The beautiful work of Marco Lorenzi who runs a small digital observatory remotely in the Australian outback. Very precise tracking, long multiple exposures with color filters and large CCD array and often tiling images to obtain detail large objects, his results are about as good as amateurs get.
Spend a bit of time and look through his site. I'm particularly taken with his nebula work
From the bird’s-eye perspective, it may not look as though all that much has changed in terms of the livelihoods of the creative class. On the whole, creators seem to be making slightly more money, while growing in number at a steady but not fast pace. I suspect the profound change lies at the boundaries of professionalism. It has never been easier to start making money from creative work, for your passion to undertake that critical leap from pure hobby to part-time income source. Write a novel or record an album, and you can get it online and available for purchase right away, without persuading an editor or an A&R executive that your work is commercially viable. From the consumer’s perspective, blurring the boundaries has an obvious benefit: It widens the pool of potential talent. But it also has an important social merit. Widening the pool means that more people are earning income by doing what they love.
These new careers — collaborating on an indie-movie soundtrack with a musician across the Atlantic, uploading a music video to YouTube that you shot yourself on a smartphone — require a kind of entrepreneurial energy that some creators may lack. The new environment may well select for artists who are particularly adept at inventing new career paths rather than single-mindedly focusing on their craft. There are certainly pockets of the creative world, like those critically acclaimed books dropping off the mainstream best-seller lists, where the story is discouraging. And even the positive trends shouldn’t be interpreted as a mindless defense of the status quo. Most full-time artists barely make enough money to pay the bills, and so if we have levers to pull that will send more income their way — whether these take the form of government grants, Kickstarter campaigns or higher fees for the music we stream — by all means we should pull those levers.
But just because creative workers deserve to make more money, it doesn’t mean that the economic or technological trends are undermining their livelihoods. If anything, the trends are making creative livelihoods more achievable. Contrary to Lars Ulrich’s fear in 2000, the ‘‘diverse voices of the artists’’ are still with us, and they seem to be multiplying. The song remains the same, and there are more of us singing it for a living.
Steven Johnson’s article “The Creative Apocalypse That Wasn’t” frames itself as a data-driven response to concerns about the plight of creative workers in the digital age. But Johnson’s grasp of the limitations of the data he cites seems tenuous, and he ends up relying on some very dubious and all-too-familiar assumptions. In its sweeping dismissal of artists’ various concerns, the article reads as an exercise in gaslighting.
This is extra disheartening, because in our previous experiences with the NYT’s journalists and fact-checkers, we’ve found them to be rigorous and fair. Likewise, we’ve found Johnson’s books and TV work to be entertaining and often insightful.
We’ll focus our criticisms on Johnson’s thoughts about musicians in this piece, but it’s worth noting that friends in other creative industries—film and publishing—have also reached out to us noting similar objections about Johnson’s coverage of their fields.
The Deep Space Climate Observatory sits at the L1 Lagrange point between the Earth and Sun about a million miles from Earth. Far enough away that you see the full disk of the Earth. Taking advantage of that, the satellite carries a four megapixel CCD camera pointed at the Earth.
Here the Moon crosses in front of the Earth - of course you're seeing the back side of the Moon. How cool is that?
At the core of the ME20F-SH is a 2.26 megapixel CMOS sensor, originally announced in 2013, which has pixels measuring 19μm - 5.5X larger than what's found on high-end DSLRs. This allows for 1080/60p/30p/24p (and PAL equivalent) video capture in light levels as low as 0.0005 lux at a maximum gain setting of 75 Db, which is equivalent to over ISO 4,000,000. As with the company's professional cinema cameras, Canon Log and Wide DR modes are available for capturing a wide dynamic range.
A 'good' microscope is a spendy proposition. Most of the models aimed at kids are low quality and difficult to deal with - a combination that can turn kids off.
In the past five years simple usb digital microscopes have emerged. The optics aren't great, but they're sometimes easy and fun to use. Just connect them to a PC or Mac and play away. Heather bought this one for her eight year old daughter and likes it. $35 and it is a favorite toy.
The small sensor and optics on a smartphone are not optimal for astrophotography, but you can get around that - sort of. Andrew Symes has made remarkable progress. As you might expect there is a lot of image stacking.
I've used the NightCap app on my iPhone 6 Plus. It works reasonably well if the camera is very stable. We'll probably see multi-image sensor smartphones in a year or two. I'm more interested in the three sensor/dichroic filter approach, but spider eyed cameras seem likely.
There are a lot of reasons for using a good stand-alone camera over the one in your smartphone, but for most people the one they're always carrying that makes images and video easy to post online is adequate. Plus they happen to be getting better. Big improvements coming in the next generation or two. Apple filed patents suggesting a three sensor camera using dichroic mirrors a periscope like optical path in the camera body. They should be able to use a larger lens for low light capability, have better focus control and much better color quality and control with three physically separate sensors. They also bought a company that is going multiple sensor/lens image synthesis which could have separate uses, but would make manufacturing the three sensor camera less expensive. Their competition must be working on similar projects - all of this is sort of obvious next step work.
Results in the hands of professionals are impressive. There have been some wonderful smartphone based still images - much better than I could ever hope to take. The cameras are good enough that they aren’t professionally embarrassing and their lack of flexibility is seen as a plus by some. Recently John Lasseter said that serious film story telling was going to happen on GoPro and iPhones. I would agree, but note the GoPro is really a specialist camera. I doubt it will see much further growth.
Here’s an example of a video Bentley commissioned. They “cheat” and use a steadicam , an accessory lens, and a real microphone but the software is $5 to $10 and you can rent the kit. All you need is the skill:-) There are teens that could pull this off. The really good ones may even graduate to professional tools for greater control and creativity, but the gap to what is good enough continues to shrink.
and how they made the video (it also mentions an earlier one made with a last generation camera)