Here’s a slow motion video showing a closeup look at the human eye, our amazing biological lens (and sensor). You might be surprised at how mechanical its movements are and how fluid the iris is. Another crazy fact is that we’re continually relying on “image stabilization” to see things clearly:
The visual system in the brain is too slow to process information if the images are slipping across the retina at more than a few degrees per second. Thus, for humans to be able to see while moving, the brain must compensate for the motion of the head by turning the eyes. [#]
To see a quick demonstration of this fact, try the following experiment: hold your hand up, about one foot in front of your nose. Keep your head still, and shake your hand from side to side, slowly at first, and then faster and faster. At first you will be able to see your fingers quite clearly. But as the frequency of shaking passes about 1 Hz, the fingers will become a blur. Now, keep your hand still, and shake your head. No matter how fast you shake your head, the image of your fingers remains clear. This demonstrates that the brain can move the eyes opposite to head motion much better than it can follow, or pursue, a hand movement. When your pursuit system fails to keep up with the moving hand, images slip on the retina and you see a blurred hand. [#]
Like with cameras, our built-in image stabilization can deal with head shake but not motion blur.
Last week we shared a sneak peek at some jaw-dropping image deblurring technology currently in development at Adobe. The video wasn’t the best quality and was captured from the audience, so we didn’t get to see the example images very clearly. Adobe has now released an official video of the demo, giving us a better glimpse at what the feature can do. Read more…
We’ve featured photographs of paintings and candies captured in drops of water before, but photographer Markus Reugels‘ water drops double as planets. By photographing drops of water in front of images of Earth and the moon, he’s able to transform the liquid spheres into beautiful worlds. Read more…
Forget sending cameras up to the edges of space on a weather balloon: rockets are much, much cooler (and faster). A man named Derek Deville created a homemade rocket in an effort to win The Carmack Prize, which offers $10K to anyone who can launch a rocket to above 100K feet, take a GPS reading, and then recover the vehicle. Although he failed to take a GPS reading, Deville’s rocket managed to reach 121,000ft (~23 miles) in 84 seconds.
What’s awesome is that he also attached two HD cameras to the rocket to document what the journey looks like. The side view captured by a FlipHD starts at 2:49, while footage from a GoPro pointed straight down starts at 5:15.
As Hurricane Irene bears down on the East Coast, NASA has published a satellite photograph of Earth to its Flickr stream in which the storm is clearly visible. The storm has a diameter of 510 miles — roughly 1/3 the length of the East Coast — so it could probably be seen very clearly from someone standing on the moon. President Obama is warning Americans that the hurricane could be of “historic proportions”.
Eran Amir created this “stop-motion within a stop-motion” using 1,500 separate photographs and 500 volunteers. The massive amounts of work, creativity, and planning that this project must have required is mind-boggling.
It took Steven Silton two hours and 150 tries to capture this amazing photograph of a water drop showing an MC Escher painting.
The hardest part was focusing, in the set up picture I posted in the first comment you can see a piece of string above the eye dropper. I would let that hang down off the eye dropper and focus on that, then move it and squeeze the dropper and the shutter at almost the same time. [#]
He used a Canon 7D and 60mm macro lens, shooting at ISO 640, f/2.8, and 1/250. Read more…
The New York Times has a powerful piece about photographer Giles Duley. Duley was covering a patrol in Afghanistan back in February when he stepped on a bomb and lost an arm and both legs:
“I remember looking up and seeing bits of me and my clothes in the tree, which I knew wasn’t a good sign,” he said. “I saw my left arm. It was just obviously shredded to pieces, and smoldering. I couldn’t feel my legs, so straightaway and from what I could see in the tree, I figured they were gone.”
[...] Rather than tally what was missing, Mr. Duley counted what remained.
“I thought, ‘Right hand? Eyes?’ ” — he realized that all of these were intact — “and I thought, ‘I can work.’ ”
And work is what he plans to continue doing. Duley expects to be self-dependent within the year and to continue working as a photographer — perhaps even in Afghanistan. You can help finance Duley’s recovery and return to photography through this website.
The power of the Internet is awesome when it helps reunite people with lost photos, but it’s even cooler when it uses photos to help reconnect people with relatives. That happened recently with a 71-year-old shoe shiner in China named Shufang Zhong. Zhong’s daughter had moved to a far away city five years ago, and although they could speak on the phone, her daughter desperately wanted to see her face. The problem was, Zhong had absolutely no Internet access and no idea how to reach her daughter.
On June 24th, Zhong noticed a man using an iPad and begged him to help her search online for her daughter. There wasn’t Wi-Fi in the area, so the man snapped a photograph of Zhong instead and uploaded it to Chinese microblogging service Weibo (similar to Twitter). Within just a few hours the image had attracted news organizations, celebrities, and over 100,000 “retweets”, and on June 27 the daughter came across the photo online and saw her mother’s face for the first time in five years.