4 reasons to visit Glencoe


February 2, 2022

Professional photographer Jeremy Walker shares his top four reasons to visit Glencoe, a stunning area of Scotland.

Glencoe is considered to be one of the most spectacular locations in the UK. The valley of Glencoe stretches from Rannoch Moor to Loch Leven and offers a variety of dramatic mountain scenery and beautiful lochs – a perfect location for landscape photography.


Seen from the top of the Glen this is one of the most dramatic views in the British Iles. The brooding bulk of the ‘Three Sisters of Glencoe’ on the left of the valley is matched by the legendary knife edge ridge of Aonach Eagach high on the right. Seen at any time of year, no matter what the weather is doing, this is a view not to be missed.

snowy mountains at glencoe

Buachaille Etive Mor

One of the most shapely and dramatic mountains in the Scottish Highlands. Looking like a huge pyramid or giant piece of Toblerone from many angles, this mountain dominates the entrance to both Glencoe and Glen Etive. Snow-capped, stormy skies or in sunshine this mountain is a must see for any landscape photographer.

black and white mountain

Glen Etive

Dominated by the peak of the Buachaille Etive, Glen Etive featured heavily in the James Bond film, Skyfall. The single-track road meanders along the glen following the fast-flowing river where there are plenty of vantage points for photographic exploration of the numerous waterfalls.

waterfall at glencoe long exposure water

Rannoch Moor

Famous for its loch and small stone outcrops and all viewed against the stunning backdrop of the Black Mount, Rannoch Moor is a photographer’s paradise. Great to shoot at both sunrise and sunset there is potential for vast dramatic landscapes or close-up detailed shots.

jeremy walker glencoe mountain and castle ruin scene

Glencoe in Autumn photography holiday with Jeremy Walker

20 – 23 October 2022

Jeremy will be leading a number of our AP Photo Tours, in association with leading tour operator Zoom Photo Tours; including Glencoe in Autumn, running from 20-23 October 2022.

Join Jeremy for this workshop which will visit places such as the Three Sisters of Glencoe, the Waterfalls of Glen Etive, Castle Stalker, the famous Blackrock Cottage on Rannoch Moor and many more great photo locations.

More details here.

Find out more about AP Photo Tours.

jeremy walker glencoe snow scene

About Jeremy Walker

Jeremy Walker is an award-winning landscape, architecture and people photographer and a highly experienced workshop leader, tutor and mentor. A former Nikon Ambassador, Jeremy is currently working with ZEISS, and is recognised as a LEE Filters ‘Master’. He writes regularly for AP. View more of his work at http://www.jeremywalker.co.uk or on Instagram @jeremywalkerphotography

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Meteor Video Flagged as ‘Intimate Content’ Locks Photographer Out of Twitter


Meteor by Mary McIntyre

Astronomer and astrophotographer Mary McIntyre was locked out of her Twitter account for three months after a video of a meteor she published to the platform was flagged as “intimate content.”

As reported by the BBC, McIntyre’s video was flagged by Twitter’s automated moderation system and she was given only one option: delete the tweet. If she did so, however, it would have meant she agreed with the assertion that the content violated the social media company’s rules.

“It’s just crazy… I don’t really want it on my record that I’ve been sharing pornographic material when I haven’t,” she tells the BBC.

Twitter’s rules only mention the word “intimate” one time, specifically in reference to nudity:

Non-consensual nudity: You may not post or share intimate photos or videos of someone that were produced or distributed without their consent.

McIntyre’s initial 12-hour ban continued for three months as she says she exhausted the appeals process. Her tweet and her account remained visible, but she was unable to access it. After the BBC’s report, Twitter unblocked her account and fixed the issue.

The offending tweet is below, which she tells PetaPixel was unblocked today:

A few minutes before she published that video, McIntyre also shared a pair of photos of the meteor:

To make matters more confusing, McIntyre says the video was shared by other astonomers on her behalf, and none of them experienced a ban.

The BBC spoke to tech commentator Kate Bevan who said that the best explanation for the issue is that it is just a limitation of whatever artificial intelligence (AI) system Twitter has in place.

“AI tools are OK for quick and dirty decisions, but it shows that content moderation at scale is really difficult – both for humans and for the AI tools that are supporting them,” she says.

She adds that the issue becomes even worse when there are no humans available to review these poor decisions made by AI systems.

It’s not clear what about the above video triggered Twitter’s auto-moderation system, and it’s possible that will never be revealed. In the time between McIntyre’s ban and her access being restored today, Twitter has gone through a massive internal upheaval. Its shareholders approved an acquisition by Elon Musk who subsequently took the company private and fired a large number of its staff. Of those who were let go was the entire communications team, meaning no one is available to comment on the situation.

Image credits: Header photo by Mary McIntyre.


5 Mistakes To Avoid When Photographing Nighttime Events


Nighttime photography is one of the most challenging types of photography one can execute. Not only does it require more gear than daytime photography, but it also requires you to use that gear for more extended periods without getting tired.

It’s easy to make mistakes when photographing at night, and some mistakes can significantly impact your shots. And so, here are five common errors people make when shooting nighttime events so you can avoid them!

Photographing Nighttime Events

#1 Shooting In Auto Mode

When photographing nighttime events, don’t use auto mode. Auto mode will make your photos look washed out and flat, even if you’re shooting under bright lights. Consider setting it to manual mode to get the best results from your camera. By setting it to the manual, you’ll be able to control three critical settings: aperture (or f-stop), shutter speed, and ISO sensitivity.

First, set your aperture as wide as possible so that more light enters the lens. This trick will also create a shallow depth of field, meaning that most objects in front or behind the focal point are blurred out—great for taking portraits. If you’re not sure what aperture to use for fireworks, wedding, or concert shots, further reading will help.

