Meet the biologist turned photographer putting nature in the frame







© Provided by Wirral Globe
Let’s go fly a kite at Leasowe Beach

WELCOME to Behind the Lens, a feature that shines a light on the talented photographers in our Wirral Globe Camera Club group.

This week, we’re looking at Heather Garland’s favourite images that she’s captured in Wirral and further afield.

Heather, who lives in Heswall, loves to be outside taking photographs and recording special family events but is currently exploring a new-found interest in underwater images.






© Provided by Wirral Globe
Heather Garland

Heather Garland

When and why did you take up photography?

My mum bought me my first camera when I was nine years old and I’ve enjoyed capturing candid family moments as well as beautiful landscapes on family holidays ever since.

My husband is an accomplished underwater wreck photographer and he sparked my interest in this branch of photography.






© Provided by Wirral Globe
An over under shot of the lighthouse in New Brighton

An over under shot of the lighthouse in New Brighton

What do you love about taking pictures?

I love recording special family events and nature as well as people and places while I develop my creativity skills with photography.

READ MORE:

Wirral Globe Camera Club member Hugh McLaughlan loves to showcase the beauty of the local area






© Provided by Wirral Globe
Compass jellyfish at Leasowe Beach

Compass jellyfish at Leasowe Beach

Where is your favourite place to take pictures and why?

In the great outdoors, whether it’s at the coast or under the sea, deep within a thick forest, on a lakeside or riverbank or up high on a mountainside. I am a scientist and love capturing the awe and wonder of places and the nature that can be found there.






© Provided by Wirral Globe
Telling the time

Telling the time

What is your favourite subject matter and why?

I don’t think I’ve developed a real niche in terms of subject matter but having been a recreational scuba diver for more than two decades, I’m currently enjoying being a novice underwater photographer. It’s testing both my skills as a diver and as a photographer. As a biologist by trade, I have a keen interest in natural history especially marine life, so capturing images of wildlife and their behaviour really excites me.

READ MORE:

Wirral Globe Camera Club member Neil Gillingham used photography as a way to rebuild his life and his self-confidence






© Provided by Wirral Globe
Dorsal fin, New Brighton

Dorsal fin, New Brighton

What do you enjoy about being part of the Wirral Globe Camera Club?

I’ve enjoyed being part of the Wirral Globe Camera Club as it’s developing my creative skills as I try to photograph familiar scenes but in an artistic way, that is both unique and exciting. I also think it’s a friendly supportive group of like-minded people.






© Provided by Wirral Globe
Natures infinity pool, Watkins Path in Snowdon

Nature’s infinity pool, Watkins Path in Snowdon

If you could photograph anyone/any place/anything, who/what would it be?

I thought of numerous answers to this question ranging from bringing back my late parents and taking the photographs I’ve been unable to take of them with my children, especially as my sons reach new milestones in their lives. Alternatively, travelling back to my honeymoon destination and photographing the beautiful shipwrecks and reefs of Chuuk Lagoon would be wonderful. However, I eventually settled on travelling back in time and joining Jacques Cousteau, as one of his underwater photographers, when they first ventured into the big blue.

If you would like to appear in our Behind the Lens feature, email heidi.summerfield@newsquest.co.uk

If you would like to join Guardian Camera Club, visit facebook.com/groups/guardiancameraclub






© Provided by Wirral Globe
Together at Catbells in the Lake District

Together at Catbells in the Lake District

Star trek, a passion sky-high- The New Indian Express


Express News Service

CHENNAI: The white, tiny dots winking their eyes up above the sky are posing with a bright smile on their face. Lying on the terrace of his house, with the back of his head resting on palms, Bhavanandhi Babulal tells himself and the astrophotography camera lying nearby: “It’s time to sleep. Come on, let’s go.” But as usual, agony of indecision kicks in. He lies there gazing at the skies as if he is under the influence of a strange force, and, like that in a movie, his entire life starts playing in front of him, episode by episode.

“It’s captivating,” 31-year-old Bhavanandhi’s eyes gleam with joy whenever he speaks about his bonding with the celestial objects. For this resident of Kolathur in Chennai, stars and the moon are the best companions and stargazing his world.

Call it the tryst with destiny. Otherwise, an ex-banker who pursued his bachelor’s degree from Loyola College in Chennai would not have entered into the world of stars, Milky Way and the universe, ultimately leading him to establish a startup –  Starvoirs – six months ago. Bhavanandhi has a friend of his to thank for the initiative, as he is the one who kindled the passion in him during a camping trip to Nagalapuram in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh seven years ago, in 2015.

He was so engrossed in the beauty of the new-found world that he decided to gather interested people and organise star-gazing trips. “I quit my banking job in 2018 as I was finding it difficult to juggle my job and passion,” he says. During the second wave of Covid-19, he went a step ahead and started teaching stargazing free of cost.

