Lake Volta is the largest man-made lake in the world. Spanning across half of Ghana, its surface is scattered with eerie tree trunks emerging from glassy waters. The trafficking of children and child labor in this region has a lot to do with the complex economic and social history of the Ghanaians residing around the lake. Young children are targeted for fishing because of their mobility and small hands for untangling nets. This series hopes to capture some of the solitude and innocence of young children entrapped in this reality.
With the United States hoping to return astronauts to the Moon by 2024, exploring Earth’s natural satellite has received more popular attention in recent years. But astrophotographer Andrew McCarthy has his own type of moon mission—one he pursues from his own backyard in Sacramento, California. For several years, McCarthy has been refining his techniques to produce increasingly high resolution and detailed images of the Moon’s surface. His latest release—a 209-megapixel shot entitled Waxing Through December—allows users to zoom in and explore the minute details and craters which speckle the Moon.
In 2020, McCarthy released several new images of the Moon taken from his backyard when weather allowed. One combined 12 separate shots to show the craters of the Moon in HD relief. Another stunning 85-megapixel image layered 24,000 photographs to produce an explorable high resolution image. In December, the photographer upped the ante once again. Preparing to shoot the Grand Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, McCarthy took the opportunity to prepare a new image of the Moon’s surface—an image which comprises layered data from over 100,000 individual frames.
To take this number of shots in a short time, McCarthy used an EdgeHD 800 telescope and an Asi178mm camera attachment, as well as a Meade 70mm astrophograph to capture the surrounding background stars. The specially designed setup allowed him to capture many thousands of frames within seconds, preventing the movement of the solar system from blurring the shot. He then made a mosaic of the images in post-processing to create what he calls his “clearest image of the Moon, ever.” Viewers are invited to zoom in on the published version and explore the surface of the Moon in all its detail.
In celebration of its 30th anniversary capturing stunning images of stellar objects, NASA has released 30 newly-processed Hubble images featuring galaxies, star clusters, and nebulae.
All of 30 of the images are being added to what amateur astronomers know as the Caldwell catalog, which was compiled by British amateur astronomer and science communicator Sir Patrick Caldwell-Moore and inspired by the Messier catalog. The catalog was published by Sky & Telescope magazine 25 years ago, in December 1995. Caldwell’s catalog highlights 109 galaxies, star clusters, and nebulae that are bright enough to be seen by amateur astronomers.
A photograph thought to be the longest exposure image ever taken has been discovered inside a beer can at the University of Hertfordshire’s Bayfordbury Observatory.
The image was taken by Regina Valkenborgh, who began capturing it towards the end of her MA Fine Art degree at the University of Hertfordshire in 2012. It shows 2,953 arced trails of the sun, as it rose and fell between summer and winter over a period of eight years and one month. The dome of Bayfordbury’s oldest telescope is visible to the left of the photograph and the atmospheric gantry, built halfway through the exposure, can be seen from the centre to the right.
Among photographers, the topic of image manipulation has long been a contentious issue, but it seems that sky replacement has triggered a bigger debate within the photography community.
It’s easy to forget that the mounds of snow lining sidewalks each winter actually are comprised of billions of tiny crystals with individual grooves and feathered offshoots. A trio of photographs taken by Nathan Myhrvold, though, serves as a stunning reminder of that fact as they expose the intricacies hidden within each molecule.
To capture such crisp images, the Seattle-born photographer traveled to Fairbanks, Alaska, and Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada, where temperatures plunged to –20 °F. “Water, an incredibly familiar thing to all of us, is quite unfamiliar when you see it in this different view. The intricate beauty of snowflakes is derived from their crystal structure, which is a direct reflection of the microscopic aspects of the water molecule,” he says.
Formally trained in physics, Myhrvold spent 18 months building a custom camera with a cooled-stage microscope to ensure that the flakes remained frozen as he shot. Short-pulse, high-speed LED lights reduce the heat the instrument emits, and at a minimum, its shutter speed clocks in at 500 microseconds. Myhrvold says it’s the highest-resolution snowflake camera in existence.
Captured in the marshlands of southern Denmark, Søren Solkær’s ongoing project documents one of nature’s most mesmerizing phenomena. BLACK SUN focuses on the quiet landscapes of the Danish photographer’s childhood where nearly one million starlings congregate during the vernal and autumnal seasons. Set at dusk, the photographs frame the migratory birds as they take to the sky in murmurations, amorphous groups that transform the individual creatures into a unified entity.