As science and technology become increasingly important in our everyday lives, photographing their many forms becomes just as important. Companies and the media need compelling visuals to communicate messages about them, for everything from smartphones to healthcare and medical research to renewable energy.
The world’s smallest silicon LED could turn your phone into a high-power microscope
Researchers at the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART) have developed a new silicon Light Emitting Diode (LED) and holographic microscope which between them could help turn your smartphone into a powerful, high-resolution microscope. Together they are both the world’s smallest LED and the world’s smallest holographic microscope.
This LED, they say, is comparable in output to much larger silicone LEDs. But, by “much larger”, we’re not talking huge. Remember, this is the world’s smallest silicon LED and it’s very small indeed. Smaller than the wavelength of light itself.
This camera’s shutter speed goes up to 1/1,000,000,000,000 of a second
One limit that often faces high-speed photographers is the 1/8,000 or 1/4,000 max shutter speed of their DSLR or mirrorless cameras. Fortunately, mirrorless cameras are bringing this up to 1/32,000 with the electronic shutter now in some models. However, many photographers will still revert to flash to get exposure times faster than the camera’s shutter speed is capable.
But even super fast flash durations aren’t a patch on the “Neutron” camera. Developed by a team of researchers at Columbia University in New York, it can shoot with shutter speeds as fast as a trillionth of a second. That’s one and twelve zeroes! This camera isn’t like the ones we’re used to, though. It’s designed to capture a process known as “dynamic disorder”.
Woman Science Photographer of the Year announces its first-ever contest winners
To celebrate February 11, the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, the Royal Photographic Society (RPS) Women in Photography group has launched its first annual Woman Science Photographer of the Year.
Now the first-ever winner has been announced, and it’s Margaret LeJeune’s image titled Wathershed Triptych. There are more category winners, so let’s take a look and learn more about this new competition which will, hopefully, exist for many more years to come.
Engineers at MIT have built a wireless underwater camera that doesn’t need batteries
According to scientific estimates, more than 95% of Earth’s oceans have never been observed. As SciTechDaily points out, this means that we’ve seen less of our own planet’s oceans than we have the surface of Mars. The biggest challenge in exploring the oceans, though, is powering cameras, particularly for a lengthy amount of time. They typically have to be tethered to research vessels or require regular trips out to swap batteries.
Researchers at MIT, though, have taken a pretty big leap in overcoming this hurdle by developing a battery-free, wireless underwater camera that they say is around 100,000 times more energy-efficient than other underwater cameras. It shoots photos in colour, even in the deep, dark underwater depths and transmits them wirelessly through the water.
This is how polarized light works and how you can use polarizing filters to see crazy effects in-camera
polarizing filters are something that pretty much all of us own as photographers. It may not be something we really use all that often, but most of us have at least one somewhere in our pile of camera bags filled with gear. But what exactly is polarized light? And how can we used to go beyond the usual popping of skies and foliage in landscapes?
Well, in this video from The Science Asylum, we take a deeper look into light polarization. We learn about what it is, how it works and how we can utilise it along with polarizing filters in order to see things that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye.
This cool color-shifting material uses 19th century photography technique
I’ve always been a sucker for color-shifting items. As a kid, I thought there was some magic behind it. And now, as an adult, I bought a bunch of “chameleon” pigments for the jewelry I make. It looks pretty and it makes my inner child happy.
Thanks to a team of researchers at MIT, we now have color-shifting stretchy material. It doesn’t only look cool, but it could have many practical applications too. And you know what makes it extra fun for us photographers? It was made relying on a photography technique from the 19th century!
This new technology makes f/1.4 lenses at almost zero cost
Researchers at Technion Israel Institute of Technology have developed a new way of making lenses with a curable liquid polymer that allows for faster prototyping of new and custom optics. It’s designed primarily for applications such as corrective lenses, augmented and virtual reality, medical imaging and astronomy, but could potentially become a new manufacturing method (or at least allow faster development) of photographic lenses.
According to a press release, the researchers began to develop the new method after realising that there were around 2.5 billion people around the planet who don’t have access to corrective eyewear. Their goal was to create “a simple method for fabricating high-quality optical components that does not rely on mechanical processing or complex and expensive infrastructure”.
This record-breaking camera can zoom in 100 million times
Step aside, Nikon P1000, the new king of zoom is here. It’s an electronic microscope, though, but it can zoom in 100 million times and still keep the subject clear. It’s so impressive, in fact, that it earned a spot in the Guinness World Records.
Engineers at MIT & UMass Lowell have created a completely flat 1mm thick fisheye lens
Love them or hate them (and many people hate them), we all know what fisheye lenses are. They look sort of like regular lenses, except they have a great big round bulbous element on the front that lets your camera’s sensor see in a super-wide field of view – typically around the 180° degree mark.
Well, not anymore. Now a team at MIT and University of Massachusetts Lowell have developed a new fisheye lens that’s completely flat. Its design is a type of “metalens” – a wafer-thin material with microscopic features to manipulate light in a way that traditional optics don’t. And it lets the lens shoot a 180° field of view with perfect sharpness.
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