To see the stars and planets clearly, Bhavanandhi says, a place free of light pollution is required. “That’s why I organise several trips to Ramanathapuram, Sayalkudi, Chidambaram, Kodaikanal, Ooty, Kodaikanal, and Poomparai after collecting lowest-possible amount from interested people as the telescope I use is very expensive,” says the star-lover who has read astronomy books despite being a commerce degree holder.

“I want more women and children to develop interest in the heavenly bodies as it would help mould a knowledgeable future. The trip fee for women is cheap and for kids it’s free,” he points out.Ask Dharmadev Kumar Singh, a staff at the hotel where Bhavanandhi stayed during Covid, he would say he considers learning from the “master” about stars as a big achievement. “It gives me immense pleasure to watch Saturn and the Milky Way,” says the man who studied only up to class 10.

Bhavanandhi suddenly woke up from the half-sleep and looked around. His camera is still lying there, with its lens pointing upwards. It’s past midnight. He stood up on the terrace, thinking about the excitement he had seen in the eyes of people after he showed them the bands on Saturn’s rings and craters on the moon.
“I should try bringing all those interested in stargazing under one roof and make it a grand movement,” he resolved while drowsily walking to his bedroom.

“It’s captivating,” 31-year-old Bhavanandhi’s eyes gleam with joy whenever he speaks about his bonding with the celestial objects. For this resident of Kolathur in Chennai, stars and the moon are the best companions and stargazing his world.

Call it the tryst with destiny. Otherwise, an ex-banker who pursued his bachelor’s degree from Loyola College in Chennai would not have entered into the world of stars, Milky Way and the universe, ultimately leading him to establish a startup –  Starvoirs – six months ago. Bhavanandhi has a friend of his to thank for the initiative, as he is the one who kindled the passion in him during a camping trip to Nagalapuram in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh seven years ago, in 2015.

He was so engrossed in the beauty of the new-found world that he decided to gather interested people and organise star-gazing trips. “I quit my banking job in 2018 as I was finding it difficult to juggle my job and passion,” he says. During the second wave of Covid-19, he went a step ahead and started teaching stargazing free of cost.

To see the stars and planets clearly, Bhavanandhi says, a place free of light pollution is required. “That’s why I organise several trips to Ramanathapuram, Sayalkudi, Chidambaram, Kodaikanal, Ooty, Kodaikanal, and Poomparai after collecting lowest-possible amount from interested people as the telescope I use is very expensive,” says the star-lover who has read astronomy books despite being a commerce degree holder.

“I want more women and children to develop interest in the heavenly bodies as it would help mould a knowledgeable future. The trip fee for women is cheap and for kids it’s free,” he points out.Ask Dharmadev Kumar Singh, a staff at the hotel where Bhavanandhi stayed during Covid, he would say he considers learning from the “master” about stars as a big achievement. “It gives me immense pleasure to watch Saturn and the Milky Way,” says the man who studied only up to class 10.

Bhavanandhi suddenly woke up from the half-sleep and looked around. His camera is still lying there, with its lens pointing upwards. It’s past midnight. He stood up on the terrace, thinking about the excitement he had seen in the eyes of people after he showed them the bands on Saturn’s rings and craters on the moon.
“I should try bringing all those interested in stargazing under one roof and make it a grand movement,” he resolved while drowsily walking to his bedroom.

Artist Wanda Comrie Creates Beautiful Hyper-Realistic Still-Life Paintings


Australian fine artist Wanda Comrie creates beautiful hyper-realistic still-life paintings with vivid and vibrant colors. Wanda responds to shadow play in domestic scenes and locally found botanicals, she reflects on the beauty and complexity that everyday living can provide. Many years after studying graphic design, her work retains a solid graphic influence with a strong colour palette.

Here in this post, you can find 20 of the best paintings by Wanda Comrie. Scroll down and inspire yourself. Please check Wanda’s Instagram for more amazing work.

You can find Wanda Comrie on the web:

#1

#2

#3

#4

#5

#6

#7

#8

#9

#10

#11

#12

#13

#14

#15

#16

#17

#18

#19

#20


Related Articles:

A 12-sided snowflake? Colorado photographer captures unusual snowflake formation


Every six-sided snowflake is a unique piece of nature’s art, but their incredible designs usually go unseen as they pile up by the zillions during winter storms.

Colorado doctor and photographer Jason Persoff is taking the time to make sure these hidden gems don’t go unnoticed. Treating the sick for his day job, Persoff spends his off time during Colorado’s winter storms snapping mesmerizing photos of snowflakes in all their glory. Last week, one of his pictures really caught his fancy: a rare 12-sided snowflake – double the sides of a regular snowflake.

