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Photography Science

Tiny Ice Crystals Simulate a Halo Around the Sun in Photograph by Michael Schneider

December 12, 2019

Grace Ebert

Photo by Michael Schneider, shared with permission

On a November trip to the Arosa mountains in the Swiss Alps, Michael Schneider snapped a photo using his iPhone 11. The Zurich-based photographer and writer says the image he captured as the fog dissipated shows small ice crystals in the clouds, which break up the sunlight. The crystals’ insides reflect the sun, which is then broken again as it leaves the inside chamber, resulting in the halo of light.

Gizmodo’s Mika McKinnon elucidated the phenomenon when a similar shot was taken a few years ago.

Ice halos happen when tiny crystals of ice are suspended in the sky. The crystals can be high up in cirrus clouds, or closer to the ground as diamond dust or ice fog. Like raindrops scatter light into rainbows, the crystals of ice can reflect and refract light, acting as mirrors or prisms depending on the shape of the crystal and the incident angle of the light.

You can find an analysis by Mark McCaughrean of the atmospheric optics at work in the image below. Keep up with Schneider’s travel writing and the frozen landscapes he frequents on his Instagram. (via Kottke)

Photo annotation by Mark McCaughrean

 

 



Art Photography

Abstracted Dual Landscapes Created Using Cleverly Placed Mirrors

August 23, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Photographer Sebastian Magnani carefully positions round mirrors in outdoor settings to capture two landscapes at once: the ground below and the sky above. In the ongoing series Reflections, some compositions reflect connected imagery, like blossom-covered grass and a flowering tree. Others juxtapose man-made surfaces like asphalt with organic branches. By removing the usual context of landscape images, Magnani allows the viewer to focus on the textural qualities of the environment, and some images even veer into illusions, as with the cloudy night sky that appears like a full moon.  You can see more from the Swiss photographer, including portraits, on Instagram and Facebook. Magnani has also recently started offering prints of the Reflections series on Society6. (via Bored Panda)

 

 

 



Photography Science

Breathe: A Stunning Black & White Timelapse of Thunderstorms Across the Central Plains

January 11, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Phoenix-based filmmaker, photographer, and storm chaser Mike Olbinski captures approaching storms around his desert home using high definition video, often posting his works to his Vimeo in 4K. Breathe, one of his latest short films, is the first ever work posted in 8K and features a selection of storms shot in 2017 in either the American central plains or southwest. Watch the video above in high resolution to witness the magnificence of each rolling stormcell gather and disperse throughout a variety of open landscapes.

You can follow along with Olbinski’s storm chasing adventures on his blog, and see more of his timelapse videos and photography on his website.

 

 



Amazing Photography Science

A Remarkable Timelapse of the SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Launch

December 26, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Last Friday SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket that illuminated the sky above Southern California in a spectacularly unusual way, leaving many unsuspecting people to wonder if they were witnessing a comet, an attack, or the end of days. SpaceX founder Elon Musk acknowledged the bizzare atmospheric effect but didn’t help clarify things much.

Photographer Jesse Watson was in nearby Yuma, Arizona to film a timelapse of the launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base. Having never filmed a rocket before he wasn’t sure quite what to expect, but this 40 seconds of footage was well worth the effort. PetaPixel has some additional details about how Watson managed to get the shot.

 

 



Photography

San Francisco Shrouded in Dense Fog Captured by Michael Shainblum

December 19, 2017

Christopher Jobson

In a relentless pursuit to capture the frequently shifting weather patterns of the San Francisco Bay Area, photographer Michael Shainblum (previously) has stalked scenic outlooks around the city for close to a decade. The city is especially famous for dense fog and low-lying stratus clouds that roll in almost daily during the summer, resulting in the surreal scenes he loves to photograph and film. Shainblum shares in a statement about the ongoing body of work:

The Fog in the bay area feels like it has a mind of its own. The fog can often times disturb a beautiful sunny day and cover the sky with darkness. There are mixed feelings about the fog, many residents finding it a huge inconvenience and depressing. Where as many residences embrace the fog and its erratic behavior. Regardless of how the fog is perceived from below. It’s hard to ignore just how incredible it looks from above. This series is a tribute to the incredible fog and a showcase of its magnificent beauty. Fog has essentially become a living breathing entity in San Francisco.

You can see more of his Symphony of Fog series on his website and by following him on Instagram. He also occasionally teaches timelapse workshops and sells prints of his best shots.

 

 



Amazing Photography Science

Transient: An Extraordinary Short Film That Captures Lightning at 1,000 Frames per Second

December 5, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Filmmaker and photographer Dustin Farrell spent over a month this summer traveling some 20,000 miles for the sole purpose of filming thunderstorms around the United States. Using a pricey Phantom Flex4K high-speed camera he filmed lightning strike after lightning strike at 1,000 frames per second, resulting in the impressive footage that shows the remarkable complexity of electricity in the atmosphere. Most of the footage in the final cut was shot around Farrell’s home state of Arizona.

“Lightning is like a snowflake. Every bolt is different,” shares Farrell. “I learned that lightning varies greatly in speed. There are some incredible looking bolts that I captured that didn’t make the cut because even at 1000fps they only lasted for one frame during playback. I also captured some lightning that appear computer generated it lasted so long on the screen.”

You can catch a few more of his short films here. (via PetaPixel)

 

 



Design

Floating Cloud: An Electromagnetic Cloud That Hovers on Your Desktop by Richard Clarkson

August 7, 2017

Christopher Jobson

Floating Cloud is the latest “weightless” creation from NYC-based artist and designer Richard Clarkson who has long been fascinated by the shape and form of clouds that he translates into audiovisual devices. The Floating Cloud is held in place by a system of rare earth magnets, electromagnets, and a location sensor that keep the cloud hovering at all times while allowing for full rotation and slight upward and downward motion when touched. It’s also embedded with a number of sound reactive LEDs that flash in response to music or ambient sounds. Learn more here.