Ending soon: Snap up the Canon EOS R8 while it’s $340 off on the Prime Day


This Prime Day, you can snap up the Canon EOS R8 camera with a massive $340 discount. The discount means it is comfortably the lowest price we’ve ever seen it on Amazon and we like that a lot as the camera features in our best cameras for astrophotography guide. 

Save an enormous $340 (technically $339.80) and get Amazon’s lowest-ever price on the Canon EOS R8 full-frame mirrorless camera


Google’s Pixel 8 Pro camera is the new mobile photography champ


Let’s not kid ourselves: The most exciting thing about the Google Pixel 8 Pro (and 8, for that matter) is the camera, and because of Google’s commanding position when it comes to computational photography, anyone interested in the state-of-the-art will be paying extra attention to this smartphone’s yearly upgrade. My entire life is essentially a tug-of-war between my desire to take great photos and my desire to carry as little equipment as possible, so I’m particularly interested in what’s new camera-wise.

All the megapixels

Google made a big deal at the launch event for the Pixel 8 about the improved camera modules in the phones. The 8 Pro gets improvements across the board, with the ultrawide jumping from 12 megapixels to 48 megapixels; that joins a 50 megapixel main sensor, and a 48 megapixel sensor for the 5x optical zoom, too.

By default, Google will use all those megapixels to run some computer magic and generate a 12.5 megapixel final image that won’t eat up all your storage and that provides some excellent benefits in terms of color rendering, noise and more at the expense of detail. You can also opt to turn on high megapixel mode, however, and capture at the full resolution of the sensor — handy if you’re looking to print or crop the image, for instance.

Full 50 megapixel JPEG capture from Pixel 8 Pro

Full 50 megapixel JPEG capture from Pixel 8 Pro. Image Credits: Darrell Etherington

Crop of a 50 megapixel Pixel 8 photo of a mushroom on a log

Crop of a 50 megapixel image for detail. Image Credits: Darrell Etherington

The nice thing about these options is that there are a lot of options, depending on your needs: You can capture in JPEG with standard settings for social and friends/family sharing, and Google will do the heavy lifting to get you a great result. Or you can capture in high megapixel mode, with JPEGs, for flexibility when it comes to cropping and sharing. Or you can go whole hog, capture in RAW+JPEG mode, and high megapixel, and get eminently editable RAW files for manipulation in Lightroom or your favorite editing software, along with a JPEG ready to share complete with Google’s image magic applied.

A comparison of Google's Pixel 8 RAW vs. JPEG formats

RAW (softer, less vibrant) versus JPEG from the Pixel 8 Pro camera. Image Credits: Darrell Etherington

The 5x zoom is also excellent in high-resolution mode, and provides ample detail and crisp rendering when shooting in JPEG with Google’s autocorrection applied. Having all that detail available with that range is a huge advantage when it comes to pocket photography, and means you have one less reason to carry around a dedicated camera body with a long-range optical zoom lens.

The improved resolution on the ultrawide likewise makes these photos more usable, but in my testing it’s still probably the weakest of the cameras. It does produce some interesting results when it comes to macro (more on that below) thanks to the better resolution and improved autofocus, however.

Google Pixel 8 Pro ultrawide camera sample

Google Pixel 8 Pro ultrawide camera sample. Image Credits: Darrell Etherington

How Pro can you go?

Exclusive to the Pixel 8 Pro are the new “Pro” settings, which subsequent testing has shown appears to be largely a software locking decision by Google. Regardless of why the 8 Pro is the only one to get the Pro settings, it’s worth considering whether they’ll actually be useful to you and your workflow, given what they offer.

Basically, they let you tweak the resolution from 12 MP to full 50 MP, allow you to select to shoot in RAW+JPEG and let you manually choose between the three hardware lenses, rather than leaving it up to Google to pick based on lighting conditions, scene, etc.