A closeup photograph of a snowflake taken in Aurora, Colorado. (Jason Persoff / StormDoctor.com / FOX Weather)

Persoff has spent decades chasing the more traditional supercell thunderstorms and tornadoes but said he sought out photographing snowflakes to make his snowy Denver winters brighter.

“I think, like a lot of people, the shorter days of winter left me a little dreary,” he told FOX Weather. “I saw an amazing photographer, Don Komarechka, who was taking snowflake photos, and I felt that was the next direction my photography should go in. It was a game changer.”

So how does he do it?

“A lot of people want to know how I keep the snowflake from melting,” he said.

You have to be willing to brave the elements. This is not about walking outside to grab a pile of snow, then coming back inside and taking photos amid the warmth of your home.

“You have to catch the flakes while they are coming down,” Persoff said. “Processes such as sublimation will cause the flake to lose its spectacular structure (after they sit) even if temperatures are super cold.”

A closeup photograph of a snowflake taken in Aurora, Colorado. (Jason Persoff / StormDoctor.com / FOX Weather)

That means bundling up, as all the photography must be done outside during the snowfall. Persoff said that ideally, the temperature outside needs to be from 10-25 degrees Fahrenheit.

A budget-minded photography set-up

Persoff said he’s focused on a budget-friendly photography studio for capturing nature’s icy gallery and has even created a step-by-step tutorial on YouTube to share his secrets. 

“I catch snowflakes on, of all things, a black wool sock,” Persoff said. “Later, that allows me to subtract the background much easier to get the flakes you see in my photos.”

7 FACTS ABOUT SNOW

His camera is a version that can be found on aftermarket sales for under $200, and add in some relatively inexpensive extension tubes and a macro lens coupled with LED lights and a ring flash, “and boom, you have the studio,” he said.

A closeup photograph of a snowflake taken in Aurora, Colorado. (Jason Persoff / StormDoctor.com / FOX Weather)

All that’s left is to be willing to sit outside in frigid temperatures and see what exciting creations Mother Nature has in store for the sock today. Later, after a bit of post-processing in photo editing software, his social media feeds come alive with awe-inspiring beauty.

“I always practice a catch-and-release philosophy with the snowflakes,” he joked. “So, none are harmed in the process, to the best of my knowledge.”

The rare 12-pointed snowflake

The reason each snowflake is unique is that no snowflake takes the same path from cloud to Earth, meaning snowflakes never experience the exact same atmospheric conditions during their creation. Temperature and humidity inside the clouds will determine the general shape of the flakes, but each has its own unique imprint that acts like a transcript, detailing its own personal journey through the atmosphere.

SNOW 101: THE BASICS OF SNOW

“The atmospheric conditions where (snowflakes) form are in the clouds around -10 to -20 degrees Celsius (14 to -4 degrees Fahrenheit) called the dendritic growth zone (DGZ),” Persoff said. “The closer the DGZ is to the ground, the more intricate the designs. The higher up, the more that snowflakes can be damaged or melt on the way down. Winds can cause snowflakes to bash against each other, resulting in broken pieces and fragments.”

A closeup photograph of a rare 12-sided snowflake taken in Aurora, Colorado. (Jason Persoff / StormDoctor.com)

Persoff was especially excited about his catch last week which featured a few rare 12-point snowflakes instead of the common six-sided frozen dendrites.

Those 12-sided snowflakes are rare because they require a chance meeting.

“Water can only make crystals with angles of 60 degrees, so a 12-sided snowflake is impossible,” Persoff said. “What happens is that early in the snowflake’s genesis, two snowflakes become adhered together. Then, as they fall through the clouds, they encounter identical atmospheric conditions leading to the arms of each flake forming the way you see in (the) photo”.

THE SOUND OF SILENCE: WHY IT’S QUIETER AFTER A SNOWSTORM

It’s the thrill of a different kind of chase – one that requires keeping warm instead of keeping warned. It’s led to a year-round adventure with Mother Nature.

“I chase storms in the spring and summer, and snowflakes in the autumn and winter,” Persoff said.

Read more from FOX Weather



Poll: Do you own a mobile tripod for your smartphone?


Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

Today’s smartphones come with some smart imaging tech, allowing you to shoot night mode snaps and even some long exposures without the use of a tripod.

There are still times when you might need a mobile tripod for your smartphone, though. So with that being said, we wanted to know whether you indeed owned a tripod for your phone. You can give us your answer by voting in the poll below.

Do you own a mobile tripod for your smartphone?

1132 votes

There are a few reasons to mount your phone to a tripod. For one, astrophotography modes and astro timelapses require this option. You might also want to use a tripod to reduce blur when shooting at night, or when using dedicated long-exposure/light painting modes. A tripod is also handy for group shots or to simply keep your phone as still as possible for recording video clips.

