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Anomalous photography exercise
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oldroverOffline
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PostPosted: 03-12-2013 18:50    Post subject: Anomalous photography exercise Reply with quote

I went into the village of Mumbles this afternoon to do a bit of Christmas shopping as this may be one of the last chances I get this year. As I was pulling in I was lucky enough to be a witness to a bloody good UFO hoax.

I'm not going to bother describing what I saw flying and hovering over the village this afternoon, because while it was obviously something unusual, it was equally obviously someone playing a prank with a supped up quadcopter or similar.

What I did find particularly interesting from a Fortean perspective was what I then did might go someway to answering the often asked question, "why is it that today when everyone's got a camera phone can't anyone get a photo of..."

Well I saw something strange, I did decide to film it and I did have a camera phone. So I pulled over and had a go.

Firstly after safely pulling over it took me at least thirty seconds to find the phone's camera setting after having pretty much waded through the other hundred and one useless functions it's got to offer. And this isn't a flashy phone, it's an old Samsung Galaxy. When I did get to the camera, at which point it was hovering almost directly overhead, I pressed the wrong button and took a photo of the pavement. Only after the photo function reset or whatever it does, and a bit more fiddling did I get to the video facility. By this time of course the thing was flying away toward the sea.

Eventually though I did manage to start filming. I thought I got a few minutes but in fact it was only 40 seconds. In this footage you get plenty of close ups of my hand, a really nice shot of the pavement again and a glimpse of my right boot. I should point out that had I been excited or panicky thinking I was seeing something genuinely weird, it'd probably have taken longer again.

Of the actual time spent with the camera pointed directly at the object, I think only for a fleeting second do you get a tiny little flash of what might have been the object, and I'm not convinced of that. Apart fro this it's a chimney fest, as the phone wasn't able to pick anything else up at all.

To recap then, pulling in safely took a while, patting around your pockets to find the phone or camera takes time. Then getting the thing operational takes quite a long time, even when you're familiar with it. Then add in some fumble time, even if your perfectly calm. And finally allow for the very restrictive technical limitations of the equipment we've most often got to hand.

So as a sort of real life training exercise for gaining footage of something anomalous, I think that this shows unless you've got good quality equipment up and operational you've no bloody chance.

Consider this next time you wonder why someone with an SLR has only taken one photo, or why there aren't more pictures of the yeti*.

* Although not existing is probably a bigger barrier to a good photo.
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 03-12-2013 19:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

"When I did get to the camera, at which point it was hovering almost directly overhead, I pressed the wrong button and took a photo of the pavement." Very Happy

(I've taken pics of the pavement before, not even realising I'd pressed the shoot button! Embarassed )

Perhaps would-be UFO-snappers should regularly practice taking pics of birds in flight. It's harder than it seems, and it might also show up the limitations of your camera.
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OneWingedBirdOffline
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PostPosted: 03-12-2013 20:03    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was about to say that some people walk around with their phone ready and in their hand... but then I figured they'd be too busy looking at the screen texting to notice what's flying over their head. Laughing
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Zilch5Offline
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PostPosted: 03-12-2013 21:28    Post subject: Reply with quote

rynner2 wrote:
"When I did get to the camera, at which point it was hovering almost directly overhead, I pressed the wrong button and took a photo of the pavement." Very Happy

(I've taken pics of the pavement before, not even realising I'd pressed the shoot button! Embarassed )

Perhaps would-be UFO-snappers should regularly practice taking pics of birds in flight. It's harder than it seems, and it might also show up the limitations of your camera.


I actually did a similar exercise once just with normal propeller planes as I live near a local airport where Cessna type planes take off every two minutes or so. There are always plenty going around - but they are surprisingly hard to film or snap unless you happen to have the phone ready to snap. Usually after taking the phone out, unlocking it, switching to camera and getting it to focus you just end up with a blurry mess in the distance. Much like most UFO footage really.
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AMPHIARAUS
PostPosted: 03-12-2013 23:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

Totally agree its so hard to get a pic of transient stuff. I had an issue with a series of dramatically low flying aircraft* all having to go WOT to miss my home by less than 30m. I had their register numbers by eye for complaint but NO chance by camera. If ET had flown past, slowly mooning me out of an airlock there would still be no good pics.

* these guys were all registered in the Low Countries and I suspect they just weren't anticipating the cliffs and hills. While some just throttled up others were clearly at max revs and being reckless, and yes I know the difference.
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SameOldVardoger
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PostPosted: 04-12-2013 12:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice! So where's the footage? Very Happy
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birdyOffline
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PostPosted: 04-12-2013 13:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is a really good point made by the OP.
While at a wedding next to the thames this year I noticed one of those micro drones with lights on flying overhead. I thought I'd catch a funny (if only to me) photo of the wedding party enjoying themselves oblivious to the 'UFO' hovering above - NO SUCH LUCK! Even with a DSLR camera it was impossible to shoot anything other than a blurry blob - and no I wasn't drunk!
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cherrybombOffline
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PostPosted: 04-12-2013 13:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone who has tried to take a snap of a firework will know how hard it is to capture something moving quickly across the sky. As the OP said, add fear into the mix and you'd be hard pushed to take a picture of anything!
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oldroverOffline
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PostPosted: 04-12-2013 16:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's the pavement photo;

http://s1170.photobucket.com/user/revotisThartmannIII/media/pavement1_zps75bb4c2a.jpg.html

This will I'm sure be familiar to you rynner but at least you manage to capture your subjects for the 'Things that are not UFOs' thread.

As for how to post a video I've no idea, I'd like to because I think it'd be interesting to show what it actually looks like when you capture something on a camera phone. So if anyone's got any idea then I'll be happy to try.

Reading the replies I think most of us have had a go and found out how hard this sort of thing is.
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MythopoeikaOnline
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PostPosted: 04-12-2013 20:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

oldrover wrote:
As for how to post a video I've no idea, I'd like to because I think it'd be interesting to show what it actually looks like when you capture something on a camera phone.


Put it on Youtube and post a link?
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oldroverOffline
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PostPosted: 04-12-2013 20:43    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is there another way, like photobucket but with videos, videobucket perhaps?
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MythopoeikaOnline
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PostPosted: 04-12-2013 21:09    Post subject: Reply with quote

You may be able to put vids on Flickr.
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oldroverOffline
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PostPosted: 04-12-2013 21:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll give it a go now, cheers.
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uair01Offline
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PostPosted: 04-12-2013 21:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know it is stupid and unrelated to this (excellent!) thread but I was powerless to resist:

http://i.imgur.com/PW1Vtyl.jpg
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oldroverOffline
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PostPosted: 04-12-2013 22:18    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fantastic.
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