Revolutionary ‘Metalens’ Can Focus All Visible Light on One Point

Revolutionary ‘Metalens’ Can Focus All Visible Light on One Point

Researchers have created the first “metalens” that can focus the entire visible spectrum of light onto a single point in high resolution. The breakthrough brings metalenses one step closer towards replacing bulky camera lenses with much smaller chips.

We first reported on the metalens research by Harvard scientists back in mid-2016, when they announced that the new technology could lead to high-resolution camera lenses that are thinner than a human hair.

Instead of using solid pieces of curved class to focus light, “meta-material lenses” are covered with an array of “titanium dioxide nanofins” that helps focus light on a point in exactly the same way.

Back in 2016, the researchers stated that the next challenge would be figuring out how to make these metalenses focus the entire visible spectrum and all colors onto a single point:

This focusing of the entire visible spectrum has now been achieved. Here’s how, according to Harvard SEAS:

Previous research demonstrated that different wavelengths of light could be focused but at different distances by optimizing the shape, width, distance, and height of the nanofins. In this latest design, the researchers created units of paired nanofins that control the speed of different wavelengths of light simultaneously. The paired nanofins control the refractive index on the metasurface and are tuned to result in different time delays for the light passing through different fins, ensuring that all wavelengths reach the focal spot at the same time.

Harvard SEAS reports that the latest metalens is able to completely eliminate chromatic aberration, a common issue in modern camera lenses. This is when lenses fail to focus all colors on the same point, causing colored or rainbow edges to appear in areas of contrast in photos.

Photos with minimal (top) and severe chromatic aberration (bottom). Photo by Stan Zurek.

Prior to this development, eliminating chromatic aberration “has only ever been achieved in conventional lenses by stacking multiple lenses,” Harvard says.

The fact that multiple optical lenses have traditionally been needed to combat chromatic lenses mean that camera lenses — especially high-end professional lenses — can be extremely bulky and heavy. A metalens replacement could one day offer the same optical quality at a fraction of the size and weight.

Modern camera lenses use multiple bulky optical lenses to focus light. Metalenses can do the same thing with an extremely thin lens. Diagram by Paul Chin.

“Using our achromatic lens, we are able to perform high quality, white light imaging,” says researcher Alexander Zhu. “This brings us one step closer to the goal of incorporating them into common optical devices such as cameras.”

With this focusing challenge solved, the researchers will now be moving onto scaling the lens up to roughly 1cm in diameter, which would open up a new world of possible applications.

There’s no word on when we might see a metalens launch for mainstream cameras or smartphones, but Harvard says it has licensed the IP from this research to a startup company for commercial development.

Source: PetaPixel

Revolutionary ‘Metalens’ Can Focus All Visible Light on One Point

Photographer Thomas Roma Accused of Sexual Misconduct

Photographer Thomas Roma Accused of Sexual Misconduct

Another notable photographer is being accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct. This time it’s photographer Thomas Roma, and his accusers are former students at Columbia University, where he served as a professor and the director of the photography program.

In a New York Times report published yesterday, five women went on record to say that Roma used his position to pursue sexual relationships with young female students starting over a decade ago.

The women say that Roma often promised to act as a mentor to them before making advances, including during meetings in his office. The alleged misconduct ranges from sexual harassment, manipulation, and coercion to an instance of oral rape.

One of the accusers is Mozhan Marno, a former student of Roma’s who went on to become an actress — she’s had roles in the TV series’ “House of Cards” and “The Blacklist.”

“He would also often remind them of his professional stature,” the Times reports. “That stature carries considerable influence, beyond the usual power disparity between professor and student: In the field of photography, Mr. Roma could make a difference by providing letters of reference, recommendations for grants, and introductions to art dealers and collectors.”

Roma made a name for himself in the photo industry starting in 1974 by photographing the ins and outs of Brooklyn using a homemade camera. He’s married to Anna Friedlander, the daughter of the famous American photographer Lee Friedlander. The winner of two Guggenheim Fellowships, Roma went on to become a Full Professor in Columbia University’s School for the Arts as well as the founding Director of the school’s Photography Department.

Roma has denied the accusations against him through his lawyer, Douglas Jacobs.

