Bizarre digital photo - how did this happen?

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by william_sturtevant, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. Hi! I would really appreciate some help on this one because I can't explain it.

    A co-worker of mine took this photo in front of Air Force Two when the VP came to visit Allentown, PA. This is me with the Secret Service Agent in front of the plane. If you look at our legs, the paint on the ground appears to go THROUGH our legs. Now keep in mind this was taken with a Samsung Digimax camera, so it's digital - not film. My friend Blake noticed it at first when I posted it on Facebook. I am sure anyone who is looking at that photo is thinking it is photoshopped but it isn't.
    So what is the explanation? I am not a camera person at all, so you may have to speak slow and use small words. :)
    Many thanks,
  2. This is directly related to what I do for a living (P&S camera firmware), and I have a few theories, but without having the original full resolution JPG straight out of the camera I can't really verify any of them. I have to say that all of them would be pretty unlikely. There's all sorts of masks and processing that happens in P&S cameras, masks can get shifted due to SW bugs, and sometimes a mask can be accidentally re-used from a previous capture. Generally these things are extremely rare in a production camera.
    If the camera was on a tripod and the previous shot was taken, some of these become more likely (just like they would with film). However, if it was a hand-held shot, any information accidentally affecting the next frame would be unlikely to be aligned perfectly like that
    If you look at the red car, it almost seems like there's a shadow of something that is not in the scene, right next to the guy's leg. This could easily be part of the same corruption.
    Any chance we can get the original JPEG linked to?
  3. The picture on Facebook was taken directly from the camera and loaded onto my computer and then ultimately uploaded to Facebook. There was certainly no tripod used and no fancy settings that were chosen. A group of us went out to the pad after VP Biden left, snapped off some shots, and then left.
    I'm not seeing the false shadow... Hmmm. I'll try to upload the picture here.
  4. Unfortunately Facebook scaled your image to 720x540 and resaved it without most of the Exif data. If there's some way to get the original file on Facebook, I do not know.
  5. Very interesting. I wonder if the phenomenon could be replicated with lines in a parking lot. Do you have access to the camera?
  6. My first thought was a reflection / flare issue, but I've never seen one continue a pattern like that...
    My other thought is that it is trick of the eyes, but it is definitely on the image file...
    Got to be something in the way the camera is processing the image...
  7. [[Got to be something in the way the camera is processing the image...]]
    Algorithms Gone Wild!
  8. My wife has done -something- to it. I need to poke it to get it to work again. What is strange is that the line in the cement (running roughly perpendicular to the yellow/black painted lines) don't go through our legs, so I am fairly certain we were corporeal at the time. :) But with that said, why are we transparent for one line and not the other?
    Other things to note: It was a very bright day and the picture was taken in the direction of the sun. Could it be a contrast thing? The fact that the line is so dark compared to the cement?
  9. I was thinking double exposure, but the Digimax 301 does not appears sophisticated enough to support this.
  10. Maybe the jet landed on a NFL field?
  11. I brought your image into Photoshop and increased the light levels - as you can see- rather significantly.
    Interestingly, the lines the only lines that don't get blown out by are those on the pants.
    And I'm not exactly sure what this means.
  12. I got the original file from the poster and studied it pretty meticulously. I am baffled, and so are a few of my
    co-workers. There are some things that might or might not be irregularities in the image (the grey plane in
    the background has a strange pattern on its wing, etc.), but nothing conclusive from such a low resolution

    It might be a one in a billion coincidence (there's an internal reflection that just happened to focus and line
    up perfectly over your pants), or more likely it's some software bug either combining a small part of the
    previous exposure with this one or even more likely, shifting over a part of this one over itself (mask
    ghosting of sorts). This still requires a huge coincidence of it lining up to look that perfect, but barring some
    secret service invisibility cloak, I have no other explanations.

