To fight against our global enemy, coronavirus, it helps immensely if we can see what we’re fighting against. But this virus is so tiny, that it can’t be seen with a standard light microscope. To observe the COVID-19 and take its photos, scientists have used electron microscopes. And in this stunning educative video, Vox explains how the photos of the coronavirus are taken and processed.
Nikon Small World competition recently announced the winning images, and they show us that lots of beauty fits into tiny worlds. But now the winners of Nikon Small World in Motion have been announced, too. These include five videos that show us the microscopic world in motion, and just like the winning photos – they are truly impressive.
Nikon Small World competition was founded in 1974 to recognize excellence in photography through the microscope. The results of the 44th competition have just been announced, and they will take your breath away.
This year, the contest had nearly 2,500 entries from scientists and artists in 89 countries. The judges have chosen the top 20 images, and we’re bringing you the winning photos here on DIYP.
The one certainty in photography is that the closer we get to our subjects, the shallower our depth of field becomes. If we’re shooting with a macro lens, we have the option to stop our lens all the way down to increase the depth of field. Sometimes this can be enough to give us what we need. And sometimes it can’t.
If you’re shooting down a microscope, though, then changing the aperture isn’t really an option. So you have to get a little creative. And this is where focus stacking comes in. After recently switching up to DSLRs for microscope photography, The Thought Emporium YouTube channel decided to put this video together on their microscope photography focus stacking technique.
It’s not that difficult to add computer control to a microscope. Now I realize this is not a huge need for the general photographer, however, some of us use photography in our profession, not weddings or models but in my case, I’m a geologist. We tend to take lots of pictures in the course of our work. We also need to look at samples utilizing a microscope.
Usually, we examine rock samples by slicing them into very thin sections, grinding them down to a few microns, and then passing polarized light through them in our weird geological microscopes. Now sometimes, we need to look at items in three dimensions. Especially with very small fossils. The problem with photographing them is that the depth of field for most microscopes is extremely narrow, so you end up with only a small slice of the fossil in focus. The ability to do focus stacking has revolutionized our visualization of fossils. The problem is that most macro rigs don’t offer the magnification needed without going through a lot of bother.
Nikon’s Small World competition is a wonderful thing to see each year. It’s a fascinating blend of the scientific and the photographic. We get to see tiny worlds that simply aren’t possible with the naked eye. And even if we have seen some of these subjects through a microscope before, the entries usually allow us to see them in a whole new way.
A few years ago, Nikon started adding video to the Small World competition with Small World in Motion. It showcases some incredible footage, that almost defies belief. You’d swear some of these were created completely out of somebody’s mind in After Effects if you didn’t know better.
The team at Beauty of Science see the world a little differently to most of us. While we’re far too busy looking with our eyes, they’re seeing through microscopes and macro lenses. So many things happen on the small scale that we simply can’t see. Things we’d never even know about unless we went specifically looking for them, or somebody showed us to them.
And showing them to us is exactly where Beauty of Science excel. To round off their 2016 they’ve released the short film, Seasons – In a Small World. It shows incredible beauty found in the extremely small. Sights we’d not otherwise be able to see, and as the name suggests, it covers the four seasons found throughout the year. The colours, pace, timing, and action goes extremely well, set to the Strauss’ The Blue Danube.
BLIPS is an ultra portable super slim pair of lenses for your smartphone. One offers macro, letting you focus much closer than your phone’s standard lens will allow. The other is a micro lens, allowing you to get even closer, for some big magnification.
Mobile macro lenses are certainly nothing new, but this is the first we’ve seen with such a small and unobtrusive form factor, making it ideal to slip in your wallet and keep with you when you’re out and about.
Iridescence is defined as the phenomenon of certain surfaces that appear to change colour as the angle of view or the angle of illumination changes, and that is highlighted especially well in these extreme close up images of these peacock feathers created by Canadian photographer Waldo Nell.
Image stacking shots focused at different distances from a subject is a process I haven’t had much need to use myself, but it’s a technique I’ve always been fascinated by, so DIYP had a chat with Waldo to find out more about him and his process.
Science and photography are inseparably linked, but it’s always interesting to see photography used to further explore the realms of science.
Dutch photographer Maurice Mikkers was curious to explore the composition of tears. Tears are like snowflakes, with each bearing chemical similarities to another yet being uniquely different, often based on the type of tear produced. So, what does an insatiably-inquisitive pro in his twenties do when he wants to examine the photographic quality of tears? He throws a house party and spends the evening making his friends and loved ones weep.