Next up is shutter speed. The longer this setting lasts, the more likely there will be motion blur because our eyes can only process so much information simultaneously. If there’s too much movement happening on stage during an event, then increase this setting until everything looks crisp again!

Last comes ISO sensitivity which directly affects how much light enters through each pixel sensor inside each pixel. Higher numbers mean brighter pictures but also introduce noise (grainy pixels) into images without proper postprocessing techniques like noise reduction software programs.

#2 Not Using A Tripod

When photographing nighttime events, it’s essential to use a tripod. A tripod is the best way to ensure your camera remains steady and prevents blurriness in your photographs.

It can be especially true when shooting outdoors, where fewer lighting options are available to you than indoors. It’s also more difficult for your eyes to adjust quickly.

In addition, using a tripod will allow you to take long exposures without hand-holding your camera. This is important because it will enable you to capture more light and create a much brighter image than if you were shooting handheld.

#3 Moving During Long Exposure Shots

One of the main reasons photographers use tripods is to avoid camera shakes. When using a long exposure, your shutter stays open for several seconds. If you don’t have a tripod in hand and want to take your photo, it’s best not to move at all while the shutter is open.

If you need to move around while photographing nighttime events, such as weddings and concerts, find your spot first then take a photo without moving. You should also wait until after all movement has stopped before taking another long exposure shot with your camera.

#4 Only Shooting Landscape Shots

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of finding unique angles and lighting, but don’t forget that you’re shooting a nighttime event. That means there will also be people there. So why not capture some portraits of them? A great way to do this is by using an accessory flash on your camera that can be used as a fill light when shooting portraits.

Another thing to remember is that these events are almost always held in venues with lots of detail. So make sure you take advantage of this opportunity by shooting those details as well—the venue itself, the decorations, etc.

Finally, don’t forget to take shots at regular intervals throughout the event to capture every moment.

#5 Overusing Flash

Remember that flash can be harsh on the eyes. It’s too bright, distracting, and can cause red eyes. Flash photography is also not suitable for people or objects in motion.

Furthermore, they may appear as a series of frozen frames rather than fluid movements. It is why many sports photographers use a fast shutter speed to freeze the action.

In low-light situations where you need to use your camera’s built-in flash indoors or outdoors, consider turning off autofocus and auto exposure. That way, you can manually adjust your settings until you find what works best to capture that special moment without disturbing anyone else.

Photographing Nighttime Events


With this list of tips, you can start on the right foot when photographing nighttime events. If you’re new to photography, these tips might seem common sense—but they’re easy to forget when you’re in the moment and trying to capture every second of an event. By keeping these points in mind while shooting at night, you can ensure that your photos look great and tell a compelling story!

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Caesars Palace Photography, Art & History Las Vegas


Caesars Palace Las Vegas

There are few places on Earth where the Eiffel Tower is within sight of one of the Great Pyramids. In fact, there is exactly one. Las Vegas is the gambling capital of the world, but it’s also an architectural menagerie—a collection of some of the most dazzling and uncanny structures ever built.

Much of the proliferation in fanciful edifices can be traced back to the imposing classical might of Caesars Palace. Though certainly not the oldest casino in Vegas, nor the first to toy with the idea of a special theme, the Palace revolutionized the developing Strip and opened the door to a new kind of aesthetic and luxury experience. Since its founding, Caesars Palace has been home to professional racing, daredevil stunts, mafia intrigue, and more famous acts and entertainers than you can count. Today, the Palace serves as the epicenter of the Vegas art scene, boasting some of the most prestigious galleries and showrooms in all of the United States.

From its not-so-humble beginnings to its role as cultural custodian of Vegas, the history of the Palace is fascinating, and it’s no wonder it still holds such a prestigious place both on the Strip and in the popular imagination.


Beginnings of Caesars Palace

Caesars Palace was not the first Vegas casino, but it preceded many of the other iconic and themed constructions on the Strip like the Venetian, the Bellagio, or the Luxor. Caesars Palace was founded by small-time motel owners Jay Sarno and Stanley Mallin. Sarno was the real brains behind the project and conceived of a resort experience based upon the aesthetics and luxury of the ancient Roman Empire. While other resorts like the Sahara and Tropicana had dabbled in the idea of a themed experience, the Palace would far outpace them with elaborate neoclassical facades, arcades, and statuary, spectacular networks of state-of-the-art fountains, and costumed attendants trained to act like true Roman servants.

The Palace first opened on August 5, 1966 with an inaugural feast befitting the ambitious and glamorous mission of the founders. 2,000lbs of filet, 50,000 glasses of champagne, crab, caviar, and every other delicacy were served to the illustrious guests as they were serenaded by the emotive virtuoso Andy Williams.

Despite its location on the Strip, for the first years of its operation, Caesars Palace operated primarily as a luxury hotel, with only a (relatively) small 30-table casino. In 1968, however, Sarno and Mallin managed to get the money together to build a dedicated casino just up the street. Known as Circus Circus, it stands today as another staple of the Las Vegas scene, but was only affiliated with the Palace until the early 70s, when financial difficulties and a slew of government investigations forced its sale to a third party.

Nonetheless, extensive renovations, including the construction of the iconic Centurion and Forum Towers, did provide for a newer and larger casino, and cemented the Palace as one of the most popular locations on the burgeoning strip.

Out To Sea Pano

Out To Sea, one of hundreds of fine art photography prints by Aaron Reed displayed in homes across Las Vegas.

Life in the Palace

During the first few decades following its completion, Caesars Palace accumulated a colorful history of fantastic spectacle, famous people, and shady intrigue.