Then again, most phones deliver high-quality night shots just fine when in handheld mode. We’ve also seen devices like the Pixel series offering long-exposure/motion mode effects without the need of a tripod. So a mobile tripod doesn’t seem like a necessity for most situations.

National Geographic spotlights extraordinary photography as ‘Pictures of the Year’: Here are 10 great shots


National Geographic has released its roundup of the most intriguing photos of 2022.

The brand’s “Pictures of the Year” issue showcased stunning photography captured in locations all around the world — and right here in the U.S. as well.

Of a whopping 2,238,899 total photos snapped by NatGeo’s team of photographers, 118 were selected as the top shots.

FIVE US DESTINATIONS MADE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC’S ‘BEST OF THE WORLD’ TRAVEL LIST: ARE YOU SURPRISED?

The pictures were taken with the help of 4,000 pounds of gear shipped into the field by NatGeo staff photo engineer Tom O’Brien.

The images capture everything from scenic Mount Everest views to a tapir strolling through Emas National Park in Brazil.

The cover of National Geographic’s December 2022 issue is shown here.
(National Geographic)

Here are 10 of National Geographic’s best photos of the year.

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch over Blue Cypress Lake, Florida

Photographer Mac Stone caught the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launching from Cape Canaveral in the early hours of June 19, 2022.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, launched from Cape Canaveral in the early hours of June 19, streaks above a stand of bald cypress trees.
(Mac Stone)

The rocket left a bright streak in the sky over bald cypress trees in Florida’s Blue Cypress Lake.

This was the second time a SpaceX rocket snuck into one of Stone’s frames while he was photographing at night in a remote swamp, according to National Geographic.

TERRIFYING CLOSE-UP OF AN ANT’S FACE GIVES HORROR MOVIE MONSTERS A RUN FOR THEIR MONEY

Stone said in a statement that the increased frequency of launches without fanfare “suggests that we have crossed over into a new era where cosmic missions are simply business as usual.”

‘Combined’ photo of Bears Ears National Monument, Utah

Photographer Stephen Wilkes told Fox News Digital that he and his team endured rough terrain and windy weather to grab this unique shot of Bears Ears National Monument in Utah.

To create this image of Bears Ears, Stephen Wilkes took 2,092 photos over 36 hours, combining 44 of them to show a sunrise, a full moon and a rare alignment of four planets. This landscape in southeastern Utah shows the risk to some of the country’s unique, irreplaceable places. The national monument is rich in archeological sites, including the Citadel, an ancient cliff dwelling now popular with hikers.
(Stephen Wilkes/National Geographic)

Wilkes took 2,092 photos over 36 hours and combined 44 of them, according to National Geographic, to show the sun, a full moon and the alignment of four planets.

CALIFORNIA CLIMBER LEADS FIRST-KNOWN ASCENT OF ONE OF THE TALLEST CLIFFS ON EARTH

“Beyond the sense of awe and beauty, there’s a palpable sense of history with every step you take,” he said.

Collecting samples from La Palma’s Cumbre Vieja eruption in Canary Islands, Spain 

Spanish military emergency specialist Armando Salazar was photographed collecting samples from the eruption of La Palma’s Cumbre Vieja volcanic ridge in Canary Islands, Spain.

Wearing a protective suit, Armando Salazar steps carefully across sizzling rock, carrying a chunk of glowing lava on a pitchfork.
(Arturo Rodriguez)

Photographer Arturo Rodriquez snapped a photo of Salazar doing his everyday duty as he steps across sizzling rocks and collects lava on a pitchfork.

Samples from the 2021 eruption can help scientists better understand the 86-day event and the site’s potential for future blasts, National Geographic explained.

This photo made the cover of National Geographic’s December 2022 “Pictures of the Year” issue.

Blur of tourists at Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The Lincoln Memorial, visited by thousands of tourists each year, celebrated its centennial in 2022.

A long camera exposure blurs the crowd of tourists gathered inside the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
(Sasha Arutyunova/National Geographic)

Photographer Sasha Arutyunova captured the hustle and bustle of tourism surrounding Washington, D.C.’s presidential monument made from 38,000 tons of marble, limestone and granite.

The long camera exposure blurs the crowds of different passersby who’ve treated the monument as a backdrop for protests, prayer vigils and celebrations of all kinds this year.

NORTH CAROLINA OWLS PHOTO WINS TOP PRIZE IN NATIONAL NEIGHBORHOOD PIC CONTEST: SEE OTHER STUNNING ENTRIES

“In using a long exposure, I was trying to capture a feeling of the sea of visitors to the memorial each year, while positioning the Lincoln statue as this steady constant,” Arutyunova said.