Google Pixel 8 Pro camera settings screen

Google Pixel 8 Pro camera settings screen. Image Credits: Darrell Etherington

That’s not much, but they are clutch settings if you actually do want to make the most of the pictures you’re taking in editing software, so it’s understandable that Google appends the “Pro” moniker here. In my use, the lens selection setting generated the most potential confusion, since it led to the camera app crashing (seemingly resolved in an update distributed earlier in the day on the same day the review embargo lifted) but also meant you might make a poor choice and get a worse quality overall image by overriding Google’s software smarts.

These settings, especially couched as they are in a secondary tab in the general settings menu in the camera app, are actually quite useful, however, and seem arbitrarily limited to the Pro model. I understand it as a differentiator, but hopefully Google relents and rolls these out to non-pro Pixel 8 devices at the very least in the future.


Google was big on touting the enhanced macro capabilities of the Pixel 8 Pro, made possible in part by the better resolution and autofocus of the new ultrawide camera. In practice, I found that macro mode could indeed produce some truly outstanding results — with the caveat that it’s still not quite as foolproof as using the main camera, for example.

Macro shot of the underside of a mushroom from the Google Pixel 8 Pro

Macro shot of the underside of a mushroom from the Google Pixel 8 Pro. Image Credits: Darrell Etherington

Mostly, the challenge comes in trying to capture macro shots handheld outdoors when there’s anything working against you — wind, for instance, or anything less than full, direct sunlight. Google’s computational photography does an admirable job of correcting for shake, but in my experience it was still hard to completely avoid some kind of blurring in the final image, especially when trying to get incredibly close to the subject. Plus, it’s hard to nail the target of the focus with high specificity, too.

Macro shot of a leaf from the Google Pixel 8 Pro

Macro shot of a leaf from the Google Pixel 8 Pro. Image Credits: Darrell Etherington

That said, the resulting macro pictures are still quite stunning, and perfectly suitable for social/digital use — and much improved from earlier generations.

Bottom line

Google gets major props for delivering a camera system that works out of the box to a standard few of its peers can even attempt to live up to. The front selfie camera works astoundingly well, and the color rendering, sharpening, portrait mode blur, dynamic range and just about everything else lends a special quality to these photos that can’t really be matched by other smartphone camera systems out there. Does it still fall down when compared to a dedicated, interchangeable lens (or even fancy fixed lens) camera? Of course, but the distinction is increasingly academic for anyone not taking photos for print or professional purposes. If your number one priority when buying a smartphone is camera, the Pixel 8 Pro simply can’t be beat.


Nature apps can be helpful, but don’t expect your smartphone to always get it right


To identify plants in the wild, I’ve been using Seek by iNaturalist for several years. And, because I know plants fairly well, I can tell when this app doesn’t get it right.

For example, we planted a bur oak in our front yard, and Seek identified it as a different type of oak. I knew better. But Seek almost had me fooled when it identified a fern in my front yard growing beneath some Norway spruces as the New York fern, an Illinois endangered species.

After some initial excitement, I posted a photo of that fern to a botany group and was politely scolded that this was nothing more than a common ostrich fern. I have plenty of ostrich ferns in my backyard, but these in the front were much smaller.

Another botanist reminded me that the environment in which a plant grows can make a difference in its size and appearance. To give Seek a break, I do realize that identifying ferns in the wild — even with a magnifying glass — can sometimes be difficult.

Also, iNaturalist is a wonderful way to interact with other nature lovers and learn more about plants, insects and other critters.

But I found a better plant ID app called Picture This. It immediately recognized that the front yard plant was an ostrich fern. Picture This also identified a lady fern growing in the yard near a little homemade pond.

I also learned that what I thought was an American plum just planted this year is really a pin cherry.

The moral of this app story is that when in nature, do not expect your smartphone to get it right all the time. These apps should only be used as part of the learning process.

By talking with botanists and doing online research with sources I respect, I’ve learned the ostrich fern can be mistaken for a New York fern. But I’m not convinced that so-called plum is a cherry, even if Picture This says so, though it’s possible the nursery selling this plant misidentified it. I need to do more research.