The extensive fountain array crowning the entrance to the Palace was the site of one of daredevil Evel Knievel’s first major stunts. On New Year’s Eve 1967, Knievel attempted to jump his motorcycle over the length of the three main fountains. The trick failed, and Kneivel suffered serious injury to his pelvis, femur, hip, wrist, and ankles. Though unsuccessful, the Palace jump catapulted Knievel into the spotlight and helped launch his professional career.

The center of life at the Palace was (and is) the Colosseum—a massive multimedia stage styled to resemble the original Roman arena. Listing every star who has ever graced this venue would take some time, but among the ranks fall Sammy Davis Jr., Cher, Dianna Ross, Dolly Parton, David Copperfield, and Elton John.

Frank Sinatra was a regular performer during the early days of the Palace, making regular appearances at the Colosseum starting in 1967. His act was put on hiatus in 1970, however, after a spat over an unauthorized high-stakes game of baccarat. When Sinatra became indignant over the dealer’s refusal to further raise the betting ceiling, hotel executive Sanford Waterman reportedly pulled a gun on him and expelled him from the building. Luckily, Sinatra eventually made up with Palace management and became a mainstay of the venue during the latter half of the 70s.

During the early 80s, Caesars Palace even hosted a number of professional racing events in the resort’s spacious parking lot under the name Caesars Palace Grand Prix. From 1981-2, the race was part of the Formula One World Championship; in 1983 it was passed to the Champ Car World Series before finally being canceled after 1984 due to encroaching development.

Throughout its early life, Caesars Palace and its owners faced regular charges of conspiracy with organized crime. Allegations of tax fraud and racketeering were common and resulted in the loss of Circus Circus and the resignation of the Palace’s creator, Sarno. None of these early misfortunes however, could diminish the Palace’s fame and popularity, nor prevent its propitious expansion into the world of luxury commerce and high art.

SuperNova Pano

Transform your space with Aaron Reed’s luxury fine art photography print, Supernova, from his Panoramic Wall Art collection. Order yours today! Fine Art Limited Edition of 200.

In 1992, a commercial area was appended to the main hotel and casino area. Complete with twin spiral escalators and an animated fountain complex depicting the fall of Atlantis, this was known as the Forum Shops.

The Strip had long been a place of big money, but spending was limited primarily to lodging, eating, and of course, gambling. By creating a dedicated commercial marketplace for luxury vendors, Palace execs were trying to cater to the buying habits of wealthy tourists and international high-rollers. Everyone from Cartier to Versace, Rolex to Leica clamored for a spot, and today the Forum Shops constitute the highest-grossing mall per square foot in the United States.

While they may be something of a retail mecca, clothing and timepieces isn’t all the Forum Shops have to offer. Since their inception, they’ve become the epicenter of fine art in Las Vegas, with independent and institutional galleries from across the world maintaining galleries and showrooms there.

The largest, by far, is Martin Lawrence Galleries. With 27,000 sqft. of floorspace, the Las Vegas location of this famous chain of photography and art galleries is more akin to a small museum. There’s also the independent SKYE Art Gallery, showcasing up-and-coming artists from Europe and the Americas. Peter Lik maintains a gallery here, filled with his award-winning panoramas of the wild Earth in wild color. Vladimir Kush adds his name to the list with his works of metaphorical realism, and the Carnivale dedicates itself solely to the work of fine art photographers.

Even this short list should give an idea of the quality and uniqueness of the art to be found in the Forum Shops. What Caesars Palace started has now spread up and down the Strip, inspiring other art institutions and vendors like the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art and the collection of galleries in the Grand Canal Shoppes at the Venetian. Even the evolution of the new Las Vegas Arts District can be traced to the renewed interest in art fostered by the Palace, and the Forum Shops are a must-see destination for all those lovers of art who pass through the city.

Shapeshifter | Beam of Light Shining Into a Canyon | Fine Art Photography for Sale by Aaron Reed

Create a window into nature with Aaron Reed’s limited edition photography print, ShapeShifter, from his American Southwest Photography collection. Order yours today! Fine Art Limited Edition of 100


Today, Caesars Palace is still as iconic and eye-catching as the day it opened. For luxury and opulence, there is no higher standard, and it’s sure to remain a fun and fine art destination far into the future, with an enduring image and body of legend befitting its Roman heritage.

Dragonskin | Abstract Photography | Aaron Reed

Transform your space with Aaron Reed’s limited edition photography print, Dragonskin, from his Abstract Nature Photography collection. Order yours today! Fine Art Limited Edition of 100.


Best star trackers for astrophotography 2022 this Black Friday



© Future

The best star trackers for astrophotography have changed the scene forever by counteracting the rotation of our planet and over Black Friday you’re sure to pick up some excellent discounts on these fantastic devices. It was only until a few years ago a long exposure of over about 10 seconds caused stars to blur. That made it very difficult to extract much data from deep-sky objects such as nebulae, but also from the Milky Way. Cue the invention of the star-tracker, which is basically a shrunken equatorial mount, but designed for cameras instead of telescopes.

Like an equatorial mount, a star tracker needs to be aligned (often with the help of a smartphone app) with the north celestial pole (the star Polaris) in the northern hemisphere or the south celestial pole in the southern hemisphere. It then keeps your camera in sync with Earth’s rotation. That way it counteracts the rotation of the Earth and keeps the target object still in a composition, thus allowing blur-free long exposures. 

Of course, you’ll need one of the best cameras for astrophotography equipped with one of the best lenses for astrophotography, too. But if you’d rather something more general discover our guide to the best cameras for photos and videos and either the best tripods or best travel tripods to keep things steady.

