Edwelda's Universe

Ex terra, ad astra . . .



Photos by Edwin Aguirre and Imelda Joson.


Just like astronomy and shell collecting, photography is another field that we're both interested in. What started out as a hobby more than two decades ago, photography has played an important role in enhancing our careers as science writers and magazine editors. Combined with our innate entrepreneurial drive, it became the foundation for our family company, Joson Images.


Like many photographers, we started out with 35-mm and medium-format film cameras. Our first experience in using a single-lens reflex (SLR) camera came when our mom generously lent us her Nikon F2A. Learning the features of an all-manual camera was lots of fun. Soon we acquired a few cameras of our own  a Nikon F, a 6006, and an FM2, along with an assortment of Nikkor lenses, filters, and accessories to add to our growing collection of photographic gear. Under the tutelage of the late Father Francis J. Heyden, S.J., we also learned how to develop black-and-white film and print the negatives in a darkroom.


                  Nikon manual SLRs

                  Manual 35-mm film SLR cameras: the Nikon F (upper left),

                  the Nikon F2A (upper right), and the Nikon FM2. 


                  Leica and Hasselblad


In 2001, we bought a Hasselblad 501CM and a Leica M6. The optical quality of the Hasselblad and Leica was far superior to any camera we had previously used. It's no wonder both brands enjoy loyal following among professional shutterbugs.


The advent of digital-imaging technology prompted us to switch from silver grains to silicon pixels. Since 2001 we've been shooting exclusively digital, first with a Nikon Coolpix 990 and then with a Canon EOS 20D and Rebel XT. To date, we've taken nearly 40,000 exposures with these cameras. 


                  Digital SLRs


We have several Canon lenses that we use depending on the subject. For general landscape imaging, we have the image-stabilized 17-85-mm EF-S and 24-135-mm EF zoom lenses. For close-up and portrait photography, we use a 50-mm f/2.8 macro lens. For long-distance shooting, our favorite is the image-stabilized 100-400-mm EF-L telephoto. Its image quality is superb and is ruggedly constructed, but it's quite heavy.


Supplementing our Canon cameras is a variety of Bogen Manfrotto and Gitzo tripods, monopods, and heads, as well as a Canon 580 EX II and a Metz Mecablitz 45 CL 1 flash units.





            Photos by Edwin Aguirre and Imelda Joson.


Since we shoot hundreds of high-resolution images in a single session, we needed a robust way of archiving them. For this, we employ a bank of external hard drives with a total capacity of 2.9 terabytes. In addition to storing camera images, we also use the drives to archive scans made with our Canon CanoScan 8600F flatbed scanner and Nikon Super Coolscan 5000 ED film scanner. We're currently in the process of digitizing the thousands of negatives and transparencies we had amassed during our pre-digital years.











           Photos by Edwin Aguirre and Imelda Joson.


We shoot a great variety of subjects for our family company, from waterfalls, lighthouses, and flowers to fireworks, aircraft, and wildlife. What is most rewarding is the fact that we're now able to enjoy photography and work at the same time. Photography has brought us to a lot of places we've only dreamed about, and we've met many interesting and famous people, some of whom we had only read about in books and magazines. Photography has opened our eyes and minds to the challenge of capturing those special moments in time and bringing out the hidden beauty within each portrait. It has allowed us to grow intellectually and creatively. But most of all, it has allowed us to merge our passions for science and art.


            Cherenkov Radiation

            Imelda and Edwin took this photograph of a uranium reactor under a

            pool of water. Note the blue glow, called the Cherenkov radiation, emitted

            by the reactor's core.


Photo Montage2


The microscopic world gets revealed through the magic of digital photomicrography.


Photo Montage1(2)



Edwin poses in front of the US Air Force's Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter; Imelda with a surgeon in a hospital operating room.





Space Shuttle Landing




















Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)


























               Falcon chicks 6493


               Falcon chicks 3719


               Falcon chicks 3694


               Falcon chicks


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All photos, unless otherwise noted, are copyright 2008 by E. Aguirre and I. Joson. Reproduction requires written permission from both photographers.