There are also apps, including Merlin, to identify birds by both song and plumage. But beware, especially if you’re a beginning birder.

An Aug. 23 article in the National Audubon Society magazine said, “Merlin is magical, but it still makes mistakes.” I agree. Advanced birders might immediately recognize the mistakes, but unfortunately beginning birders don’t, and some have inaccurately been reporting birds based on what their app says.

One Merlin user and birder from southern Illinois said, “We know Merlin isn’t perfect, and the software tells you to confirm with a visual sighting, but the last couple days Merlin says there are pheasant cuckoos, rufous-breasted spinetails and pavonine cuckoos in the woods. I had to look them up. The first two live no further north than approximately Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, and the last one is almost exclusively in Brazil. I’m going to be pretty surprised if I get a visual sighting of any of them.”

Other Merlin users have had great experiences. For example, one Merlin user and birder said, “I picked up the sound of American pipit on my Merlin app last week, and finally had a chance to photograph a small flock in the monastery cemetery this morning. It’s a new species for our campus list.”

A birder from Chicago’s southern suburbs was told by his Merlin app that a yellow-rumped warbler was singing in his yard. “I’d not seen or heard them previously,” he said. But after viewing the app, he saw these “little birds bouncing around the tree branches and even eating off poison ivy berries in the back part of my yard where the old pond used to be.”

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They were definitely yellow-rumped warblers, and it’s cool he discovered them in his yard.

The technology gurus are working to improve these apps, and there are various settings to improve accuracy.

But there is a lesson to be learned from these nature app anecdotes. Technology can enhance your knowledge of nature, but it should be used in conjunction with the tried-and-true method of learning from others, or while you’re in the field. 

I love using Picture This, but I’m not just going to run around collecting a list of plant names based on what the app is telling me.

Nature apps are tools, and you’ve got to know the right way to use them. Walking in a preserve outdoors should include more time looking with your eyes, and hearing with your ears, and less time turning on a smartphone.

I hope our natural areas don’t fill up with humans holding up their phones to see what may be out there, instead of exploring on their own and using their own five senses. Yes, certain plants emit an identifiable fragrance. I wonder if there’s an app for that.

Sheryl DeVore has worked as a full-time and freelance reporter, editor and photographer for the Chicago Tribune and its subsidiaries. She’s the author of several books on nature and the environment. Send story ideas and thoughts to [email protected].


What are different types of clouds and how do they form?


Clouds are such a regular part of daily life in most places on the planet that it’s quite easy to forget about them — unless they’re about to rain on you or ruin your perfectly planned astrophotography shot!

But clouds are crucially linked to temperature regulation on Earth, reflecting some of the sun’s energy to keep us cool and trapping some to keep us warm, according to NASA.


Focus on Photography: When Sam met Stuart | Partner promotion | News


On behalf of Visit Rwanda, sports photographer, Sam Mironko took photos of our men’s team during our US pre-season tour this summer.

Throughout his career, Sam has covered a range of sporting events including the NBA Finals and the Basketball Africa League Finals, with his work featured by the Boston Celtics, SLAM magazine and more. 
As a huge Arsenal supporter, Sam has followed our Chief Photographer Stuart MacFarlane’s work for many years, and he enjoyed the opportunity to gain some valuable insights into what his role is like when the two sat down to discuss the differences and similarities of their work, as part of Visit Rwanda’s US Tour photography series.

Press play on the video above to see Sam and Stuart in conversation, and you can also watch the first two episodes below as Sam links up with Ben White, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel, who test their own photography skills:

  Episode 1: Behind the Lens
The players discuss what photography means to them

  Episode 2: Photography Challenge
Players go head-to-head to see who can capture the best motion photograph

Copyright 2023 The Arsenal Football Club Limited. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.


Hubble Telescope discovers thousands of hot stars camouflaging a spiral galaxy (photo)


Bright pink splotches of young star clusters camouflage a barred spiral galaxy in a new photo from the Hubble Space Telescope. 