The best star trackers for astrophotography 2022

While most star trackers are a compromise between their own weight and their payload, the Benro Polaris is both super lightweight (at 3.3lbs / 1.5kg) and super-supportive, taking a mighty 15lbs/7kg of gear (the highest carrying capacity of any star tracker mount so far). It achieves that by using precise high torque motors and a waterproof IPX6 rating. That helps explain the very high price. It’s the first star tracker to offer built-in DSLR control and a built-in micro SD card slot. Remarkably, the Benro Polaris can even be controlled via the cellphone network. Its huge 2500 mAh battery can be recharged via USB-C while alignment is via any objects from a choice presented on a smartphone app. However advanced the best star trackers appear, there’s evidence from this electric tripod head that their days are numbered. 

The incessant creep of light pollution means it’s now almost inevitable that you’ll need to travel to find the darkest night skies possible. Even if you don’t travel internationally, finding dark skies often means hiking into backcountry areas away from other humans. That necessitates a star tracker that strikes the right balance between its own weight and what it can support. 

Cue the Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer Mini, affectionately known as SAM, which can take a payload of 3kg yet it is relatively easy to squeeze into a camera bag. It’s not the sleekest device ever, and nor is its SA Console app up to much. However, as we found during our Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer Mini review, once you get used to its foibles SAM is reliable and relatively easy to use. It’s possible to get accurate long-exposure images of up to about four minutes, which makes SAM a great compromise product. Accessories include a counterweight and declination bracket to increase the payload.

The priciest and one of the best star trackers around for astrophotographers is the iOptron SkyGuider Pro. Many star trackers are made for landscape photographers wanting to save on weight when out in the field searching for wide-angle compositions that include the night sky. But there are plenty of astrophotographers that only want to use telephoto lenses to capture light from distant deep sky objects. That means bigger payloads and longer exposures, which is what the iOptron SkyGuider Pro is designed for. 

Able to take about 11lbs / 5kg, it can support long lenses or even a small telescope, making this a product that in some ways behaves more like a motorized equatorial mount, though its wedge lacks a little precision. Another downside is its use of a counterweight to reach that higher capacity than average, which adds a further 3lbs/1.35kg to the product. Aligning using its electronic polar finderscope and iOptron Polar Scope app, like most of its rivals this star trackers also tracks the Sun, Moon and allows 1/2-speed motion time lapses at night.

Even smaller and more nimble than the SAM is the great value Move Shoot Move, a star tracker that’s suitable only for wide-angle lenses. That’s partly because of its limited payload of 6.6lbs / 3kg and partly, as we discovered in our Move Shoot Move star tracker review, because it’s just not the most accurate star tracker around. 

While that might sound like a deal-breaker, it’s actually a plus if you intend only to take wide-angle images of the Milky Way and starfields. For such photos a rough alignment with Polaris is all you need, something that can be done easily and quickly using an included green laser pointer. 

The Move Shoot Move isn’t going to accurately track Polaris for more than about two or three minutes (though the wider and lighter your lens the longer it will remain accurate enough). But if you have a reasonably fast wide-angle lens none of that is going to matter much. If you have a telephoto lens though, look elsewhere.

While iOptron’s SkyGuider Pro is aimed at deep sky photography, the pared-down and more compact iOptron SkyTracker Pro is aimed more at wide-angle nightscapes. Its payload capacity, at 6.6lbs/3kg, is a lot less than its stablemate and at 2.5lbs/1.1kg it also weighs less. As such it’s more suitable for those wanting to carry a star tracker in their camera bag during trips and travel. 

It has a wider appeal than just nightscapes since in addition to tracking objects in the night sky it can also follow the Sun, Moon and has a half speed for motion timelapses. As a bonus, its internal battery can run for 24 hours. Accessories include a counterweight and declination bracket to increase the payload.  

The Vixen Polarie isn’t for deep-sky astrophotography. In the world of star trackers, it’s always a trade-off between size and versatility, and the Polaris compact size means it can support a payload of just 2kg. Therefore, it is best used with not only wide-angle lenses but fairly lightweight models, though using a mirrorless camera body will give you more flexibility. Alignment is via a supplied compass, a built-in latitude meter and a polar sight hole, so you will have to know how to find Polaris and/or the south celestial pole. 

On hand to help are both red light illumination and the Vixen PF-L Assist app for smartphones. As well as long exposure astrophotography the Polaris can track the Moon and the Sun (the latter useful for solar eclipses) and its half-speed allows motion time-lapses at night. Its short two-hour battery life can be augmented by instead attaching a portable battery to its micro USB slot. Optional accessories include a counterweight to boost the payload to 6.5kg, a polar axis scope and a time-lapse adapter.

Best star trackers for astrophotography 2022: What to look for

However, star trackers — which sit between a tripod and a camera — are not all the same. They have varying weights and designs but also manage different payloads. While some are ideal for telephoto lenses pointed at specific targets, others can only handle wide-angle lenses for capturing the Milky Way. Both the maximum payload and the accuracy of star trackers vary. They are often fiddly and time-consuming, but at their best star trackers can deliver addictively good images.

As well as weighing your camera body and lens before making a purchase do remember to take into account the added weight of a couple of ball-head mounts and the load-bearing ability of your tripod. If in doubt, go for bigger capacity mounts because as a rule of thumb it’s best to have your rig’s total weight about half the capacity of the mount.

How we test the best star trackers for astrophotography

In order to guarantee you’re getting honest, up-to-date recommendations on the best star trackers for astrophotography to buy here at Space.com we make sure to put every star tracker through a rigorous review to fully test each instrument. Each star tracker is reviewed based on a multitude of aspects, from its construction and design, to how well it functions as an imaging instrument and its performance in the field.

Each star tracker is carefully tested by either our expert staff or knowledgeable freelance contributors who know their subject areas in depth. This ensures fair reviewing is backed by personal, hands-on experience with each star tracker and is judged based on its price point, class and destined use.

