Confused beetle, the Milky Way and soap bubbles – incredible photos from the Science Photographer Awards 2019


STUNNING photographs showcasing wonders of the scientific world have been revealed ahead of the Science Photographer of the Year awards.

An impressive shortlist of 100 science-themed snaps has been selected by experts – and published online to blow all of our minds.

Our home galaxy the Milky Way captured in the Himalayas in Nepal at the 4,400m-high Gosaikunda lake
Yevhen Samuchenko/2019 science photographer of the year/RPS
A pin-sharp image of a Confused Flour Beetle, a pest in stored grain and flour products. It was taken using a scanning electron micrograph
David Spears/2019 science photographer of the year/RPS

The yearly competition showcases the work of amateur and professional photographers around the world.

It’s run by the UK’s Royal Photographic Society, and attempts to promote the best of global science.

“We are looking for eye-catching images that show science being done, show how photography helps science or how science impacts upon our daily lives,” the RPS explains.

Experts selected a shortlist of 100 images, all of which will be shown off in a “prestigious central London exhibition space” from October 2019 to January 2020.

This safety pin was connected to a high-tension AC generator, causing it to ionise the air around it. When electrons fall back on an atom, the excess energy is emitted as light, creating the glow around the pin
Richard Germain/2019 science photographer of the year/RPS
An image showing soap bubble structures. Bubble walls drain under gravity – thin at the top, thick at the bottom – which interferes with light waves and creates colour bands. Black spots show that the wall is too thin, and indicate that the bubble is about to burst
Kym Cox/2019 science photographer of the year/RPS
A detailed show of the Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank Observatory at the University of Manchester in the UK
Marge Bradshaw/2019 science photographer of the year/RPS

And the two winning photographers will also each receive a “money can’t buy” experience prize – with access to a science venue usually closed to the public.

One of this year’s most exciting images is a pin-sharp shot of a Confused Flour Beetle.

The pest is typically found in stored grain and flour products, and was captured in a photo using a scanning electron micrograph.

The creature gets its name from the fact that it is often confused with the Red Flour Beetle.

Another stunning shot is of a simple safety pin, which had been connected to a high-tension AC generator.

This caused the pin to ionise the air around it.

When electrons fall back on an atom, this extra energy is released as light, creating an eerie glow around the pin.

The pin itself looks blurry because the image is only capturing the emitted photons around the object, rather than the normal light reflected off it.

This image shows upside-down jellyfish that tend to pulse up and down in the water, rather than swimming. Their colour comes from the uptake of algae in the water
Mary Anne Chilton/2019 science photographer of the year/RPS
An astronomer captured the North America Nebula, named because it resembles the continent of the same name
Dave Watson/2019 science photographer of the year/RPS
A Stag Beetle captured using light microscopy with a magnification of five times
Viktor Sykora/2019 science photographer of the year/RPS

iPhone photography tips – how to take better snaps today

Here's what you need to know…

  • Use Depth Control on iPhone XS or XR to adjust background blur as much or as little as you want
  • Adjust exposure in the Camera app on any iPhone by tapping on the screen and swiping up or down to lighten or darken exposure
  • In Live Photos on iPhone you can change the Key Photo manually by opening Edit to select the preferred frame
  • In Settings/Camera turn on Grid to use the Grid to compose the shot by the rule of thirds – a guideline for composing visual images with key elements along the gridlines or intersections
  • You might be familiar with shooting a horizontal panorama with your iPhone but you can also shoot a vertical Pano. Start by holding your phone in landscape, select Pano in the Camera app, tap the arrow to make sure it’s at the bottom and slowly shoot moving upwards

Here are some great iPhone camera tricks to help you take better photos.

Check out the stunning iPhone Photo Awards winners that will put your Insta-pics to shame.

And learn about the little-known iPhone feature to find any photo on your phone in seconds.

What’s your favourite photo from this bunch? Let us know in the comments!

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