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X-Ray Focus

JPL’s NuStar satellite is a low-weight, high-energy complement to Chandra

Astronomers have floated X-ray detectors on balloons, launched them on sounding rockets and put them on satellites since the late 1950s to sweep the sky. The goal is to unravel the story of a violent universe, where black holes swallow light, neutron stars are born and stars the size of the Sun puff up as red giants only to collapse in death as white dwarfs.

Since Earth’s atmosphere absorbs X-rays, astronomers wanting to use them need to rise above it. Their work so far has concentrated on detecting low-energy X-rays;

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Use manual focus

Take some time to learn when manual focus is the better option, and how thinking about focus distance can lead to better images

THE VAST majority of photographers take autofocus for granted, but it wasn’t that long ago that manual focus was the only option. And it still has a huge part to play, particularly if you want to get the most accurate images possible.

For some subjects, manual focusing will be far too slow. However, it’s great for the type of shots that most enthusiasts take on a regular basis. You may even find the manual method faster and

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Story behind the shot.

Photographer James Sheppard lets us in on the secrets behind his beautiful flower shot.

What made you decide to take this lovely photo?

I went for a day out at Exbury Gardens in Hampshire back in May. I had heard that the spring flowers were in full bloom, so I took my camera to get some colourful floral shots. I came across these pink azaleas, and decided that they would make a great macro subject due to the beautiful detail on the petals and in the centre of the flower.

What camera and settings did you use to get these

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SHOOTERS DELIGHT

A basic guide to getting the beat gear and the beat photo of awesome sport

Buying a camera has never been easier thanks to the overall quality of the hardware — and never been more difficult thanks to the overwhelming amount of choice. There are a few simple guidelines and truths we can pass on here so you get the right camera and use it in a way that gets you the best dirtbike shots. It can get pretty funky and techno but if you follow these simple tips you’ll be on the right track to get the best gear

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Focusing techniques

SPOT-ON FOCUSING IS A MUST TO ENSURE SHARP RESULTS WHEN SHOOTING ACTION

FOCUSING IS MADE all the more difficult with action photography because as well as dealing with a subject in motion — moving targets are always harder to hit — you’ll often be using a telephotolens at its widest aperture, which means there will be limited depth-of-field and hardly any room for error. Depending upon the type of subject you’re photographing, there are two commonly used focusing techniques that can be used to put the odds of successful focusing in your favour — prefocusing and follow-focusing.

PREFOCUSING

Prefocusing involves

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Focus no more

Has this tube-shaped gadget just obliterated the purpose of your favourite hobby? Kathrine Anker finds out

I’ll start by dispelling any fears that we’re dealing with a tube of doom; just because the Lytro lets you pick your focal point and adjust your perspective AFTER you’ve pressed the shutter, doesn’t mean photography as you know it has become pointless; rather, the world’s first consumer light field camera offers a new way to go about it.

The oblong tube is a little under five inches long — a good handful — and needs to be held like a mini telescope. On

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DOUBLE TAKE

Canon’s new approach to AF on the imaging chip.

When Canon recently introduced its EOS 70D to the press, what could have been simply an update to the popular but aging 60D turned into an intriguing glimpse of new sensor technology. Due in stores in September, it may not make much difference to still photographers who use the optical viewfinder (they’ll find more to love elsewhere), but video shooters—or anyone using live view—are likely to benefit.

Besides upping the 70D’s pixel count to 20.2MP from 18MP, boosting the top ISO up a stop to 25,600, and raising the burst rate

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DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHERS NOTEBOOK

Bokeh Is Japanese for Blur

Bokeh is the often-mispronounced term for those wonderful round, out-of-focus highlights that we love floating throughout the backgrounds of photographs. So just what is photographic bokeh and how does it differ from a blur of the same name made in Photoshop? The answer this time in the «Digital Photographer’s Notebook.»

There are three factors that make pleasing bokeh: pinpoint highlights, a lens with a longer focal length than normal for the camera, and a large aperture. Surprisingly, the most beautiful bokeh is not always with the widest f-stop. Oh, by the way, Japanese speakers say

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A MEASURED APPROACH

Samyang. the new kid on the block for third-party lenses, has done it again with a 16mm f/2 wide-angle. MICK C00KS0N finds out if it’s fit for a pro.

Samyang is a relatively new name in the third-party lens market. Rapidly developing a reputation for its high-quality manual focus optics, can this new 16mm f/2 ED AS UMC CS lens offer anything for the professional photographer?

OPEN THE BOX

Straight from the box, the quality of this Samyang feels good, well made, and though the lens is mostly made up from polycarbonate, feels robust enough for the job. Adding this

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Mon to Freedom

Morning 6:10 * "Prague accent." The election results in Ukraine and their impact on Situation in Belarus discussions are chairman of the United civilian party Anatoly Lebedko and chief editor of the magazine Arche Valery Bulgakov6:35 * "Call" Freedom "- weekly review calls our listeners.6:45 * "Free Studio". Guest Misha Scoble — poet Leonid Dranko-Maisyuk which on Wednesday celebrates its 50th anniversary.7:00 * Morning Live.Evening18:03 * Information block: announcements of Belarus and the world. 18:33 * "Prague accent." The election results in Ukraine and their impact on the situation in Belarus discussions are civilian head of the United Party Anatoly

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