Mother and daughter shelter from bombings in Przemysl, Poland

Mother-daughter duo, both named Oksana Hapbarova, embrace for a photo taken by photographer Anastasia Taylor-Lind.

Oksana Hapbarova (at left), 18, said that she and her mother (also named Oksana, 39), waited out Russian attacks in a Kyiv bomb shelter.
(Anastasia Taylor-Lind/National Geographic)

The pair waited out Russian attacks in a Kyiv bomb shelter at the onset of the war in Ukraine.

“For six days in the shelter, I couldn’t sleep, because I was scared I would never wake up,” the younger Hapbarova said.

Sailing between two icebergs in Greenland

Photographer Renan Ozturk made a risky move when he launched his camera drone from a moving boat to grab this shot.

Five weeks into the journey of the National Geographic expedition ship Polar Sun, photographer Renan Ozturk found himself exploring a bay off the coast of Greenland. The boat played peekaboo with pale blue icebergs as Ozturk readied his camera drone and held his breath.
(Renan Ozturk/National Geographic)

The National Geographic expedition ship Polar Sun was five weeks into its journey when Ozturk went exploring off the coast of Greenland.

As the ship veered between two ice-blue icebergs, Ozturk told National Geographic that he took a chance on getting the photo from the air.

“Launching the drone from a moving boat is always a dangerous and exciting affair,” he said. “It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience to shoot such a feature.”

A tapir beneath a harvest moon in Emas National Park, Brazil

Photographer Katie Orlinsky told Fox News Digital that this vivid shot of a tapir took a lot of patience and pure luck.

The tapir named Preciosa was spotted on a hazy morning under a harvest moon in Brazil’s Emas National Park.

Under a harvest moon on a hazy morning in Brazil’s Emas National Park, a lowland tapir known to park staff as Preciosa ambles down a road.
(Katie Orlinsky/National Geographic)

Preciosa wandered down the road as Orlinsky doubted ever spotting her again — but she noted how animals can behave strangely under full moons.

“It was definitely not this tapir’s usual route,” she told National Geographic.

The tapir species dates back some 50 million years as one of the few survivors of the Ice Age extinctions of megafauna — or really big mammals like mammoths.

STEVE IRWIN-LIKE WILDLIFE ENTHUSIAST SHARES JOY AT FINDING RARE PINE SNAKE IN SOUTH GEORGIA: ‘INCREDIBLE’

Today, tapirs like Preciosa help regrow Brazil’s degraded forests by eating fruit and spreading seeds, according to NatGeo.

Unfortunately, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, all tapir species are either threatened or endangered.

Recording baby brain activity – University of Virginia

Neuroscientists at the University of Virginia recorded the brain activity of nine-month-old Ian Boardman.

University of Virginia neuroscientists record the brain activity of nine-month-old Ian Boardman while brushing his skin to activate nerve fiber responses.
(Lynn Johnson/National Geographic)

Photographer Lynn Johnson caught the moment in which baby Ian looks up and smiles at a doctor who’s brushing his skin to activate nerve fiber responses.

Western Arctic caribou herd in Kobuk River Valley, Alaska

Photographer Katie Orlinsky used a drone to photograph a group of caribou trekking across the Alaskan landscape.

Captured via drone, caribou from the Western Arctic herd gallop across a valley near the small town of Ambler during their spring migration.
(Katie Orlinsky/National Geographic)

The Western Arctic herd is seen galloping across the Kobuk River Valley near the small town of Ambler, National Geographic reports, during its spring migration.

THREE US DESTINATIONS MAKE LONELY PLANET’S ‘BEST PLACES TO VISIT’ IN 2023: CAN YOU GUESS THE PICKS?

While caribou populations throughout North America are dwindling, the Western Arctic herd has also been whittled down to a record low of less than 200,000.

Hyenas at night in Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya

This nighttime photo, taken by photographer Jen Guyton with an infrared camera, catches two hyenas baring teeth — and a little one caught in the middle.

Photographed at night with an infrared camera, a spotted hyena that scientists nicknamed Palazzo submissively grins and lays her ears back as Moulin Rouge, the clan’s dominant female at the time, towers over her.
(Jen Guyton/National Geographic)

A dominant hyena female — named Moulin Rouge by scientists — towers over a submissive hyena called Palazzo, as Palazzo’s cub peers out in between them.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The African predators showed their frisky nature, stealing a tripod from Guyton during the shoot.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR LIFESTYLE NEWSLETTER

Anyone who would like to see more of this year’s best photos from National Geographic can visit its website.

Packet Camera Club photos of Cornwall wildlife and nature


THIS week’s Packet Camera Club comes to you in the first week of December, which means only one thing, Christmas is well and truly on its way.