The galaxy, called NGC 5068, lies about 20 million light-years from Earth in the southern region of the constellation Virgo. NGC 5068 is believed to be approximately 45,000 light-years in diameter and have a prominent central structure shaped like a bar (captured in the top center of the new Hubble image) that is densely packed with mature stars, according to a statement from NASA. 


Kaikōura children look to the stars with new telescope


Tamzin Godfrey, 10, of Kaikōura, has been learning astrophotography.


Tamzin Godfrey, 10, of Kaikōura, has been learning astrophotography.

Kaikōura school children are capturing images of the cosmos, as the community plans for dark sky sanctuary status.

A new group, Kaikōura Astronomers, has been introducing the local community to astrophotography thanks to community support.

Established as an offshoot of the Kaikōura Dark Skies Trust, which is lobbying for dark sky sanctuary status, the group has been gifted a new telescope.

Volunteer Brian Horsfall said the telescope was popular with local school children.

‘‘We plan to make this telescope available to the community in Kaikoura by having stargazing sessions and school visits.’’

The telescope – a Unistellar eVscope 2 used for astrophotography – worked by capturing the light of distant objects in space and converting the data to an image on a tablet or computer.

A tablet or cellphone operated the telescope using wifi, by sending the co-ordinates of the object you want to photograph.

Kaikōura Astronomers was established to promote astronomy in the community, while the Kaikōura Dark Skies Trusts worked on its application to the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) for dark sky sanctuary status.

Destination Kaikōura, a collaboration between the Kaikōura District Council and local tourism operators, gifted the telescope, while the Kaikōura Lions donated some tablets.

Te Kura o Hāpuku, north of Kaikōura, also supported the initiative by allowing the group to hold open nights on its school grounds.

Horsfall said the students were no strangers to using technology in their learning. Hāpuku students used the internet to capture their own image of Matariki via a telescope in New Mexico, United States.

An image of Matariki taken at Te Kura o Hāpuku, near Kaikōura, taken by Tamzin Godfrey.


An image of Matariki taken at Te Kura o Hāpuku, near Kaikōura, taken by Tamzin Godfrey.

‘‘They selected the telescope, programmed the schedular, and downloaded the resulting image,’’ he said.

‘‘Being in a small school does not limit their interests or abilities and access to the new telescope will encourage their learning.’’

Kaikōura District Council chief executive Will Doughty said the trust hoped to get its dark sky sanctuary application into the IDA by the end of the year.

The council was also helping the trust to prepare a plan change to the Kaikōura District Plan to meet the IDA’s requirements.

‘‘They are keen to run the draft by us to make sure they have everything covered.’’


Kaikōura is doing everything they can to protect the Hutton’s shearwater. (First published April 2022)

The plan change will look to adapt the town’s lighting rules and introduce other protections needed to improve Kaikoura’s view of the heavens.

The trust has engaged Kahu Environmental to assist with the private plan change, while funding has come from the council’s discretionary grant and the Government’s Better Off fund.

The process began when Doughty was a manager for the North Canterbury Transport Infrastructure Recovery (NCTIR) alliance, during the earthquake recovery.

Since then, Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency and the council have been installing LED lights, which saved money as well as having environmental benefits, he said.

‘‘There is a lot more work which has been done by the trust since then, but it will be nice to see it through to a successful outcome.’’


What is Stock Footage and How to Use It to Your Benefit


The best stock footage sites are a treasure of unlimited and high-quality videos that suit most of the niche market. It saves time and budget. That’s why professional videographers use those to boost their business.

In this note, we’ve highlighted the top stock footage sites that most professionals prefer. Let’s dive together!

What is Stock Footage

What is Stock Footage?

Stock video, B-roll, or stock footage is a pre-filmed video or combination of video clips used in a video project or available for purchase. Professional videographers shoot heartfelt stories, high-impact and energetic ads, or a simple documentary and add to popular stock footage websites maintaining visual clarity.