“The statements they are making about his asserted misconduct are replete with inaccuracies and falsehoods,” Jacobs tells the New York Times. “All four have taken isolated, innocent incidents, none of them predatory, and have created fictitious versions of reality that are libelous and in the present political climate designed to damage his career and his personal life.

“Professor Roma’s sympathies then and now lie with those who have been mistreated in any way and he completely fails to understand why these women have chosen to create these complaints two decades after the alleged facts supposedly occurred.”

Less than a day after the Times report, Roma has informed Columbia that he’s voluntarily retiring from his positions, effective immediately.

Image credits: Video and still frame by TEDx Talks

Source: PetaPixel

Photographer Thomas Roma Accused of Sexual Misconduct

Dazzling ‘Fireworks’ Jellyfish Captured by Deep Sea Camera

Dazzling ‘Fireworks’ Jellyfish Captured by Deep Sea Camera

Researchers onboard the Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus recently captured rare images of a jellyfish that looks like exploding fireworks when it’s illuminated.

The Halitrephes maasi jelly was spotted at a depth of 4,000 feet (1,200m) at the Revillagigedo Archipelago off Baja California, Mexico.

“When something remarkable floats by in the middle of sampling operations, our team quickly switches gears to marvel and document,” the researchers write. “Radial canals that move nutrients through the jelly’s bell form a starburst pattern that reflects the lights of ROV Hercules with bright splashes of yellow and pink — but without our lights this gelatinous beauty drifts unseen in the dark.”

In other words, this jellyfish’s beauty is ordinarily hidden as it drifts around in complete darkness in the depths of the ocean. It’s only thanks to artificial illumination and underwater cameras that we get to witness its dazzling appearance.

(via EVNautilus via Colossal)

Source: PetaPixel

Dazzling ‘Fireworks’ Jellyfish Captured by Deep Sea Camera

UFC Bans Photographer Over Instagram Comments

UFC Bans Photographer Over Instagram Comments

A photographer has been banned by the UFC over offensive comments he made in an Instagram post against a female mixed martial arts fighter.

Mark Aragon, staff photographer for Jackson-Winkeljohn, covered the Women’s Featherweight title fight on December 30, 2017, between Cris Cyborg and Holly Holm (a Jackson-Winkeljohn fighter). After Holm’s loss to Cyborg, Aragon took to Instagram and attempted to insult Cyborg. Posting a photo of Cyborg speaking to the media, Aragon referred to her as a “dude” and “he”.

Here’s what he wrote in the caption:

This dude is tough as hell! That being said at the press conference he said Holly was the first one to make his nose bleed! You are my hero @hollyholm see you back in the gym. #ufc219

The comments were instantly met with sharp rebukes from notable UFC journalists.

Cyborg also didn’t take kindly to being referred to as a man:

It is not acceptable for an official representative of @hollyholm @jacksonwink_mma to call me transgender following my Fight. Their official photographer was given a backstage credential to attend the @UFC and I expect an apology or their ability to get credentials for future UFC events to be affected by these actions. @ma2_media 🇧🇷🇧🇷🇧🇷🇧🇷🇧🇷🇧🇷 Não é aceitável que um representante oficial da @hollyholm @jacksonwink_mma me ligue transgênero na sequência da minha luta. Seu fotógrafo oficial recebeu uma credencial de bastidores para participar do @UFC e espero que uma desculpa ou sua capacidade de obter credenciais para futuros eventos do @ufc_brasil sejam afetadas por essas ações.

A post shared by CRIS CYBORG 🇧🇷★ #ufc219 (@criscyborg) on


It is not acceptable for an official representative of @hollyholm @jacksonwink_mma to call me transgender following my Fight. Their official photographer was given a backstage credential to attend the @UFC and I expect an apology or their ability to get credentials for future UFC events to be affected by these actions. @ma2_media

Aragon and Team Jackson-Winkeljohn then took to social media in an attempt to explain and apologize.

