During a 2001 launch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis, NASA photographer Pat McCracken captured this amazing photograph of the shuttle’s smoke plume casting a shadow across the full moon rising in the horizon.
[...] the Sun, Earth, Moon, and rocket were all properly aligned for this photogenic coincidence. First, for the space shuttle’s plume to cast a long shadow, the time of day must be either near sunrise or sunset. Only then will the shadow be its longest and extend all the way to the horizon. Finally, during a Full Moon, the Sun and Moon are on opposite sides of the sky. Just after sunset, for example, the Sun is slightly below the horizon, and, in the other direction, the Moon is slightly above the horizon. Therefore, as Atlantis blasted off, just after sunset, its shadow projected away from the Sun toward the opposite horizon, where the Full Moon just happened to be. [#]
Talk about a one-in-a-million shot…
How’s this for a unique pet photograph? Angelo DeSantis of Berkeley, CA was photographing his cat Dexter with a Canon 5D Mark II when he snapped this once-in-a-lifetime shot that appears to show Dexter throwing a mouse. It pays to have a fast shutter finger.
Behind the Gare St. Lazare is one of French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson‘s best known photographs, and is frequently cited as an example of his “decisive moment” approach to photography. The photograph was made in 1932, but the oldest known print is dated 1946. That print will be sold at a Christie’s auction on November 11th along with 100 other signed prints, and is expected to fetch up to ~$250,000.
(via Christies via Foto Actualidad)
The 100 year anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic will come in April of next year, and auction houses are already seeing a spike in the number of artifacts from the disaster being put up for sale. Among them are a set of previously unseen photographs made the morning after the sinking, which show the rescue ships, lifeboats, and an icy Atlantic ocean.
The Nikon Lens Scope Converter is a rare accessory that attaches to the back of Nikon lenses, turning them into telescopes. You can sometimes find them listed on eBay for around $230. They’re designed for AF D-era lenses that have mechanical aperture rings, but you can “hack” your G lenses to be compatible by using a piece of plastic to keep the aperture blades in the open position.
Furthermore, you can mount the convert onto a Micro lens to make a microscope. Use it on a 105mm Micro lens, and you’ll have yourself a handheld 25x microscope!
How to convert your Nikon lens into a telescope or a microscope [Nikon Rumors]
Image credit: Photograph by Fabrizio Belardetti and used with permission
Here’s a strange (and extremely rare) piece of camera gear: the Leica Telephoto Assembly Rifle. Also known as “the Leica Gun”, it was made for photographers at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany, and became popular among wildlife and sports photographers during the interwar years. One of them will be auctioned off at the Tamarkin Rare Camera Auction on October 30th, and is expected to fetch up to $100,000.
Who knows, maybe shoulder stocks will make a comeback as a form of image stabilization.
Leica Telephoto Assembly Rifle (via Leica Rumors)
Want a wooden DSLR? If you have extremely deep pockets, nows your chance: Sigma has announced a special wood edition of its high-end SD1 DSLR, which ordinarily sells for $9,700. dpreview writes,
The ‘Wood Edition’ emphasizes the camera’s premium appeal by adding a casing made from Amboyna Burl, an expensive and decorative veneer taken from complex growths on a Southeast Asian tree. The case takes around 60 hours to cut, mill and polish.
Only ten of these cameras will be made, with each one priced at €9,999 (~$13,800).
Seeing a double rainbow is a relatively rare treat, but how about three or four rainbows? Scientists have only reported seeing triple rainbows five times over the past 250 years, but German photographer Michael Theusner was recently able to capture this first ever photograph of a fourth-order rainbow. Ordinary rainbows (first and second order) appear in the area of the sky opposite the sun (and aren’t seen in his shot), but when higher order rainbows appear, they show up on the sunward side.
Last year, U.S. Naval Academy meteorologist Raymond Lee and a colleague, Philip Laven, laid out a prediction for the conditions that would produce third-order rainbows, and they challenged rainbow-chasers to go out and find one. Among the requirements: dark thunderclouds, and either a heavy downpour or a rainstorm with nearly uniform rain droplets. If the sun broke through the clouds under these conditions, it could project a dim tertiary rainbow against the dark clouds nearby, they said. [#]
Back in May, a photographer named Michael Grossman followed this advice and succeeded in capturing the first ever photo of a third-order rainbow. Lee’s challenge and Grossman’s success are what inspired Theusner to try his hand at photographing higher order rainbows. You can find more background info on Theusner’s blog and in his recently published scientific paper.
Whoa! It’s a quadruple rainbow! [MSNBC]
P.S. Capturing all four rainbows in one shot is exceedingly difficult and hasn’t been done yet. Now there’s a challenge for those of you looking for a difficult photo assignment.
Image credits: Photograph by Michael Theusner/Applied Optics
Canon has long offered its telephoto L lenses in white in order to keep the lens cooler under sunlight, but did you know that certain Nikon lenses can be found in “white” as well? The lenses were officially called “light gray”, and can be purchased for pretty reasonable prices on eBay — the AF-S ED 70-200 f/2.8G VR seen above was sold a couple days ago by eBay seller shrewd25 for $1,999.
(via Nikon Rumors)
While Nikon Corporation was established in 1917 (as Nippon Kōgaku Tōkyō K.K.), the company was a lens manufacturing company and didn’t make the first Nikon branded camera until 1948. The first camera was named the Nikon I, and started with serial number 60922. On May 28th, Nikon I No. 60924 will be auctioned at the Westlicht Photographica auction. This is the third Nikon production camera ever made, and the oldest known surviving Nikon camera. Bidding starts at €70,000 (~$100,000), and the camera is expected to fetch up to €160,000 (~$230,000). Some lucky (and wealthy) camera collector is going to be the owner of a rare and beautiful piece of photographic history.
19th WestLicht Photographica Auction highlights (via Nikon Rumors)