We look at how easy it is to set up, whether the star tracker mounts are reliable and quiet if a star tracker comes with appropriate accessories and also make suggestions if a particular star tracker would benefit from any additional kit to give you the best astrophotography experience possible.

With complete editorial independence, Space.com are here to ensure you get the best buying advice on telescopes, whether you should purchase an instrument or not, making our buying guides and reviews reliable and transparent.

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Black Friday 2022 camera deal: $800 off Fujifilm bundle


Write a description of product in one sentence.

Best Buy

Black Friday is fast approaching, but this year, US retailers are using the entire month of November to launch tempting deals on high-quality technology. When it comes to photography equipment, Fujifilm GFX50S II mirrorless camera is an excellent device — and right now, Best Buy has it on sale. You can pick up this camera bundled with a Fujinon GF35-70mm lens for 18% off. While normally set at a retail price of approximately $4500, Best Buy has brought the cost down to $3699, a discount of $800.

The Fujifilm GFX50S II mirrorless camera packs a lot of the power you would expect from a DSLR. The camera is equipped with a 51.4-megapixel CMOS sensor, an ISO range of 100 – 12800, an X-Processor 4 image processor, and a burst speed of three frames per second. As you may expect from a premium camera, this device comes with Autofocus, automatic image stabilization, an OLED color viewfinder, and an LCD touchscreen monitor. 

Also: The 5 best cameras for beginners: Start your photography journey

The Fujinon GF35-70mm F4.5-5.6 lens, included in the deal, is a compact and lightweight GFX lens with a focal length of 35-70mm, an aperture of F4.5-5.6, and an angle of view coming in at 76 – 42.7 degrees. Plus, the lens weighs just under 400g.

Also: What is a DSLR camera and which are the best?

The deal on this mirrorless camera is just one of many early Black Friday deals. Even though Black Friday is still a week away, you can find excellent savings on many top tech devices today. If you want to investigate other deals on tech we’ve found, check out our 30+ best Black Friday deals guide.


Pizza-Eating Squirrel In Castro Valley: Photo


© Sarah Simon

CASTRO VALLEY, CA — Sarah Simon captured this fun photo in Castro Valley of a squirrel eating a slice of pizza loaded with toppings. Sarah told Patch in an email, “I found it very interesting to watch. This was a shy one (she/he turned to face a different direction when I tried to take a picture).”

Thank you for sharing your photo, Sarah!

If you have an awesome photo of nature, breath-taking scenery, kids caught being kids, a pet doing something funny, or something unusual you happen to catch with your camera, we’d love to feature it on Patch.

We’re looking for high-resolution images that reflect the beauty and fun that is Northern California, and that show off your unique talents.

Email it to [email protected].

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The article Pizza-Eating Squirrel In Castro Valley: Photo appeared first on Castro Valley Patch.


The Leonid meteor shower peaks tonight (Nov. 17)


On the evening of Thursday, Nov.17, leading to the morning of Friday, Nov. 18, 2022, the Leonid meteor shower will peak offering skywatchers willing to brave the biting cold an increased opportunity to spot streaks of light or the odd fireball over Earth

Lasting from Nov. 6 to Nov. 30 this year the Leonids is recognized as one of the most prolific meteor showers experienced by Earth. Through the Leonids peak meteor-production rate period on Friday, the best way to see the Leonids is to look for the shower’s radiant point located in the constellation of Leo. Be sure to move your gaze to nearby constellations as meteors further from the radiant tend to have longer trains (glowing trails of debris) and are easier to spot. 


Learn more about Indigenous photography from this new exhibit at Fort Worth’s Amon Carter Museum


Explore more stories from Arts Access.

The exhibit is called Speaking with Light and it features more than 30 contemporary Indigenous artists.

John Rohrbach is senior curator of photographs at the museum. He co-curated this show.

“The exhibition comes rooted in the museum’s recognition that it has more than 6,000 photographs of Indigenous peoples across the United States, most of these being made in the 19th through the mid 20th century,” he said. Less than 5 percent of the images were made by Native Americans.

Nicholas Galanin, Get Comfortable, 2012, P2021.42.jpeg

Amon Carter Museum of American Art

“Get Comfortable”, a 2012 print by Nicholas Galanin, is one of the first pieces visitors see in “Speaking with Light,” at the Amon Carter Museum.

That lack of control over who’s behind the camera has real-world consequences.

Take Jessica Johnson. She’s Native American, and co-host of a show called Bows and Arrows at KNON radio station. She said these historic images are sometimes hard to look at. She attended a preview of the new show.

“A lot of times when I go to museums, I’m a little concerned about what I’m going to see and how I’m going to feel,” she said. “Because a lot of times it’s Native culture in the past tense, and so I maybe get upset.”


Jessica Johnson attended the preview for “Speaking with Light” at the Amon Carter Museum.

“Speaking With Light” aims to start changing experiences like Johnson’s. It seeks to challenge past depictions, and the ways they contributed to demeaning stereotypes. The multimedia exhibition has over 70 works by artists who are reclaiming Indigenous representation.

Ryan RedCorn, a photographer and writer for the hit Hulu show “Reservation Dogs,” has work in the exhibit. He previously told The Dallas Morning News that he’s grown tired of Indigenous people “being told you’re helpless or useless and there’s nothing you can do about it, and everything that’s happening to Indigenous people is inevitable.

“That kind of storyline is really harmful, not even truthful, not even factual, and doesn’t really account for the way that I experience my own community, or that the world experiences my community or my experience within my own community.”

Will Wilson, a photographer and educator, co-curated the exhibit. He’s Diné – a citizen of the Navajo Nation.

One section of the exhibition draws attention to the past, displaying some of the Amon Carter’s large collection of delegation photos. These were taken in the early 1900s to document and celebrate treaty negotiations, which often were unfavorable to Native Americans. The photos were usually made by white people, said Wilson.

