

So, the main point here is that we see in 3-D. A camera has only one eye, so photography flattens images in a way that mirrors do not. Also, depending on the focal length and distance from the subject, the lens can create unflattering geometric distortions. For instance, if a photo is taken with a short focal length (zoomed out) and at the same time the subject is also close to the camera, then you’ll get a fisheye lens effect that skews the portrait, making the nose and forehead look bigger. A good photographer knows he needs to position himself farther away and then zoom in if needed. Indeed, this amplifies the shaking effect, but keeping the camera still using a tripod does the job.

Then there’s another factor – unless your face is perfectly symmetrical, people see it differently than you do in a mirror. This is because mirror images are reversed, as opposed to what photos capture and what others see directly. Watch these two photos of Abe Lincoln below to get an idea of what this means:

abe_lincoln

Also, when looking yourself in the mirror, you have the advantage of always correcting the angle in real-time. Unconsciously, you’ll always look at yourself from a good angle. In contrast, photos always seem to catch you at a bad angle. Everybody, no matter how ugly they are, has a good (or at least, better) side.

Flash ruins everything

photo flash

Photo: all-things-photography.com

When you look at a real-life object, you have the advantage of automatically compensating for lighting as your eyes adjust to see better, while your brain also processes the image for the best contrast. When mental calibration is absent, a photo will often turn out with shades and lights that not only look unnatural but also unflattering as well. Things get a lot worse in the dark when you need to turn the flash on. The flash makes the skin look shiny and greasy and sharpens the edges of your face, making you look like a polygon troll. For your best pose, try to take photos outdoors under natural lighting. In fact, according to OK Cupid, a camera’s flash adds seven years.

The fake smile

fake smile hilary

Photo: mindthebrain.net

“Say cheese!” Oh, boy, that always ruins it. Really, whenever I have to ‘pose’ for a photo, I always wind up looking like I’m about to get my driver’s license. If someone tells you to smile for a photo, don’t do it unless you really want to. Just stay as relaxed as possible, so your face muscles won’t grind into an unnatural and unflattering pose. It’s just a photo there’s no need to become too self-conscious about it. Also, it’s best to keep your eyes open and chin up. This will get rid of double chin, up the nose shots, asymmetry caused by muscles twitching in the face, and shoulders pulled all the up to your ears and, most importantly, it will make you focus on something other than your horrible photographic past.

The instant shot

look_photos

Photo: zoznam.sk

Tests with Air Force pilots have shown that they could identify the plane on a picture that was only shown for 1/220th of a second. While most of us aren’t fighter jet pilots, we’re capable of distinguishing between minute differences in highly succeeding frames. As far as people are concerned, however, the brain doesn’t pay attention to each individual facial expression that arises from moment to moment. Instead, the brain averages these out and discards momentary deviations, so when you’re talking to another person you’re actually looking at a corrected, fluid representation of that person’s face. Imagine consciously feeling every twitch of an eye or facial muscle, with hundreds of these every second. Thank you, brain!

A camera is a lot different though. It freezes a sub-second instant in time, complete with all the deformity you wouldn’t notice in average mode. Push the shutter multiple times, and choose your best photos. Good photographers might take even hundreds of photos before settling on the perfect one.

Do photos surprise reality?

reality

Another way why photos make you look ugly is by comparison. Like we pointed out above, we’re used to seeing faces in real life that are moving in a fluid manner. Guess where you see the most photos on a day to day basis: billboards. Yup, those perfectly photoshopped faces. When you look at a photo, you’ll automatically compare it in your head with other photos you’ve seen, and most of these are of celebrities — photos of extremely graphically altered celebrities. It’s hard, but please stop comparing.

The takeaway is that you probably don’t look that bad in your photos, and you’re judging yourself too harshly. As long as you refrain from making stupid poses while taking pictures, you’re halfway to the perfect portrait.

The 2014 Smithsonian Photo Contest Finalists

© Daniel D’Auria. Finalist – Natural world.

Smithsonian has just announced the 60 finalists for their 11th Annual Photo Contest. They selected the 60 photographs out of over 50.000 entries, sent by photographers all over the world.

© Graham McGeorge. Finalist – Natural world.

They selected 10 finalists for each of their 6 categories The Natural WorldTravelPeopleAmericanaAltered Images and Mobile – which is a newly added category.

© Nicolas Reusens. Finalist – Altered images.

Everyone and anyone can vote! You can cast 1 vote here every 24 hours, so hurry up – voting is only open until May 6, 2014 at 6:00 PM ET. The winners will be announced on May 15.