As the most hated photographer in the world today, I feel its necessary to comment on the recent fall out I’m causing for both Hollys and Cyborgs camps, and their respectful friends, fans, and families. At the conclusion of UFC 219, I took the final bus out of the arena back to the hotel and ended up on the same bus as Cris Cyborg and her team. As I sat in the back I began to hear them cheer and revel in their victory and discuss small parts of the event. A couple things really bothered me. I heard them laughing and commenting on a picture that renowned photographer Esther Lin took of Cyborgs toes literally in Hollys eye from a kick. Cyborg then went on to discuss how during clinches “the bitch” just “stayed and hugged her but she did nothing”. When I got back to the hotel I posted a picture with an inappropriate caption that everyone is now talking about. I was obviously acting out of anger and frustration. My personal emotions got in the way of my professional status which I failed to adhere to. But there is more to it, Cyborg leading up to the fight through her own Social Media accounts accused Holly and our camp of being the most drug failed camp ever. This is a totally fabricated lie and can’t be based on any merit whatsoever. Only one CURRENT athlete from our camp has ever been punished for USADA related issues and I was extremely frustrated with the perception that Cyborg and her fans had painted us as cheaters and losers.  Jackson Wink had over 60 UFC fights throughout the world and hundreds of other fighters fighting all around the world at many different organizations. Every fighter has their home team based out of whatever country or state they hail from and come here for training, some of them with their own teams. We absolutely can’t be responsible for each and every one of their daily activities. That being said I am embarrassed by my actions and I sincerely apologize to @criscyborg and her friends, fans, and most importantly her family for posting such an ugly misrepresentation of a great hard earned championship retention. I also want to apologize to the members of team Jacksonwink who were effected by that insincere post.

A post shared by Mark A. Aragon (@ma2_media) on


Cyborg responded on Instagram, saying that she accepted the apology but still hoped Aragon would be banned.

The UFC decided to take action and yesterday stripped Aragon of his press credentials, denying him access to all future UFC events.

“UFC is aware and troubled with the recent statements made by a social media representative from the JacksonWink MMA Academy in Albuquerque, New Mexico as it concerns women’s featherweight champion, Cris Cyborg,” the UFC says in a statement to MMA Fighting. “UFC does not condone or tolerate the remarks that were used.

“The organization has reached out to the JacksonWink team to inform them that the individual in question will not be granted access for future events.”

Cyborg then posted a message of thanks to the UFC:

“I want to thank the @ufc for showing their support,” Cyborg writes. “Everyone is entitled to a work environment free from sexual harassment and prejudice.”

Image credits: Portrait of Cris Cyborg by Michael Dunn and used under CC BY 2.0

Source: PetaPixel

UFC Bans Photographer Over Instagram Comments

This is What Camera Bag Marketing Hype is Like

This is What Camera Bag Marketing Hype is Like

It seems like every month there’s an earth-shattering new camera bag that can hold ridiculous amounts of gear in an absurd number of compartments. Fstoppers decided to poke fun at this niche in the photo industry and created this humorous 3-minute sketch showing what camera bag marketing hype is like when you buy into it.

The sketch opens with photographer Patrick Hall packing his camera bag for a gala shoot later in the day. When photographer Lee Morris walks in, he can’t believe Hall is still using his same old camera bag.

“There are so many new bags out there,” Morris says. “I got this one that will blow your mind […] It’s smaller and it holds everything you could possibly need.”

Source: PetaPixel

This is What Camera Bag Marketing Hype is Like

Photographer Terry Richardson Under Investigation by NYPD for Sex Crimes

Photographer Terry Richardson Under Investigation by NYPD for Sex Crimes

Fashion photographer Terry Richardson is under investigation by the New York Police Department’s Special Victims Squad over accusations of sexual assault made by models Richardson has worked with. The news comes two months after a number of leading fashion magazines banned Richardson over the numerous accusations that have been made over the years.

The New York Daily News reports that NYPD investigators have reached out to multiple women in recent days requesting sit-down meetings.

The women claim that Richardson used his fame and influence to lure the women to photo shoots before sexually assaulting them in various ways, from exposing himself to forcing them to perform sexual acts.

“I was afraid and confused and hoping to get it over with. I left there feeling like human garbage,” former model Lindsay Jones tells the NY Daily News. “He thought I was disposable.”

In addition to the models behind the accusations, the NYPD has also contacted the advocacy group Model Alliance for help with the investigation.

Richardson and his lawyer say that all the sexual interactions the photographer has had with models were consensual, and Richardson has thus far denied all allegations against him.