“We wanted to point to that history and say ‘Hey, this sovereignty has been intact since before the beginning of the United States, and it’s happening now too.'”


Will Wilson (left) and John Rohrbach co-curated the “Speaking with Light” exhibit.

Survival and resistance are important through-lines in Native American history.

There’s even a word for it, coined by Indigenous scholar Gerald Vizenor: “Survivance.” That’s central to the another part of the exhibit, said Wilson.

Survivance speaks to an Indigenous audience, but also to the settler colonist, who is “reminded very forcefully that, hey, we’re still here, you’ve stolen our land, you’ve tried to kill us. But we’re resisting, we’re surviving,” said Wilson.

The exhibit also explores what it means to see – and photograph – through an Indigenous lens.

One example is “Water Memory,” a 2015 print by Chemehuevi artist Cara Romero. In it, two Pueblo corn dancers float in the ocean. It represents the flooding of thousands of Native American homes in Southern California after the construction of the Parker Dam.

Cara Romero, Water Memory,  2015, inkjet print, P2021.54, copyright Caro Romero.tif

Amon Carter Museum of American Art

“Water Memory”, a 2015 print by Cara Romero. The piece reckons with a tragedy, while also looking at the relationship between water and Native Americans.

For the Amon Carter, “Speaking with Light” marks an ongoing effort to work with Indigenous artists, said Rohrbach, the curator. The museum has acquired more than 80 percent of the work on display.

But what about Jessica Johnson, who hasn’t always appreciated the way Native Americans are portrayed at museums?

“So the common perspective when you think of Native Americans, and this happens to me is, ‘Oh my gosh, do you have a spirit animal? What is your Native name? Do you identify to the earth and all the colors of the wind?’ And that’s frustrating,” she said. “I feel like in this exhibit, it kind of breaks some of those perceptions.”


Jessica Johnson says she really enjoyed the exhibit and found it inspiring.

“Coming here today to this exhibition, I’m elated, because they’re Native photography by Native artists, and it’s not just Indigenous culture that is reflective of the past, it is of the present and the future, and so that’s really inspiring.”

Johnson said she hopes people go. It might broaden their perspective on the complexities of modern Indigenous life.

DETAILS: The exhibit is up through January at the Amon Carter museum in Fort Worth.

Arts Access is a partnership between The Dallas Morning News and KERA that expands local arts, music and culture coverage through the lens of access and equity.

This community-funded journalism initiative is funded by the Better Together Fund, Carol & Don Glendenning, City of Dallas OAC, Communities Foundation of Texas, The Dallas Foundation, Eugene McDermott Foundation, James & Gayle Halperin Foundation, Jennifer & Peter Altabef and The Meadows Foundation. The News and KERA retain full editorial control of Arts Access’ journalism.


An alternative approach for controlling bacterial pathogens in liquid and solid poultry waste using Calcium hypochlorite Ca(OCl)2 disinfectant-based silver nanoparticles


Poultry waste is one of the utmost imperative pollutants if not correctly disposed of. To increase the nutritional value of poultry feather wastes that can be utilized as animal feed, it is possible to chemically or biologically treatment of chicken feathers. If correctly handled to minimize negative consequences, poultry waste can be effectively used to create a variety of value-added products, such as fertilizer, biofuel, and animal feed3.

The obtained data from the structured questionnaire during the survey

The main poultry operations are widely distributed in the investigated areas (deep litter and battery cage system). The number of birds reared in a deep litter system was exceeded by 20,000 birds/cycle compared to a battery cage system of 4000 birds/cycle. Twenty-eight deep litter farms (70.0%) reported having shed locked in order to segregate and/or isolate their premises for disease control, whereas five battery cage systems (50.0%) only have a locked gate around the building as shown in Table 1. Maduka et al.25 exhibited that the main components of biosecurity practices included fences around buildings, gates, and all in all out management represented about 80–90%. Furthermore, Mustafa26 recorded that the primary outlines of protection against any disease transmission are a closed gate and fence around it. Besides that, fence was not available for most farms in both semi-modern and conventional systems.

Table 1 The obtained data of structured questionnaire disseminated to the investigated poultry farms.

Furthermore, at the entry gate of the building, application of footbath dip is presented at 70% in the battery cage system compared to 23 out of 40 (57.5%) in the poultry farms of the deep litter system in this study. Haftom et al.27, found that at the gate, footbaths were used by 80% of the broiler poultry farms, while 88% of the farms practiced washing and disinfecting their buildings and equipment. Ali et al.28 indicated that a high level of biosecurity was applied in the closed system than in the open system, whereas 84.6% was used in the footbath dip at the entrance of the shed. On the contrary, the isolation rate of sick birds in separated areas was similarly high in both investigated systems, at 77.5 and 80%, respectively, to avoid dissemination of highly pathogenic diseases. Sudarnika et al.29 found that twenty-four poultry farmers segregated sick birds from healthy birds at 96% and disposed of them by burning or burying them. Meanwhile, just two poultry farms left dead birds thrown away at 4.4%. Furthermore, Mohammed and Helal30 found that most respondents pointed out that they isolated the diseased chicks in a chosen area by using the same building as the rest of the flock. In addition, hygiene stations were rarely present in some poultry premises, and the absence of biosecurity plans employed on-farm was concerning.