In short,

  • It is an amazing form of media and communication for the advertising industry, content marketing, digital platforms, etc.
  • It combines visual and audio elements, i.e., stock photography, music, vectors, illustrations, and videos.
  • Stock videos aren’t something you need to shoot, but rather, you purchase or find online to use in yours.
  • Different types of B-rolls are sports clips, animal, nature, cityspace videos, slow-motion, aerial videos, and more.

After acknowledging the details about stock videos, in the next section, let’s check out some key reasons why professionals use them for their business.

Advantages of Using Stock Footage

Before heading to the main point, let’s look at the scenario of social media on personal and business websites, documentaries, large-scale films, or commercial productions. What do you observe? Video is everywhere, and it has the power to define its uniqueness in a short time.

  • Narrative-driven footage: Strong and intentional narratives catch consumers’ attention fast. Stock footage helps to add life to your commercial ads and marketing.
  • Cost-friendly: You don’t need to travel to different locations to shoot videos demonstrating your video marketing goals. Stock footage sites are rich in millions of royalty-free videos, images, illustrations, etc.
  • License: Stock videos provide licenses royalty-free, rights managed, and editorial use.
  • High-quality and consistency: All videos give you perfect and high-res visuals that easily match your imagination.

Are you curious to explore the most demanding and best sites for stock video footage? In the next section, we’ve listed the top free video websites and paid.

Where to Find Stock Footage?

Check out our expert-tested top and best stock footage sites below:

#1. Photutorial

What is Stock Footage

Best for: Creators looking for generic yet thoughtful free stock videos, subscriptions, music licensing sites, and more site guidel…” with “advice, genuine reviews, and buying guides for stock footage sites, and other stock media platforms.

Photutorial is known for its creative and effective expert suggestions that reduce work pressure and time. The site’s goal is to highlight the best creative tools, platforms, and service guidelines that add value to your business. For this, they share their own experience, consider user reviews, and collaborate with experts.

However, Photutorial love to share research process, methodologies, and reasoning so that you can choose the best one for your brand. Grab your business-oriented cutting-edge editing software, graphic design services, stock videos, and image site lists with Photutorial!

What do you get?

  • Refer to authentic and effective services and tools that add value to your business.
  • Collaborate with top-tier graphic designers, industry leaders, videographers, and creative professionals to share real-world experiences.
  • Help you to focus on your art with the best sources, i.e., stock photography, music libraries design platforms, etc.
  • Consider reviews to slot the listings.

#2. Pexels

What is Stock Footage

Best for: A wide selection of high-quality and amazing royalty-free stock videos, mockup green-screen videos, images, and more.

Pexels is one of the most famous and best free stock footage sites where professional creators share high-res videos and images. Here, you get a large free library of HD and 4K stock videos. Also, Pixel provides a license on all photos and videos, which you can use for free and without attribution.

To add your unique touch, you can edit and modify it whenever you want, and don’t miss their most demanding daily “trending free stock videos.”

What do you get?

  • Free stock video footage is under Creative Commons Zero (CCO)
  • Has a vast collection of clips in all types of niches
  • Most of the B-rolls are less than a minute long
  • Provide several high-quality GoPro users’ clips
  • Offer different videos, i.e., “mockup,” “time-lapse,” “drone footage,” and more
  • Allow to download and use 600+ free featured stock photos.

#3. Pixabay

What is Stock Footage

Best for: Everyone looking for free stock videos for commercial use, non-commercial, or digital purposes.

In our expert listing, Pixabay is considered one of the top stock video sites with over 4.2 million high-quality images, videos, and music, all under a simplified license. Like Pexels, you don’t need to bother about copyright for using clips because all free stock videos are under CCO.

What do you get?

  • Vast selection of free videos that are formatted as MP4s.
  • Download clips as per your recommended resolutions, both for commercial and non-commercial use.
  • Offer different libraries, i.e., motion, graphics, HD footage, and 4K videos.
  • Pick any from nature, space, events, business, and more.

#4. Shutterstock

What is Stock Footage

Best for: Businesses, flims, digitals, and others with a larger budget who want to add variety and quality.