Image credits: Header illustration based on photo by Dave Tada and licensed under CC BY 2.0

Source: PetaPixel

Photographer Terry Richardson Under Investigation by NYPD for Sex Crimes

DJI Drone Collided with US Army Black Hawk Chopper and Dented Its Rotor

DJI Drone Collided with US Army Black Hawk Chopper and Dented Its Rotor

On September 21st, 2017, a DJI Phantom 4 camera drone flying recreationally near Brooklyn, New York, collided with a US Army Black Hawk helicopter. The chopper received a 1.5-inch dent on one of its main rotor blades, but it was able to land safely.

The NTSB has published a new report into the incident after a thorough investigation.

Ars Technica reports that drone owner Vyacheslav Tantashov wanted to see some spectacular views in the skies above New York, so he flew his drone roughly 280 feet into the air and out of sight.

After piloting the drone 2.5 miles away from the launch site near Hoffman Island, Tantashov commanded the drone to intelligently “return to home.” The drone was supposed to fly directly back to Tantashov and the launch location, but it never arrived. Tantashov waited for the drone for half an hour before returning home.

It turns out the drone had smashed into a US Army helicopter.

The 1.5-inch dent left in the helicopter’s rotor blade. Photo by the NTSB.

The NTSB was able to identify and contact Tantashov because a portion of his drone had gotten lodged in a cooling fan in the helicopter and was recovered afterward. The serial number was visible on the drone part, and DJI was able to help the US government track down Tantashov using the sales record.

According to the NTSB, the helicopter was flying low at around 300 feet with another chopper at around 7:14 pm when the co-pilot spotted the drone. Despite taking immediate action, the pilots weren’t able to avoid the collision.

In addition to not flying the drone in his line of sight, Tantashov was also relying entirely on the DJI GO 4 app for airspace awareness, the NTSB says. Since the feature was off and because he wasn’t connected to the Internet, Tantashov failed to see that there was a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) imposed on the area where the helicopters were given authorization to fly.

So for its verdict regarding the probable cause of this accident, the NTSB concludes that there were two: first, “the failure of the sUAS pilot to see and avoid the helicopter due to his intentional flight beyond visual line of sight”, and second, “the sUAS pilot’s incomplete knowledge of the regulations and safe operating practices.”

Source: PetaPixel

DJI Drone Collided with US Army Black Hawk Chopper and Dented Its Rotor

Google Pixel 2 Camera vs. a $20,000 Hasselblad

Google Pixel 2 Camera vs. a ,000 Hasselblad

How does the image quality of a top-of-the-line smartphone camera stack up against a top-of-the-line professional camera these days? Photographer Tyler Stalman decided to find out by pitting a Google Pixel 2 smartphone against a $20,000 Hasselblad medium format camera in the 8-minute video above.

The Google Pixel 2 XL costs around $1,000 and currently holds the highest overall score (98) over at DxOMark for its camera quality.

Stalman invited photographer Jason Eng and his Hasselblad camera to his studio and shot the same model in the same scenes and lighting setups with both the Pixel 2 and the Hasselblad camera.

Dynamic Range

For one comparison, Stalman set up lights to have a high ratio between the brightest and darkest points in order to stretch the dynamic range of both cameras.

Hasselblad H4D
Google Pixel 2

Stalman found that the Pixel 2’s photos were very usable, especially at smaller sizes. But where it falls short is the details lost in the highlights and shadows of the scenes.


Hasselblad H4D
Google Pixel 2

The Pixel 2 managed to nail focus better than the Hasselblad and the photos from the two cameras have similar perceived sharpness when viewed in smaller sizes, but the differences in quality are very apparent when you zoom into the shots.

Depth of Field

Hasselblad H4D
Google Pixel 2

The Pixel 2 does a pretty good job at creating a blurred background in software using its dual pixels, but certain subjects give away the fact that it’s artificially created bokeh. Stalman found that the quality of blurred Christmas lights was completely different than the clean look produced by the Hasselblad.

While the Pixel 2’s photos may stack up well against the Hasselblad’s images on a smartphone screen while you’re flicking through Instagram, you’re not going to be fooled by the image quality if you look a little more closely at the finer details of the shots.

“Remember: anytime you see somebody telling you that a smartphone is going to be replacing your DSLR, it’s probably just clickbait… just like doing a comparison between a $20,000 camera and a smartphone.”

You can find more of Ania and Tyler Stalman’s work on their podcast, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.