© Simon Morris. Finalist – People.

Sadly, one of the entered photographers was actually stolen – it was origianlly published by Chris Bellamy in Alberta, Canada in 2010. It was of course retracted from the competition.

© Aspen Wan. Finalist – Natural world.

I really encourage you to vote! It’s one of the best photo contests in which readers get the chance to decide the winner, and the photos are indeed amazing! Definitely worth checking out.

© José De Rocco. Finalist – Natural world.

© Matthew Zheng. Finalist – Travel.

© Vo Anh Kiet. Finalist – Travel.

© Karen Lunney. Finalist – Natural World.

© Richard Masters. Finalist – Natural World.

© Mark Kaplan. Finalist – Americana.

 

 

 

Picture perfect: quick, efficient chip eliminates common flaws in amateur photographs

Your smartphone amateur photos could be instantly converted into professional-looking pictures at the touch of a button, thanks to a chip developed by MIT researchers.

The chip, built by a team at MIT’s Microsystems Technology Laboratory can perform a number of tasks, including creating a more realistic environment or enhanced lighting in a shot without destroying the scene ambience; the technology could be easily implemented not only in cameras, but also in smartphones or tablets, making it easier for everyone to take that great pic you’ve always wanted.

photography

Usually, computational photography software applications are installed into cameras and smartphones; these systems consume lots of processing power, taking a longer time to run and requiring a considerable amount of knowledge from the user. But the chip developed by Rahul Rithe, a graduate student in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science takes an entirely different approach.

“We wanted to build a single chip that could perform multiple operations, consume significantly less power compared to doing the same job in software, and do it all in real time,” Rithe says.

Perhaps the most such notable task is known as High Dynamic Range (HDR) imaging. HDR is designed to compensate for limitations on the range of brightness that can be recorded by existing digital cameras, to capture photos as vivid as we see them with our own eyes. In order to do this, the camera takes three “low dynamic range” pictures: a normal one, an overexposed (too much light) and an underexposed (too little light). It then merges all of them, creating a single photo that features the entire range of brightness in the scene, Rithe says.

Software systems typically take a few seconds to perform this operation, while the chip, even in its initial stage, can do it in much less than a second; this makes it fast enough to even apply it to video, something previously impossible, while also requiring much less CPU power.

“Typically when taking pictures in a low-light situation, if we don’t use flash on the camera we get images that are pretty dark and noisy, and if we do use the flash we get bright images but with harsh lighting, and the ambience created by the natural lighting in the room is lost,” Rithe says.

The chip also removes unwanted noise, blurring out any undesired pixel with its surrounding neighbors, so that it matches those around it. This image is also done with traditional filters, but also blurred pixels at the edges of object, resulting in a less detailed image. The power savings offered by the chip are particularly impressive, says Matt Uyttendaele, also of Microsoft Research:

“All in all [it is] a nicely crafted component that can bring computational photography applications onto more energy-starved devices,” he says.

Source

National Geographic 2012 Photography Competition winning images

” More than 22,000 entries were submitted from over 150 countries, with professional photographers and amateur photo enthusiasts across the globe participating. Photographs were submitted in three categories: people, places and nature. The competition was judged on creativity and photographic quality by a panel of experts comprised of natural history photographer Christian Ziegler and documentary photographers Gerd Ludwig and Debbie Fleming Caffery. ”

 

Photo and caption by ulrich lambert      Stilt fishing is a typical fishing technique only seen in Sri Lanka. The fishermen sit on a cross bar called a petta tied to a vertical pole planted into the coral reef. This long exposure shot shows how unstable their position is. Photo Location     Midigama, Sri Lanka

Photo and caption by Ulrich Lambert
Stilt fishing is a typical fishing technique only seen in Sri Lanka. The fishermen sit on a cross bar called a petta tied to a vertical pole planted into the coral reef. This long exposure shot shows how unstable their position is.
Midigama, Sri Lanka

 

    Photo and caption by Fransisca Harlijanto     "I was surrounded by thousands of fish that moved in synchrony because of the predation that was happening. It was an incredible experience."     Photo Location Komodo, Indonesia  download (4)

Photo and caption by Fransisca Harlijanto
“I was surrounded by thousands of fish that moved in synchrony because of the predation that was happening. It was an incredible experience.”
Komodo, Indonesia

 

Photo and caption by Nenad Saljic  The Matterhorn 4478 m at full moon.  Zermatt, Switzerland