Are you looking for premium content, intuitive design tools, AI innovation, real-life videos, and more all in one platform? With Shutterstock, you get over 11 million royalty-free 4K and HD stock videos. Also, it has a colossal footage collection of around 85K and new clips per week.

What do you get?

  • Easy-to-use interface with vast royalty-free professional footage and images.
  • Offer a wide range of categories i.e., wildlife, art, cities, and more.

Note: If you want to get access to 28 million authentic and high-res video clips, you can choose any plan, i.e., Packs ($139), Subscription ($49), and Enterprise.

#5. iStock

What is Stock Footage

Best for: High-quality stock video footage within budget-friendly pricing for all types of businesses.

Searching for premium quality stock videos and images at the right price to boost your photography, filmmaking, digital, or other purposes? With iStock, you explore millions of high-res and different niche videos and content i.e., business, technology, fashion, etc. Like you, video editors, bloggers, brands, filmmakers, and others love this site most.

What do you get?

  • Unique hand-clicked photos, affordable HD, and 4K video clips
  • You can use search filters or AI-powered search for selecting quality, aspect ratio, and keywords
  • Flexible and cost-friendly plans i.e., Basic ($29/month), Premium ($70/month), Premium + Video (99/month)
  • Allow one-month free trial at zero costings

Curious to discover how you can use stock video footage to get a professional touch on your upcoming advertising, video marketing, or others? Check out the next section to reveal the secrets of famous ad companies and popular brands!

Top Tips on How to Use Stock Video Footage?

Want to work with stock videos to promote your brand more creatively? Let’s check out our expert videographers’ tips and tricks.

  • First, prepare your brand or personal stock footage script to convey the exact emotions and feelings.
    Note: Don’t hesitate to switch to others. If you struggle to find the right match or the specific action, pick another that portrays the same meaning.
  • Go through the colors, styles, and other materials to ensure all give the perfect feelings and match the story.
    Note: If you think some require adjustments, you can edit videos to give the perfect vibes. For this, recheck the licenses or take them from one collection.
  • Avoid using common visual metaphors and images that are associated with stocks. Also, recheck the fragments and ensure you are not in your competitor’s videos.
    For building more connections and setting a mode, utilize the power of music. Videos with sound give a more dynamic and cohesive feeling.

Curious to explore other creative ways so that you get enough confidence to invest in your video marketing? Check out the below now!


The most common way of using stock videos is B-roll, which you may notice on TV shows. B-rolls are secondary or supplement video clips to the main ones, such as aerial or apartment building views, to give a better idea of the location.

You get so much space to add visuals because it binds two main footage clips together. If you want, you can use it for documentary filmmaking. As a filmmaker, you don’t need to travel to every location with a full crew and gear.

Commercials and Ads

As you know, cinematic stock videos, motion pictures, product demonstrations, and others are used to narrow down a story for commercials and advertisements. Commercial ads use a somber mood, upbeat energy, pop culture moments, and many others to convey a story.

Video Backgrounds

UX and graphic designers sometimes opt for video backgrounds over photos to give the perfect view and mood. Forbes states that movement grabs 400% more attention compared to a hero banned on any website and a large catalog of stock videos. But the video backgrounds help to establish a mood, so focus on core product or marketing details.

Short-form Videos for Social Media

Brands promote their products or services on social media to generate more leads and revenue. As you know, social media videos give a unique way to represent your creative sales line. Take advantage of stock videos if you want to create amazing and attention-grabbing short videos for Instagram reels, TikTok, or YouTube.

Final Verdict

So, what is stock footage and how do you use it to your benefit? We hope you’ve enough knowledge about this and professional sites to choose your perfect video marketing fit. So, what are you waiting for? It’s your turn to make a perfect video and grab more traffic.

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“Luminescent” photo of horseshoe crab wins Wildlife Photographer of the Year prize


A photo of a golden horseshoe crab —one of the world’s most ancient and highly endangered animals— earned a marine photographer the grand title in the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest. The Natural History Museum in London, which runs the competition, made the announcement Tuesday.