With the weather turning decidedly colder, coupled with darker evenings, it’ll come as no surprise that our member’s submissions have taken a more wintery turn.

Despite this, we hope our selection of Packet Camera Club member’s fantastic photography will help to keep you warm over the coming months. 

Honourable mentions this week go to Mark Quilter for his spectacular image of late afternoon waves at Porthleven which is dripping with atmosphere.

Also getting an honourable mention this week is John Chapman for his beautiful image of a buzzard up at Penndennis Headland, seemingly staring into John’s soul. 

Remember to check in next week when we’ll be bringing you even more of our members’ stunning photography and imagery.

If you’d like to get involved with the Packet Camera Club, join our Facebook page and start sending us your best pictures: Packet Camera Club

If you have any suggestions as to how we can improve The Packet Camera Club, or if there are any features you’d like to see us look into, send us an email at: ryan.morwood@newsquest.co.uk



Huge discounts on these Sony Alpha cameras in the Amazon Black Friday sale


Black Friday is a great time of year for photographers as there are usually many amazing deals to be had. Photography is not a cheap hobby or career at the best of times, and as we are going through a cost of living crisis it’s more important than ever to save money where you can. 

Thankfully, Amazon have some fantastic deals on Sony cameras this year, so if you’re looking to make the switch to a full frame or a mirrorless camera, look no further.  

Currently, Amazon are selling the cult favorite Sony A7iii for $1698 (opens in new tab) (save $300), the Sony A7ii with a 28-70mm lens for $998 (opens in new tab) (save $720) and the amazing Sony A7R IV for $2998 (opens in new tab) (save $500). 

Whether you’re looking for the best astrophotography cameras or a stunning wildlife photography camera, Sony is a brand you can rely on.

The Sony A7R IV (opens in new tab) is the world’s first-ever 61MP full-frame mirrorless camera, and the price reflects that. The image quality this camera can produce is astounding and would make an ideal camera for landscape or astrophotography because it gives so much detail. It can shoot up to 10fps with Sony’s impressive real-time AF tracking, making sure human and animal eyes and faces are consistently in sharp focus. 

Amazon are also offering a huge saving on the Sony A7ii (opens in new tab) when you purchase it with the 28-70mm kit lens. They’re both currently on offer for just $998, down from the original price of $1718.26. This would be an amazing deal if you’re making the switch from APSC over to full frame because full frame bodies and lenses are both very expensive in their own right, so finding a great deal where they’re being sold together is quite rare.

Finally, we couldn’t mention Sony cameras without mentioning the cult favorite Sony A7iii (opens in new tab). This is an incredibly popular camera among all types of photographers, and for good reason. In our Sony A7iii review we described it as being a “swiss army knife” of a camera, as it’s a powerful camera with superb image quality at an affordable price. It’s still $1698 even in the Black Friday sales, so it’s not the biggest discount we’ve seen, but it’s still a great opportunity to pick up the camera everyone is still raving about years after its release. 

Stunning graphicically-composed photos win in 2022 ViewSonic ColorPro Award


Monitor manufacturer ViewSonic revealed the winners of its third ColorPro Award at a ceremony in London last week. 

Themed ‘Breakthrough’, the award is open to entrants around the world and a total of 11,000 works were submitted, across the Photography and Digital Art categories. 

The Photography award was won by Alireza Bagheri Sani of Iran, for his image ‘No.3’. Second place went to Callie Chee Yuen Mun from Australia for ‘Unfazed’, with ‘The Priest’ by Andrea Peruzzi of Italy took third place. 

Visitors to the event were able to get hands-on time with current and forthcoming ColorPro products, plus listen to talks about the range. 

Following its appearance in London, the ColorPro Award show moves on to Taipei in Taiwan, where the shortlisted and winning images will be displayed from 9-11 December. 

Click here to view the Top 10 and Top 100 images from ‘Breakthrough’ (opens in new tab)

During the introduction to the presentation in London, ViewSonic explained that ‘Breakthrough’ was a natural evolution from ‘New adventure’, the previous year’s theme. 

“As the world seeks full recovery from the pandemic, ‘Breakthrough’ represents overcoming an obstacle and permission for further progress. 

“With two times more submissions and three times more countries participating in the contest, this is a great embodiment of a breakthrough.”

