According to the smart folks over at MIT, this video shows footage that was captured at an unbelievable one trillion frames per second. It appears to show some kind of light pulse traveling through some kind of object. Here’s a confusing explanation found on the project’s website:
We use a pico-second accurate detector (single pixel). Another option is a special camera called a streak camera that behaves like an oscilloscope with corresponding trigger and deflection of beams. A light pulse enters the instrument through a narrow slit along one direction. It is then deflected in the perpendicular direction so that photons that arrive first hit the detector at a different position compared to photons that arrive later. The resulting image forms a “streak” of light. Streak cameras are often used in chemistry or biology to observe milimeter sized objects but rarely for free space imaging.
While we’re on the subject of photos of Earth, did you know that the first photo showing the entire planet was captured by an unmanned NASA orbiter from the moon back in 1966? To accomplish this, they had to come up with a camera that could expose, process, scan, and transmit film photographs — something “akin to a flying television station and photographic mini-lab”. Read more…
Update: It looks like the video was taken down by the uploader. Sorry guys.
Color is simply how our brains respond to different wavelengths of light, and wavelengths outside the spectrum of visible light are invisible and colorless to us simply because our eyes can’t detect them. Since colors are created in our brains, what if we all see colors differently from one another? BBC created a fascinating program called “Do You See What I See?” that explores this question, and the findings are pretty startling. Read more…
Having a camera that shoots 5000 frames per second is enough to capture slow motion footage of a bullet flying through the air, but scientists at the Science and Technology Facilities Council have now announced a camera that shoots a staggering 4.5 million frames per second. Rather than bullets, the camera is designed to capture 3D images of individual molecules using powerful x-ray flashes that last one hundred million billionth of a second. The £3 million camera will land in scientists hands in 2015.
A group of neuroscientists at MIT recently conducted a study to try and determine what makes photographs memorable. After gathering about 10,000 diverse photos, they showed a series of them to human subjects and asked them to identify whenever a photo was a repeat of one previously shown. They found that photos containing people in them are the most memorable, while natural landscapes are least memorable and easily forgotten.
What’s more, the scientists used the findings to develop a computer algorithm that can quantify how memorable a particular photo is. Cameras in the future might be able to tell you the memorability of photos as you’re taking them!
Ever wonder how photographs magically appear on Polaroid pictures? Photojojo offers a simple explanation of how the process works:
[...] your instant camera ejects the picture in between two metal rollers. The rollers pinch the chemical packets on the bottom of your film, break them open, and spread the developer chemicals all over the surface of your image. [#]
They also have some other interesting “photo science” explanations here. For a more in-depth look, check out this HowStuffWorks article on instant cameras.
Learning how to control depth of field with your camera isn’t too difficult, but do you know the science behind how it works? This uber-educational 20-minute video lesson gives a thorough explanation of depth of field and the different factors that affect it. It was made by artist Justin Snodgrass, and is also available for download (and in parts) over on his website.
If you had a camera the size of a grain of rice, that would be considered extremely small, but researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute in Germany have created a camera the size of a grain of salt. The world’s smallest camera measures 1x1x1 millimeters, shoots 0.1 megapixel photographs (250×250 pixels), and is so inexpensive to make that they’re disposable. Potential uses for the camera include photographing the inside of human bodies (AKA endoscopy) and being used as rearview cameras on cars.
Wow. People are taking chicken head camera stabilization pretty seriously after the fact that chickens have image stabilized heads went viral recently. Research is ongoing, and people are reporting their interesting experimental findings on YouTube. Read more…
When a NASA Space Shuttle lifts off, there’s always high definition cameras carefully placed around the launch site, documenting the launch in high-definition photographs and slow motion videos. Back in April we featured a slow motion video of the Apollo 11 launch in 1969, and now here’s another neat super slow-mo documentary of more recent launches (i.e. 2005). If you have 45 minutes to spare, this video is sure to amaze and educate you.
By the way… during the launch, the shuttle burns 1,000 gallons of liquid propellants and 20,000 pounds of solid fuel every second.