In a deep litter system, the litter types that used were sawdust and wood shavings at 37.5 and 62.5%, respectively. For litter disposal during the cycle, some broiler poultry farms clear all litter (15.0%), while 85.0% of these farms remove 10 cm from the top layer and add another. On the other hand, in a battery cage, manure is disposed of during cycle 100% in a tray that is far away from the birds and then collected in manure areas. The frequency of litter change in deep litter was 67.5% once/week while other farms were at 32.5% every month. The methods of disposal of poultry mortalities were incineration followed by disposal in landfill and burial, especially in deep litter (40.0, 25.0 and 20.0%), while in battery cages, incineration and burial were the most applied methods of mortality disposal (50.0 and 30.0%, respectively). Mohammed and Helal30 stated that participants in each poultry operation system clarified lack of capital and sufficient space for applying hygienic measures of disposal of dead birds that involve burning or burial. Besides, poultry producers did not apply composting as a safe method to dispose of dead birds. Furthermore, the risk of environmental degradation and disease transmission is increased when poultry carcasses are dumped in waterways or on a road where dogs might find them and scavenge. Moreover, Muduli et al.3 reported that strict monitoring of the burial of dead birds and/or mortalities on the farm is required to avoid contamination of groundwater sources; additionally, composting could be used to reduce bacterial pathogens and then recycled as soil fertilizer. In the current text, mortalities disposed in waterways were 20% in battery cages as compared to 15.0% in deep litter systems. Disinfection in between cycles was available in both systems, whereas 77.5% in the deep litter system and 70% of the battery cage applied. Finally, the poultry producers reported that the mortality rate/cycle was significantly greater in deep litter (12.0%) than in battery cage (10%) at P 0.005 as presented in (Table 1). Turkson and Okike31 mentioned that to prevent and control highly pathogenic diseases such as HPAI H5N1, the application of biosecurity measures is a critical point. Additionally, the majority of small-scale broiler chicken farms employ minimal or no biosecurity controls, which may raise the likelihood of disease transmission between poultry farms, mortality rates, and the danger of exposing people to potential health risks32.

The distribution pattern of pathogenic bacteria from liquid and solid waste

The frequent distribution of pathogenic microbes arising from investigated farms in Table 2 clarified that 87.62% (184/210) of the total examined samples positively contained highly pathogenic bacteria. The most predominant bacterial isolates from waste were E. coli (33.69%, 62/184), Salmonella spp. (26.09%, 48/184), followed by K. pneumonae (15.22%, 28/184), and L. monocytogenes (14.13%, 26/184). Meanwhile, Shigella flexneri was detected in the least percentage (10.87%, 20/184). The highest percentage of E. coli was isolated from chicks dropping (46.43%, 13/28), manure collected area (40%, 12/30), and wastewater (37.04%, 10/27) followed by mortalities collected area (32.14%, 9/28) and chicks’ litter (30%, 9/30). Oppositely, Salmonella spp. was recorded in the highest percentage in wastewater (37.04, 10/27) and chicks dropping (28.57%, 8/28) followed by mortalities collected area (25%, 7/28) whilst K. pneumonae was isolated at a higher rate from mortalities collected area (21.43%, 6/28) followed by both chicks’ litter and manure collected area (16.67%, 5/30 each). Furthermore, L. monocytogenes was highly isolated from waste feed (27.78%, 5/18) and feathers (17.39%, 4/23). Besides, Shigella flexneri was also detected in feathers (21.74%, 5/23) and chicks’ litter (13.33%, 4/30). These findings support those of Sahoo et al.33 who showed that managing poultry litter had a significant impact on the health of birds. Keeping the chicks’ litter dry is another essential aspect of managing chicken farms. In the presence of elevated litter pH and moisture content, Soliman et al.34 explained that chicks’ litter is a favorable medium for bacterial growth and transmissions like S. Typhimurium. Additionally, Tiweri et al.35 noted that L. monocytogenes was frequently found in the vicinity of animals and persisted for an extended period of time in animal waste, soil, water, and feed. According to Abdel-Latef and Mohammed36, contamination of the poultry environment by highly pathogenic bacteria is the main reason for greater death rates and large economic losses in these farms. Environmental contamination may be caused by bird fecal droppings reflecting less stringent hygiene practices in poultry farms.

Table 2 Frequent distribution of pathogenic bacteria isolated from liquid and solid waste arising from investigated farms.

The total bacterial count and indicator microorganisms isolated from liquid and solid waste

The total viable count and indicator bacteria that were identified from liquid and solid waste that the deep litter system produced were displayed in Table 3. It was discovered that the TVCs in both mortalities and manure collected areas were significantly greater (8.21 × 107 ± 1.2 × 105 and 7.32 × 107 ± 2.3 × 10 CFU/100gm) followed by chicks’ litter (6.71 × 107 ± 3.5 × 10 CFU/gm) and wastewater (3.56 × 107 ± 1.1 × 105 CFU/mL) compared with its count in feathers and waste feed (2.34 × 104 ± 1.1 × 10 and 2.34 × 105 ± 1.1 × 105 CFU/gm, respectively). In addition, TCCs were isolated at the highest rates in chicks’ litter and manure collected areas (900 ± 1.1 and 900.0 ± 4.8 CFU/100gm), whilst in waste feed it was 110.0 ± 6.2 CFU/100gm. As well, FCCs were significantly high in both chicks’ litter and manure collected areas (350.0 ± 4.1 and 350.0 ± 3.0 CFU/100gm, respectively) followed by chicks dropping (220.0 ± 1.2 CFU/100 gm) and wastewater (220.0 ± 2.2 CFU/100 mL). Meanwhile, FCCs in feathers and waste feed did not exceed 60.0 ± 3.6 and 90.0 ± 1.1 CFU/100 gm, respectively. Abd El-Salam et al.37 found that the wastewater contains 1600 colonies of total coliform. Hartel et al.38 pointed out that the possible source of fecal coliforms is fresh poultry litter, and the composting process of litter can principally eradicate these bacteria. Nevers et al.39 clarified that fecal contaminations including livestock, poultry, and other fecal wastes are potential sources of bacterial pathogens with human health risks in recreational waters. Zhuang et al.40 noted that chicken farms are a crucial source of fecal pollution in the environment as poultry excrement contains bacteria that are harmful to the environment and humans.

