A Cosmic Nebula Explosion of Life; A Detail Micro-Macro Study.

This image has to be one of my favorite snapshots taken recently with my little pocket-sized Point-n-Shoot camera, the Sony RX100mIII. My sister and her kids came up to the Bay Area for a family visit last week. For one of the daily activities, a bunch of us ventured into San Francisco to visit The Exploratorium, A Museum of Science, Art, & Human Perception. This tactile sensory-based science exhibit center located right on the Embarcadero waterfront and is a wonderfully popular destination for tourists and locals alike. I only took a few quick grab shots during the afternoon, but one exhibit really caught my attention.

The shot above is from the LIVING SYSTEMS gallery at the Exploratorium, and is an exhibit showing the colony growth of cyanobacteria, one of the most primitive life forms on the planet, and the one given a huge credit in the role of pumping oxygen into the atmosphere of the early earth, more than 2 billion years ago. But what I particularly marveled at was how this incredibly tiny organism was able to assemble itself into a colony that mirrored many images of galactic nebula as captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, some of these being among the largest singular structures in the known observable universe. It’s this same kind of micro – macro comparison I love seeing when looking at images of neural networks in the brain, branches on trees, and the ribbons of matter distributed throughout the universe.

Here are a couple other fun snapshots taken from the Exploratorium.

**** As usual, I’d love to know if you have a favorite image from this set. If so, leave a comment below. Thanks, – Gary.

Image: Storm cloud over Lake Tahoe at sunset, from South Lake Tahoe, California
Tributaries in Black and White.

Image: Storm cloud over Lake Tahoe at sunset, from South Lake Tahoe, California
Intermixing Flow of Liquids.

Image: Storm cloud over Lake Tahoe at sunset, from South Lake Tahoe, California
Fog Vapor Condensing.

Image: Storm cloud over Lake Tahoe at sunset, from South Lake Tahoe, California
Sun Painting – A Heliostatic Reflected & Refracted Light Art installation by Bob Miller (1969).

Image: Storm cloud over Lake Tahoe at sunset, from South Lake Tahoe, California
Anemone and bubbles.

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Gary Crabbe is an award-winning commercial and editorial outdoor travel photographer and author based out of the San Francisco Bay Area, California. He has seven published books on California to his credit, including “Photographing California; v1-North”, which won the prestigious 2013 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Gold Medal award as Best Regional title. His client and publication credits include the National Geographic Society, the New York Times, Forbes Magazine, TIME, The North Face, Subaru, L.L. Bean, Victoria’s Secret, Sunset Magazine, The Nature Conservancy, and many more. Gary is also a photography instructor and consultant, offering both public and private photo workshops. He also works occasionally a professional freelance Photo Editor.

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Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Didier Verstichel says:

    Very interesting pictures!
    Note that there is a typo in your title: A Cosmic Nebula Explosion of Life; A Detail Micro-Marco Study. (Marco vs Macro).

  • Dear Gary,

    Many thanks for sharing your latest blog.

    I love “Intermixing Flow of Liquids” and “Sun Painting by Bob Miller” – 1969.

    Truly brilliant work.

    With all good wishes and have a gr8 weekend.

    Happy Clickings!!!!!


  • Melissa says:

    First, I find it hard to believe you shot these with a pocket-sized Point-n-Shoot camera, the Sony RX100mIII. I like all of these, but my favorite shot is the one in the LIVING SYSTEMS gallery. At first I thought it was an astromony photograph as it does look a lot like the galactic nebula images. Surprised to fine it is an exhibit of colony growth of cyanobacteria. I also like Sun Painting. the colors are beautiful. Really enjoyed reading and learning what these photos truly are. Thank you!

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