physics

The First True Color Images of Saturn’s North Pole are Stunning

On April 26th, NASA's Cassini spacecraft took its long-awaited first dive in between Saturn's rings, bringing it closer to the planet than ever before. And if you were on the spacecraft looking at Saturn's north pole with your own eyes as it flew by, this is what you would have seen.

How to Get a 35mm f/0.9 Lens for Just $350: Speed Boosters Explained

You would think the physics of lenses and light are pretty set in stone—and yet, somehow, people still get really twisted around when it comes to things like crop factor, depth of field, and speed boosters. Hoping to end (or at least quiet) this debate, photographer Jimmi Kai created this very informative, easy-to-understand video.

The NPF Rule: A Formula for Sharp Star Photos Every Time

A common rule of thumb to figure out your maximum shutter speed for sharp stars at night is to divide 500 by your focal length. Sometimes it's called the 600 Rule or the 400 Rule or several other numbers that can be used depending on your sensor size. Unfortunately, it's a a very inaccurate rule today.

Field Curvature, A Tricky Problem in Photography

The above photo is taken at 28mm at f/11 on an ancient Minolta 28-85mm lens, the focus was set to about 2.5 meters and according to the depth of field scales everything should be in focus... but it isn’t.

How a Combat Photographer Named a Phenomenon to Honor Soldiers

While embedded with troops in Afghanistan in the late 2000s, war photographer and writer Michael Yon captured numerous photos of the sparkling halo that can appear when a helicopter's rotors hit sand and dust. Upon finding that the particular phenomenon didn't have a name, Yon gave it one that honors two fallen soldiers: the Kopp-Etchells Effect.

Why Complaining About Photos Being Photoshopped Makes No Sense (To Me)

Every day about 200 million photographs get uploaded to Facebook. That’s almost double the number of all the books that have ever been published in human history. And that’s just Facebook, I’m not even mentioning Instagram, Snapchat, or just the photos everybody takes and doesn’t even post online.

While taking all those pictures, most people don’t really think about what they’re actually doing, or how the process works. But if they did think about it, I guess their reasoning for that process would be somewhat like this...

This New Flat Lens Captures Perfect Colors Without Chromatic Aberration

A team of researchers at Harvard are trying to revolutionize the world of optical lenses. Instead of traditional curved lenses that suffer from various optical flaws, they are working on a completely flat and ultra-thin lens that overcomes age-old problems and pushes optical quality to the limits of the laws of nature.

Photographer Uses Giant Blackburn Pendulum to Create Abstract Large Format Light Paintings

Lovers of light painting photography, large format photography, symmetry and physics each have a distinct reason to enjoy photographer Paul Wainwright's Pendulum Project.

Created in the pitch blackness of his barn at night, Wainwright shoots these beautiful light paintings with the help of a massive Blackburn pendulum he built himself and a large format camera packing 4x5 sheet film.

The Inverse Square Law of Light Explained in Simple Terms for Photographers

If the term "inverse square law of light" immediately sets you to hyperventilating as flashbacks of college physics begin playing in your mind's eye, take a few breaths into that paper bag, calm down, and click play on the video above.

In 6 minutes, Karl Taylor will explain this law and how it affects you specifically as a photographer without overwhelming you in the process.

Diving Into the Tech Behind the Lytro Illum and Its Impressive 30-250mm f/2.0 Lens

Lytro came into the photography world not only to create a novelty product, but to fundamentally change how we approach image capture. Because despite light field photography being around for over a century, it’s only with the latest technology that the company is able to exploit what it is a camera is truly capable of doing.

We recently spoke with Lytro about its upcoming Illum camera a bit, diving into the technology behind the specs and revealing how Lytro's approach is allowing the company to not only step, but leap into the future.

Video: Educational Tutorial on the History, Physics and Uses of Cinema Lighting

Back in April, we shared the first of cinematographer Mark Vargo's informative series of videos on different photographic concepts. The videos are meant to educate photographers and videographers alike on these concepts so that they might "unleash their creative potential."

The first video was on the types and uses of light meters, and now Vargo has finally released the second video in the series, dubbed "Let There Be Light."

The Only Known Photograph of Einstein Deriving his Famous E=mc2 Equation

At a public lecture in Pittsburgh in 1934, four hundred lucky students were privy to a lecture by Albert Einstein, in which the great man mathematically derived his famous mass-energy equivalence equation: E=mc2. What you see above is a photo from that lecture, and what is thought to be the only surviving photo that shows Einstein working on that derivation.