(via Tyler Stalman via ISO 1200)

Image credits: Photographs by Tyler Stalman and used with permission

Source: PetaPixel

Google Pixel 2 Camera vs. a ,000 Hasselblad

This Guy Got a 100-Year-Old Bottle of Film Developer and Tried it Out

This Guy Got a 100-Year-Old Bottle of Film Developer and Tried it Out

There are plenty of stories of people finding old camera films and finding images on them. Photographer Daniel Keating recently got his hands on something a bit different: a 100-year-old bottle of Rodinal black-and-white film developer.

The Tucson, Arizona-based photographer received the ancient bottle from Ukranian camera vendor Ihor Chykalo, who sent it as a bonus item for Christmas. It was partially consumed and had an encrusted rubber cork at the top.

Chykalo tells Keating that the bottle was discovered in a wooden box along with very old photography equipment from the 1900s and 1910s. The label on the bottle says “S6 1793,” and a little digging online revealed information that suggests the chemicals were made in June 1917 and was the 93rd release of that month.

“The solution had separated into a thin liquid on top and a black tarry sludge below,” Keating says. “I broke up the scrud with a metal skewer, got everything mixed up again, and pulled out 5ml for a 250ml tank.

“That developer was so nasty looking, like yesterday’s dishwater sitting in the disposal at the bottom of the sink,” Keating says. “I had my doubts, but my god… the old juice still works.”

Keating tested the 100-year-old developer using some unwanted test film.

“I opted to do 1-hour semi-stand,” Keating says. “Agitated for the first minute then 10 seconds every 15 minutes. I used what would be my normal 5ml for a tank and reel. Fixer was plain sodium thiosulfate, 3 grams to 250ml water, for 5 minutes.”

Lo and behold, the developer still works just fine

The photos were from a roll of Tasma Mikrat 300 film that expired 35 years ago, exposed using a Nikkormat FTn camera.

“And you betcha I’m keeping that bottle when I use the last of it,” Keating says.

Update: Questions are being raised regarding the age of this bottle (see comments below). Commenter Funkemariechen writes:

Look at the bottom of the Label: “Deutsche Demokratische Republik” – that’s former east Germany (founded in 1949). So this bottle is 58 years old at max – from the typo font and label-design I would assume somewhere between 40 to 50 years – still quite some time for the developer.

Keating writes:

I noticed the same thing regarding the Deustch Demokratic markings over the weekend and starting to research it more. If it were truly from 1917 it would have been marked Deustches Reich or Republic of Germany I would think. The bottle is a very old design-no screw top but that may have still been a practice in the eastern bloc. The person that sent it to my Ukrainian friend was the one who said the date code was June of 1917. I have no reason to disbelieve my friend on face value as he has screened out iffy soviet cameras that were sub par, but who is this other guy? Kodak for example recycles date codes about every 20 years on film edges. What if the east germans used a different code? I have emailed Agfa for an attempt at clarification. At the most, if made in 1950 after the formation of DDR it’s 68 years old or thereabouts. The last thing I want people to think is that I’m intentionally purveying “fake crap”.

Source: PetaPixel

This Guy Got a 100-Year-Old Bottle of Film Developer and Tried it Out

Ep. 242: Predictions for 2018…and Where I Missed in 2017 – and more

Ep. 242: Predictions for 2018…and Where I Missed in 2017 – and more

Episode 242 of the PetaPixel Photography Podcast.
Download MP3 –  Subscribe via iTunesGoogle Playemail or RSS!

Featured: Photographer Alex Huff

In This Episode

If you subscribe to the PetaPixel Photography Podcast in iTunes, please take a moment to rate and review us and help us move up in the rankings so others interested in photography may find us.

Show Opener:
Photographer Alex Huff opens the show. Thanks Alex!

– More at

Predictions for 2018 and what didn’t quite come true in 2017.

The most-rented items of 2017. (#)

Apple apologizes, educates, drops its price and hopes that’s ok. (#)

DxO announces the return of the Nik Collection for 2018. (#)

Joby announces yet another GorillaPod with a twist. (#)

PETA convinces Shutterstock to change its mind. (#)

Instagram rolls out an incredibly unpopular feature. (#)


My other podcast with Brian Matiash, the No Name Photo Show.

Connect With Us

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Ep. 242: Predictions for 2018…and Where I Missed in 2017 – and more