2022 ColorPro Award: top three entries

“The older adult symbolizes long life, and the yellow color in number 3 represents hope. Minimalism, surrealism and street photography are all wrapped up into one seemingly simple image at first glance. However, the changing size of the doors, the central positioning of the subject, and the pop of yellow ensure the image doesn’t become flattened. Creativity doesn’t always have to be loud.”  (Image credit: © Alireza Bagheri Sani)

“The photographer ventured into Kyrgyzstan in search of eagle hunters skilled in their hunts and horsemanship. She wanted a never-done-before shot, a breakthrough perspective of the horsemen and eagle that is able to demonstrate the speed and control of the rider-animal dynamics. She lay flat on the ground (with no protection) and waited for the horses to gallop and jump very close and over her.” (Image credit: © Callie Chee Yuen Mun)

“Illuminated by the sun’s golden light, the elderly priest stops on the narrow and dangerous path that, overlooking the valley and along the rocky wall of the mountain, leads to the 12th-century rock church, of which he has been the guardian for 60 years. This Orthodox church, carved into the rock atop a mountain in northern Ethiopia, houses frescoes of biblical stories and ancient relics handed down to the present day.” (Image credit: © Andrea Peruzzi)

The ColorPro Award has opened another communication channel between the brand and the end user, although Kumar is keen to stress that the competition is not just a marketing opportunity. 

“We’re developing a community [with these awards]: we started off with 3,000 entrants, now it’s up to 11,000, and we are learning from what is being fed back to us. 

“It’s actually developing and working with a community of creative people, getting feedback from them and working with them, then bringing it back to our business unit in Asia… that is something we really crave. We want their input – it’s vitally important for us.” 

Read more
The best monitors for photographers (opens in new tab)
The best video editing monitors (opens in new tab)
The best monitor stands (opens in new tab)
The best USB-C monitors for photographers (opens in new tab)

Comparison of breath-guards and face-masks on droplet spread in eye clinics


  • Sadhu S, Agrawal R, Pyare R, Pavesio C, Zierhut M, Khatri A, et al. COVID-19: limiting the risks for eye care professionals. Ocul Immunol Inflamm. 2020;28:714–20.

    Article 
    PubMed 

    Google Scholar 

  • Romano MR, Montericcio A, Montalbano C, Raimondi R, Allegrini D, Ricciardelli G, et al. Facing COVID-19 in Ophthalmology Department. Curr Eye Res. 2020;45:653–8.

    Article 
    PubMed 

    Google Scholar 

  • Nair AA. Staring death in the eyes: fighting on the COVID frontline as an ophthalmologist. Am J Ophthalmol. 2020;220:A15–6.

    Article 
    PubMed 
    PubMed Central 

    Google Scholar 

  • Kursumovic E, Lennane S, Cook TM. Deaths in healthcare workers due to COVID-19: the need for robust data and analysis. Anaesthesia. 2020;75:989–92.

    Article 
    PubMed 
    PubMed Central 

    Google Scholar 

  • WHO. Modes of transmission of virus causing COVID-19: implications for IPC precautions and recommendations. 2020. https://www.who.int/news-room/commentaries/detail/modes-of-transmission-of-virus-causing-covid-19-implications-for-ipc-precaution-recommendations.

  • Johnson GR, Morawska L, Ristovski ZD, Hargreaves M, Mengersen K, Chao CYH, et al. Modality of human expired aerosol size distributions. J Aerosol Sci. 2011;42:839–51.

    Article 

    Google Scholar 

  • Anfinrud P, Stadnytskyi V, Bax CB, Adriaan Bax A. Visualizing speech-generated oral fluid droplets with laser light scattering. N Engl J Med. 2020;382:2061–3.

    Article 
    PubMed 

    Google Scholar 

  • Jones NR, Qureshi ZU, Temple RJ, Larwood LPJ, Greenhalgh T, Bourouiba L. Two metres or one: what is the evidence for physical distancing in covid-19? BMJ. 2020;370:m3223.

    Article 
    PubMed 

    Google Scholar 

  • Bourouiba L. Turbulent gas clouds and respiratory pathogen emissions: potential implications for reducing transmission of COVID-19. JAMA. 2020;323:1837–8.

    PubMed 

    Google Scholar 

  • Morawska L, Cao J. Airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2. The world should face the reality. Environ Int. 2020;139:105730.

    Article 
    PubMed 
    PubMed Central 

    Google Scholar 

  • Newsom RB, Amara A, Hicks A, Quint M, Pattison C, Bzdek BR, et al. Comparison of droplet spread in standard and laminar flow operating theatres: SPRAY study group. J Hosp Infect. 2021;110:194–200.

    Article 
    PubMed 
    PubMed Central 

    Google Scholar 

  • Wang L, Wang Y, Ye D, Liu Q. Review of the 2019 novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) based on current evidence. Int J Antimicrob Agents. 2020;55:105948.

    Article 
    PubMed 
    PubMed Central 

    Google Scholar 

  • Qing H, Li Z, Yang Z, Shi M, Huang Z, Song J, et al. The possibility of COVID-19 transmission from eye to nose. Acta Ophthalmol. 2020;98:e388.