Photo and caption by Nenad Saljic
The Matterhorn 4478 m at full moon.
Zermatt, Switzerland

 

Photo and caption by Adam Coish  Chipping ice off an iceberg is a common way for the Inuit community to retrieve fresh drinking water while on the land. During a weekend long hunting trip, we came upon this majestic iceberg frozen in place. It was a perfect opportunity to grab enough ice and drinking water for the remainder of the trip. Photo Location Pond Inlet, Nunavut, Canada

Photo and caption by Adam Coish
Chipping ice off an iceberg is a common way for the Inuit community to retrieve fresh drinking water while on the land. During a weekend long hunting trip, we came upon this majestic iceberg frozen in place. It was a perfect opportunity to grab enough ice and drinking water for the remainder of the trip.
Pond Inlet, Nunavut, Canada

Photo and caption by sanjeev bhor  Everyday in mara starts with something new and different and day ends with memorable experiences with spectacular photographs . I was very lucky of sighting and photographing Malaika the name of female Cheetah and her cub . she is well known for its habit to jump on vehicles. She learned that from her mother Kike, and Kike from her mother Amber.Like her mother she is teaching lessons to her cub . Teaching lessons means addition of another moment for tourist . This is one of the tender moment between Malaika and her cub . I was very lucky to capture that moment . Photo Location Masai mara National Reserve , Kenya

Photo and caption by Sanjeev Bhor
Everyday in mara starts with something new and different and day ends with memorable experiences with spectacular photographs. I was very lucky of sighting and photographing Malaika the name of female Cheetah and her cub. she is well known for its habit to jump on vehicles. She learned that from her mother Kike, and Kike from her mother Amber. Like her mother she is teaching lessons to her cub. Teaching lessons means addition of another moment for tourist. This is one of the tender moment between Malaika and her cub. I was very lucky to capture that moment.
Masai mara National Reserve, Kenya

Photo and caption by Ashley Vincent  The subject's name is Busaba, a well cared for Indochinese Tigress whose home is at Khao Kheow Open Zoo, Thailand. I had taken many portraits of Busaba previously and it was becoming more and more difficult to come up with an image that appeared any different to the others. Which is why I took to observing her more carefully during my visits in the hope of capturing something of a behavioural shot. The opportunity finally presented itself while watching Busaba enjoying her private pool then shaking herself dry. In all humility I have to say that Mother Nature smiled favourably on me that day! Photo Location Khao Kheow Open Zoo, Chonburi, Thailand

Photo and caption by Ashley Vincent
The subject’s name is Busaba, a well cared for Indochinese Tigress whose home is at Khao Kheow Open Zoo, Thailand. I had taken many portraits of Busaba previously and it was becoming more and more difficult to come up with an image that appeared any different to the others. Which is why I took to observing her more carefully during my visits in the hope of capturing something of a behavioural shot. The opportunity finally presented itself while watching Busaba enjoying her private pool then shaking herself dry. In all humility I have to say that Mother Nature smiled favourably on me that day!
Khao Kheow Open Zoo, Chonburi, Thailand

Photo and caption by Eric Guth  Glacial ice washes ashore after calving off the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier on Iceland's eastern coast. During the waning light of summer this image was created over the course of a 4 minute exposure while the photographer backlit the grounded glacial ice with a headlamp for 2 of those 4 minutes. Photo Location Just east of Jökulsárlón lagoon. Along Iceland's eastern coast.

Photo and caption by Eric Guth
Glacial ice washes ashore after calving off the Breiðamerkurjökull glacier on Iceland’s eastern coast. During the waning light of summer this image was created over the course of a 4 minute exposure while the photographer backlit the grounded glacial ice with a headlamp for 2 of those 4 minutes.
Just east of Jökulsárlón lagoon. Along Iceland’s eastern coast.

Photo and caption by Micheal Eastman  With his exceptional hearing a red fox has targeted a mouse hidden under 2 feet of crusted snow. Springing high in the air he breaks through the crusted spring snow with his nose and his body is completely vertical as he grabs the mouse under the snow. Photo Location Squaw Creek, Park Country, Wyoming

Photo and caption by Micheal Eastman
With his exceptional hearing a red fox has targeted a mouse hidden under 2 feet of crusted snow. Springing high in the air he breaks through the crusted spring snow with his nose and his body is completely vertical as he grabs the mouse under the snow.
Squaw Creek, Park Country, Wyoming

[Via National Geographic]