The picture, taken by Laurent Ballesta, shows a tri-spine horseshoe crab on a seabed near Pangatalan Island in the Philippines, as it is followed by three golden trevallies. Ballesta documented the horseshoe crabs as they moved through water, fed, mated and provided a home to other animals, according to the museum.

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest is produced by the Natural History Museum. Ballesta’s photo was chosen from nearly 50,000 entires across 95 countries. Kathy Moran, who was the chair of the jury, called the image “luminescent.”

“To see a horseshoe crab so vibrantly alive in its natural habitat, in such a hauntingly beautiful way, was astonishing,” Moran said.

“We are looking at an ancient species, highly endangered, and also critical to human health,” Moran added. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed the tri-spine horseshoe crab as “endangered.”

French photographer Laurent Ballesta has won the Wildlife Photographer of the Year award for the second time after capturing this image of a horseshoe crab near an island in the Philippines.  / Credit: Laurent Ballesta/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

It’s the second time Ballesta has won the grand prize, after he earned it in 2021.

Horseshoe crabs are typically found in waters off southeast Asia and despite their name, they’re more closely related to spiders and scorpions than crabs. According to the Natural History Museum, the horseshoe crab has survived relatively unchanged for around 100 million years —meaning they were around when dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus rex were roaming the planet.

However, their existence is under threat. Its blue blood is critical for the development of vaccines, and it’s used to test for potentially dangerous bacterial contamination. In addition, the arthropods are used as bait to catch other species. Overhfishing, paired with habitat destruction and ocean pollution, has led to all living species of horseshoe crabs being at risk.

The young Wildlife Photographer of the Year title went to 17-year-old Carmel Bechler, who took a long-exposure image of two barn owls in an abandoned roadside building. The teen from Israel said he hopes to share in his photography that “the beauty of the natural world is all around us, even in places where we least expect it to be.”

Moran said Bechler’s photo “has so many layers in terms of content and composition.”

“It simultaneously screams ‘habitat destruction’ and ‘adaptation,’ begging the question: If wildlife can adapt to our environment, why can’t we respect theirs?” Moran said. 

Ballesta and Bechler’s photos were chosen from 19 other category winners. All of the images will be on exhibition at the Natural History Museum beginning Friday.

Seventeen-year-old Carmel Bechler won the young Wildlife Photographer of the Year for his photo of two owls in an abandoned roadside building.  / Credit: Carmel Bechler/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

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Starmus announces Jean-Michel Jarre and The Offspring as new star signings for Starmus VII


  • Jean-Michel Jarre, The Offspring to headline the Starmus festival in Bratislava, Slovakia from 12-17 May 2024
  • Tony Hadley to appear as a special guest
  • New keynote speakers added, including Chris Hatfield, Robin Ince, Gary Marcus, Neil Lawrence, Phillip Torr, Roeland Nusselder, Svitlana Krakovska and Dr. Sylvia Earle

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia, Oct. 11, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Jean-Michel Jarre and The Offspring will headline the seventh edition of the Starmus Festival – focused on the future of our home planet. They will be joined by Tony Hadley, former lead singer of the British pop icon from the 80s Spandau Ballet. Brainchild of Garik Israelian and Queen guitarist Sir Brian May, the festival of science communication will be brought to global audiences thanks to a partnership with cybersecurity giant ESET on  12-17 May 2024 in Bratislava, Slovakia. The event promises to deliver an extraordinary lineup of world-class speakers, discussions and music performances. Throughout the multi-day event, festival goers will have the opportunity to enjoy numerous talks, delving into diverse topics such as astrophysics, computer science, neuroscience, microbiology, and biochemistry. 