    Article 
    PubMed 
    PubMed Central 

    Google Scholar 

  • Belser JA, Lash RR, Garg S, Tumpey TM, Maines TR. The eyes have it: influenza virus infection beyond the respiratory tract. Lancet Infect Dis. 2018;18:e220–7.

    Article 
    PubMed 
    PubMed Central 

    Google Scholar 

  • Deng W, Bao L, Gao H, Z Xiang, Y Qu, Z Song, et al. Rhesus macaques can be effectively infected with SARS-CoV-2 via ocular conjunctival route. 2020. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.13.990036v1.

  • Xie HT, Jiang SY, Xu KK, Liu X, Xu B, Wang L, et al. SARS-CoV-2 in the ocular surface of COVID-19 patients. Eye Vis. 2020;7:23.

    Article 

    Google Scholar 

  • Ong SWX, Tan KY, Chia PY, Lee TH, Ng OT, Wong SUY, et al. Air, surface environmental, and personal protective equipment contamination by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) from a symptomatic patient. JAMA. 2020;323:1610–2.

    Article 
    PubMed 
    PubMed Central 

    Google Scholar 

  • Heneghan C, Howdon D, Oke J, Jefferson T. The Ongoing Problem of UK Hospital Acquired Infections. 2020. https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/the-ongoing-problem-of-hospital-acquired-infections-across-the-uk.

  • Arons MM, Hatfield KM, Reddy SC, et al. Presymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections and transmission in a skilled nursing facility. N. Engl J Med. 2020;382:2081–90. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2008457.

    Article 
    PubMed 

    Google Scholar 

  • Wan Kelvin H, Lin Timothy PH, Ko C-N, Lam Dennis SC. Impact of COVID-19 on ophthalmology and future practice of medicine. Asia-Pac J Ophthalmol. 2020;9:279–80.

    Article 

    Google Scholar 

  • Lam DSC, Wong RLM, Lai KHW, Chung-Nga K, Hiu YL, Wing Lee VY, et al. COVID-19: special precautions in ophthalmic practice and FAQs on personal protection and mask selection. Asia Pac J Ophthalmol. 2020;9:67–77.

    Article 

    Google Scholar 

  • Bertin E, Arnouts S. SExtractor: software for source extraction. Astron Astrophys Suppl Ser. 1996;117:393–404.

    Article 

    Google Scholar 

  • Walker JS, Archer J, Gregson FAK, Michel SES, Bzdek BR, Reid JP. Accurate representations of the microphysical processes occurring during the transport of exhaled aerosols and droplets. ACS Cent. Sci. 2021. https://doi.org/10.1021/acscentsci.0c01522.

  • World Health Organization. Transmission of SARS-CoV-2: implications for infection preventive precautions: scientific brief, 9 July 2020. World Health Organization; 2020. https://www.who.int/news-room/commentaries/detail/transmission-of-sars-cov-2-implications-for-infection-prevention-precautions.

  • Santarpia JL, Rivera DN, Herrera VL, Morwitzer MJ, Creager HM, Santarpia GW, et al. Aerosol and surface contamination of SARS-CoV-2 observed in quarantine and isolation care [published correction appears in Sci Rep. 2020 Aug12;10(1):13892]. Sci Rep. 2020;10:12732.

    Article 
    PubMed 
    PubMed Central 

    Google Scholar 

  • Doremalen N, Bushmaker T, Morris DH, Myndi GH, Amandine G, Brandi NW, et al. Aerosol and surface stability of SARS-CoV-2 as compared with SARS-CoV-1. N Engl J Med. 2020;382:1564–7.

    Article 
    PubMed 

    Google Scholar 

  • Bischoff WE, Swett K, Leng I, Peters TR. Exposure to influenza virus aerosols during routine patient care. J Infect Dis. 2013;207:1037–46.

    Article 
    PubMed 

    Google Scholar 

  • Leung NHL, Chu DKW, Shiu EYC, Kwok-Hung C, James JM, Benien JPH, et al. Respiratory virus shedding in exhaled breath and efficacy of face masks [published correction appears in Nat Med. 2020 May 27;:]. Nat Med. 2020;26:676–80.

    Article 
    PubMed 
    PubMed Central 

    Google Scholar 

  • Bartoszko JJ, Farooqi MAM, Alhazzani W, Mark L. Medical masks vs N95 respirators for preventing COVID-19 in healthcare workers: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials. Influenza Other Respir Viruses. 2020;14:365–73.

    Article 
    PubMed 
    PubMed Central 

    Google Scholar 

  • Chu DK, Akl EA, Duda S, Solo K, Yaacoub S, Schünemann HJ. Physical distancing, face masks, and eye protection to prevent person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet. 2020;395:1973–87.

    Article 
    PubMed 
    PubMed Central 

    Google Scholar