Table 3 Total viable count, total and fecal coliform count in liquid and solid waste arising from investigated farms.

Characterization of Ag NPs and Ca(OCl)2-Ag NPs using TEM and FT-IR

TEM of Ag NPs showed the morphological shape (spherical and elliptical) and the size of nano-silver particles ranged between 19.07–34.47 nm (Fig. 1a,b). TEM photography of Ca(OCl)2-AgNPs revealed the spherical and elongated morphological shape of the composite’s nanoparticles (NPs). Besides, the diameter of the NPs ranged from 4.94 to 33.62 nm (Fig. 2a,b). Ag NPs (Fig. 3a) showed specific peaks at 3272.18, 1638.07, 919.01 and 604.61 cm−1. Furthermore, FT-IR of Ca(OCl)2-AgNPs (Fig. 3b) showed characteristic peaks at 3273.57, 2132.25, 1638.21 and 602.51 cm−1, confirming the successful loading of Ca(OCl)2 on the Ag NPs. Roy et al.41 pointed out that the FT-IR spectra of nano-silver particles exhibited the characteristic peak of Ag NPs that is located at 1638 cm−1. In addition, Mohammed16 displayed FT-IR of Ca(OCl)2 loaded on Ag NPs whereas a specific peak appeared at 2480 cm−1, approving the loading in a successive way.

Figure 1
figure 1

TEM photography of nano-silver particles (Ag NPs). The morphological shape (a) showed the fine spherical and elliptical particles of nano-silver besides the diameter of NPs (b) was ranged from 19.07- 34.47 nm.

Figure 2
figure 2

TEM photography of Ca(OCl)2 loaded on Ag NPs (ab). The morphological shape displayed the spherical and elongated nanoparticles (NPs) of composite (a). Besides, the diameter of the NPs (b) ranged from 4.94 to 33.62 nm.

Figure 3
figure 3

FT-IR spectrum of Ag NPs (a) and Ca(OCl)2-AgNPs (b).

The antimicrobial activity of disinfection compounds, Ag NPs and Ca(OCl)2-Ag NPs

Pathogenic bacteria were isolated from several waste types and their susceptibility to the disinfection products, Ag NPs and Ca(OCl)2-Ag NPs (Table 4) revealed that the susceptibility of all isolated bacteria to VIRKON S was not greater than 70% at the highest concentration of 2% after 24 h of exposure when compared to the lowest concentration, whereas their susceptibility was between 30–60%. As well, the susceptibility of isolates to quaternary ammonium compounds was not exceeded by 80%, except that L. monocytogene was highly sensitive at 100% at a concentration of 1.5 mg/L. Møretrø et al.42 clarified that due to the presence of resistance genes, L. monocytogenes was tolerant to sub-lethal concentrations of QAC.

Table 4 Biocidal efficacy of tested disinfectants product and nanocomposite against isolated bacteria from waste types.

Ortiz et al.43 clarified that there is a positive association between frequent use of a QAC disinfectant and the existence of L. monocytogene resistant to it which might be attributed to the presence of resistance genes to QAC disinfectants44. In this context, L. monocytogene was significantly more sensitive to Ca(OCl)2 (100%), followed by K. pneumonae, Salmonella spp., and Shigella flexneri, which were 90% sensitive at 1.5 mg/L (P ≤ 0.05). Yim et al.45 discovered that Ca(OCl)2 and QAC were more effective than sodium hypochlorite at completely eliminating vegetative cells and spores. Oppositely, in this study, all bacteria exhibited resistance profiles to Ag NPs that exceeded 30% at concentrations of 5.0 mg/L at 24 h of exposure times compared to the highest concentration of 15 mg/L where the susceptibility of isolates was exceeded 80% for L. monocytogene and k. pneumonae. Furthermore, Shigella flexneri was 100% sensitive. Belluco et al.46 concluded that the overdue effect of Ag NPs on the pathogenic bacteria might have been caused by the slow release of silver ions from the Ag NPs. The effectiveness of Ca(OCl)2-Ag NPs against pathogenic bacterial isolates was investigated in the current study, which found that bacterial isolates (E. coli, K. Pneumonae, Shigella Flexneri, and L. monocytogene) from various waste types were highly sensitive (100%) to Ca(OCl)2-AgNPs at a concentration of 1.0 mg/L after 24 h of exposure. Salmonella spp. were 90% sensitive to Ca(OCl)2-AgNPs at the lowest concentration of 0.5 mg/L.

Silver ions’ ability to bind to Ca(OCl)2, penetrate bacterial cell membranes, and improve membrane permeability may be responsible for this action, confirming that the biocidal activity demonstrated by Ca(OCl)2-Ag NPs is synergistic. These results are consistent with those reported by Morones et al.47 and Sondi and Salopek-Sondi48, who found that employing Ag NPs to treat water increased cell membrane permeability and leakage of the cytoplasm of E. coli. Additionally, Ag NPs have been shown to have an antimicrobial effect is credited with the release of Ag ions from the Ag NPs surface and binding on thiol groups in membrane proteins, resulting in bacterial enzymatic systems are inhibited and DNA aggregation49,50. Mohammed16 found that the microbial effect of Ag NPs against E. coli and S. aureus was exceeded by 80%, whilst it has a lethal effect against K. pneumoniae (100%) at the highest concentration (5.0 mg/L) after exposure time (180 min).This could be due to Ag ions’ ability to bind to and infiltrate the microbial cell membrane. Furthermore, Dilarri et al.51 demonstrated that the Ca(OCl)2 mechanism of action targets the microorganism’s cytoplasmic membrane, which may be responsible for cell death.