New keynote speakers announced
The astronaut and engineer Chris Hadfield, the scientist and leading voice in AI Gary Marcus; the Cambridge DeepMind Professor of Machine Learning Neil Lawrence; the SLAM Oxford Professor Philip Torr; the computer scientist and co-founder and CEO of Plumerai Roeland Nusselder; the popular British multi-talented comedian, broadcaster and author Robin Ince; the Ukranian climate scientist Svitlana Krakovska and the legendary oceanographer and chairman of Mission Blue/Sylvia Earle Alliance Dr. Sylvia Earle are the latest talents joining Starmus VII unique panel of speakers (access full list here).                                                                                                                                                      

A stellar faculty for the School of Astrophotography
The Astrophotography School, organised by former senior editor of Astronomy Magazine, Michael E. Bakich, is a traditional side-event of the Starmus festival. Led by three of the world’s best astroimagers: Damian A. Peach, Chris Schur and Martin Ratcliffe, 2024 edition will offer a unique occasion for astrophotography enthusiasts to take pictures of celestial objects and enjoy a once in a lifetime experience.  

At its core, the Starmus festival embodies ESET’s unwavering dedication to safeguarding the progress that technology enables. With over 30 years of experience in cyber-threats and digital security, ESET has firmly established itself as a research-first company. At home, ESET demonstrates its dedication to science through the ESET Science Award, an annual celebration that recognizes outstanding achievements in Slovak science. Joining forces with the Starmus Festival therefore represents the company’s natural ambition to promote the power of science among local and global audiences.

“We are thrilled to partner with Starmus, a celebration where science and music harmonize to inspire innovation and curiosity. ESET stands at the intersection of research and security, working to joining them and ensure that the digital landscape remains both trustworthy and protected,” said Richard Marko, CEO at ESET. “In our ever-evolving digital landscape, it is crucial to not only protect technology but also to foster a deep appreciation for the scientific achievements that drive progress. This festival serves as a platform to celebrate these accomplishments and inspire future leaders in both fields.”

Garik Israelian, astrophysicist and Starmus founding director, explained, “Science is a pathway to curiosity, a bridge to understanding, and a beacon of endless possibilities. Embracing science means embracing the future—it nurtures critical thinking and fuels innovation. In a rapidly evolving world, scientific knowledge empowers us to make informed decisions, question the unknown, and shape a brighter tomorrow. With the Starmus Festival, we aim to inspire people to explore, discover, and believe in the extraordinary potential that lies within the realms of science.”

About ESET
For more than three decades, ESET® has been providing innovative, state-of-the-art digital security for millions of businesses, consumers, and critical infrastructure. A proven pioneer in heuristics detection, machine learning and AI algorithms, ESET offers unmatched prevention-first cybersecurity solutions powered by renowned global Threat Intelligence, and an extensive R&D network led by industry-acclaimed researchers.

To stay ahead of emerging cyber threats, ESET’s high-performing, easy-to-use solutions unobtrusively protect and monitor 24/7 not just to stop attacks in their tracks, but to prevent them from happening in the first place. For more information, visit www.eset.com or follow us on LinkedIn, X, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok. 

About Starmus

Since the very first homo sapiens looked up at a star-filled sky, we have been awestruck by the vastness of the cosmos. Even today, we remain humbled by the sheer immensity of space, especially as progress in physics and astronomy has made us aware of the tremendous distances involved – even to our closest neighboring stars.

Created by Garik Israelian PhD, astrophysicist at the Institute of Astrophysics of the Canary Islands (IAC) and Sir Brian May PhD, astrophysicist and the lead guitarist of the iconic rock band Queen, Starmus is a festival of science, art and music that has featured presentations from astronauts, cosmonauts, Nobel Prize winners and prominent figures from various scientific disciplines and musical backgrounds. Starmus brings Nobel laureates, eminent researchers, astronauts, thinkers and artists together to share their knowledge and experiences, as we search for answers to the great questions.

Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication Stephen Hawking and Alexei Leonov, together with Brian May, worked to create the Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication in 2015, awarded to individuals and teams who have made significant contributions to science communication. Previous Stephen Hawking Medal winners include Dr. Jane Goodall, Elon Musk, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Brian Eno, Hans Zimmer, and the Apollo 11 documentary.