Sunday, May 31, 2015

Self-Taught Astrophotographer Uses 32,000 Images to Create Spectacular High-Res Moon Photo

Right from his own balcony in Piekary Śląskie, Poland, amateur photographer Bartosz Wojczyński was able to capture thousands of extraordinary lunar photos. After 28 minutes of diligent work, Wojczyński had skillfully captured 32,000 separate images with only a Celestron C9.25 telescope, a Sky-Watcher HEQ5 mount, several additional filters, and his ZWO ASI174MM monochrome camera, which is specially designed for spectacular sun and moon imaging. All of the equipment cost the photographer about $3500, but it was worth it in the end when he spent an additional 5-6 hours processing and stacking the images into one captivating final mastepiece.
During his meticulous stacking process, the self-taught astrophotographer transformed his 32,000 photos at 73.5 gigabytes into one whopping 14 megapixel image. The finished photograph was created using advanced techniques and by using the moon's coloration to enhance the final shot. “Thanks to the enhanced coloration, it’s possible to examine the differences in the chemical composition of the lunar surface,” Wojczyński tells PetaPixel. “For example, the bluish tint of several areas indicates a titanium-rich soil.”
This isn't Wojczyński's first time developing an impressive photography project. Last month, he used a six-hour exposure of the celestial north pole to produce a colorfully striking final photograph.

Solar-Powered Safari Lodge Provides the Perfect African Escape in Nature

Within Botswana's lush Okavango Delta sits the standout Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge, which was designed with its breathtaking surroundings in mind. Architects Michaelis Boyd and Nick Plewman based the curvaceous structure's cocoon-like design on the pangolin, which is an endangered scaly creature that is native to the diverse African bush. The building itself not only blends in with the stunning local landscape, it also contains 12 inner suites that take on the appearance of weaverbird nests, with massive timber arches that are reminiscent of a captivating cathedral. To keep the focus on the incredible scenery and fascinating wildlife, the interior features minimalist decor that cuts back on unneeded materials.
The most important aspect of the lodge's design is that it is environmentally friendly. The outer surface is covered in natural, locally sourced shingles and woven saplings, making the structure concrete-free. Keeping the emphasis on the natural landscape, the building opens toward the nearby Sandibe River, providing for both natural lighting and ventilation. When electricity is needed, a solar panel farm generates the lodge's power, keeping their environmental footprint at a minimal level.
Guests can relax in their light, airy rooms, listen to the relaxing sounds of untouched nature, or peer out their windows at hippos bathing in the river, all while knowing that their living situation poses no threat to the natural spectacle that is just footsteps away.

Sandibe Okavango Safari Lodge Website

Mesmerizing Spirit of Adorably Wise Owls

Owls are known around the world as a symbol of wisdom and beauty, which Thai photographer Sasi Smith intuitively captures in his mesmerizing photographs. Smith is an experienced cameraman who focuses mainly on parrots, but he also has a vast collection of owl images that are both adorable and captivating.
This type of photography can be especially challenging, since owls are known for their camouflage, but the dedicated artist has the ability to capture the enchanting huge eyes, extreme fluffiness, and lovely heart-shaped faces that make the owls the magnificent creatures that they are. Smith has taken photos of many different and unique species of owl, helping to show that there are close to 200 species of the gorgeous bird on Earth. They are separated by the categories of "true owls" and "barn owls," with barn owls being known for their distinctly cute, heart-shaped facial appearance. 

Spectacularly Colorful "Moon Trail" During a 37-Minute Exposure

You have most likely seen countless photographs of vivid star trails posted all across the Internet, but what about a moon trail? On May 4th, 2015, Finnish photographer Janne Voutilainen captured an incredible lunar image that took exactly 2,258 seconds to create. As the rising moon streaked across the peaceful nighttime sky, the clever photographer used his Nikon D800 to shoot a 37.6-minute exposure of the moon's path. This was not a simple task for the patient artist and it took him several tries to get the shot's lighting correct. “A moving, gradually brightening subject is not so easy to photograph,” explains Janne to Smithsonian.
The resulting image displays a strikingly colorful band against the bold blue of the background sky, adding a surreal aspect to what Janne calls a "full moon gradient." When describing the spectacular photo on his website, the visionary photographer remarks, “Is it a huge lingonberry? Is it a ruddy apple? No, but it is something much more delicious, namely the full moon low on the horizon.”

Mythical Eyes That Could Belong to Dragons

Milan-based artist Stefano Prina used his dog Luchino's expressive eyes as inspiration when he designed his marvelous handmade creations. Utilizing the construction experience he gained as an architect, Prina created incredibly detailed sculptures of colorful reptile, fish, monster, and animal eyes for his "Little Shop of Monsters." Each piece shows the intricate components of the iris' color, shape, and pigmentation, adding a remarkably realistic quality to the stunning works of art.
The gifted sculptor hand-painted each elaborate eye pattern on a wood shell base and then encased his work in glossy acrylic resin. Back when Prina constructed models of bridges and buildings, he became an expert researcher and builder, which has tremendously helped him when working on both real and imaginary ocular pieces. "I believe that the idea at the foundation of all this has to do with the magic and wonder that one feels observing the shape and forms of life through the real and true marvel of evolution that is the eye, the organ that absorbs light and allows our perception of the world. In any case, apart from any explanation, I would like my eyes to be a single, joyous moment of wonder for those who observe them," explained Prina on his website.

Photographer Takes Incredible Self Portraits Posed in Vast Landscapes

Photographer Nicholas Roemmelt reminds us just how big and beautiful our world is with his ongoing series of breathtaking self portraits. Based in Austria, the 40-year-old is lucky enough to have nature that's easily accessible from his backyard. He’ll hike the nearby mountain and insert himself within the frame of his camera, creating spectacular landscapes photos in the process.
Through these epic compositions, we get the sense that Roemmelt is an adventurous guy and passionate about the outdoors. He’s seen camping in the snow, climbing to the top of a peak, and standing above raging waters. Often, he poses at night and his small, silhouetted figure is set against a glittering, starry sky. Seeing the awe-inspiring vastness of Roemmelt’s picturesque photography is inspiration to venture out and explore the amazing places nature has to offer.