    Do you have any other shots from the same camera/same location?
  13. Thanks, folks. Feel free to forward this to any of your guru friends. I'm stumped and my OCD is kicking in, making it difficult for me to think about much else besides my disappearing legs.
    Yuriy, I've sent you every picture taken at that time. You can see the Secret Service agent I'm shaking hands with in one of the other shots. But as I mentioned before, I can't seem to find the same anomaly anywhere else.
    Raymond, nice manipulation call! I have no idea what that means either but it is interesting that only the legs show the stripes.
  14. Looks to me (as a wikd guess and in the complete absence of any expertise) that it is an artefact of some heavy noise reduction processing. If the function of noise reduction is to spot the pixels that are a suspiciously different colour to those around them then it looks like the software is still guessing where it ought not. Still - very strange.
  15. It seems that there was VLF (very low frequency) radio radiation in the immediate area. This type of radiation, provided all parameters are in order, can make solid objects appear transparent to electronic sensors. Similar to but not the same as X-Rays and Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
    Being that AF2 was on hand I doubt that this phenomenon was not the case provided the image shown is authentic.
  16. Most intriguing.....I have never seen anything like, unless your co-worker had a chance to manipulate it, then I can offer no suggestions at all. Which, in itself is quite unusual.....regards, Robert
  17. What did the photos taken immediately before and immediately after this one look like? Anything strange about them? Did any of them also include that line. Have you reported this to Mulder and Scully? Was The Smoking Man anywhere nearby?
    Tom M.
  18. George, if VLF makes solid objects appear translucent as you say, then why do only the human bodies and their clothing take on this translucency?
  19. Diffraction. High light level and aperture created by legs.
  20. This has happened to me when I do photomontages and the background picture has a reflectivive surface.
    I know this was not your case.
  21. Are you sure you and your plane weren't in Area 53?
  22. I hope you aren't trying to "fix" the camera! you could auction that off as an xray camera and make a killing!
  23. Something must be way out of alignment on that camera. The shadow on the runway somehow sprouted a T-tail, which that C-40B does not have. Equally strange is how the camera missed the shadow of the winglets. Super weird.
  24. This is why I don't trust P&S cameras anymore.
  25. The only way to account for all the discrepancies pointed out above was that a beta version of Adobe's new auto-fill effect must have been installed on the camera's on-board computer.
    Ha! You say this will never happen ... wait 5 years and see. Once they iron out (pun intended) minor glitches like transparent legs, the P&S crowd will love menu choices like "remove power lines", "remove uncle Bob", etc. Obviously, this release was testing the "remove foreground subjects" mode and only got partway through the job.
    Tom M
    PS - Seriously, tho, anybody else notice the lack of deep blacks in the image. Initially, I thought this was just due to a dirty lens, but the light overall fog doesn't seem to have the characteristics of a dirty lens (eg, concentrated around highlights). This may be telling us something like two images were mindlessly (or erroneously ) superimposed. Also, this image apparently went through Facebook -- could it be that something happened to it there?
  26. stp


    I tell you, this wouldn't have happened with a film camera. Need I say more? At last, vindication.
  27. That has to be the strangest thing I've ever seen.
    Is there a possibility that somehow those lines got temporarily "burned" onto that portion of the ccd before the picture was snapped and by pure coincidence everything lined up in the pic?Perhaps the low level radiation caused this?
    My DSC-F717 exhibited some quirky behavior before Sony recalled/replaced the defective sensor. Your pic does show some similar characteristics of what mine did in its early stages, especially in the heat. But of course I've been known to be wrong once or twice before :)
    The camera does video, no?
  28. Who is that mysterious man in the blue jump suit next to the red car in the background, who stepped on the yellow line at the very instant this photo was taken? And what is that paper he's reading?

    Find him. And that document. We want to speak with him.....
  29. I'm glad our government is getting more transparent.
  30. Tom (and everyone really) I have the original pictures directly from the camera, including the ones that were taken before and after it. They are larger files than can't be attached here on the forum but I'd be happy to email them to anyone who wants to analyze them. Just send me an email via the forum and I'll respond ASAP.
    The original file most certainly has the lines across the legs, so this one can't be blamed on Facebook.
    I don't think two images were superimposed because only one shot was taken from that position. It's a shame really as a second shot might have cleared this mystery up. The other pictures taken that day look completely normal from what I can see.
    T Kim, this Samsung does take movie clips as well, yes. Although I don't have any video from that day.
    EDIT I was able to attach the original file - see below
  31. William - Thanks. Got it.
    One thing that jumped out immediately when examining the EXIF data was that the exposure compensation was +14.6 !.!.!. I presume this number is in "stops", as it is listed with all other cameras. If so, I have never seen a number this large, and I'm sure you didn't dial that in, so something odd must be going on with the on-board computer.
    More later,
    Tom M
    PS - The image is only 1600x1200 pixels. I presume that you intentionally had the camera set for "low resolution"?
  32. I think the secret is in the reflective properties of the paint used to mark the lines at the airfield, combined with the fact that a digital imaging sensor can register wavelengths other than visible light. Any physicist here?
  33. Actually, I had it set low but not for this particular event. I work in an environment where I need pictures that are smaller resolution that can be emailed fast. I put the camera on that setting about two years ago and I don't think I've touched it since. The rest of your questions sound like this to me: blah blah blah blah blah. :) I have no idea how to set an exposure or what EXIF data are either. So if anything on the camera is set at a strange mode, it is completely accidental.
  34. Where did the shadow of the engine directly behind the guys go? If you follow those pod things on the wing it should be visible between those on the other side?
    Interesting that there does seem to be a line of flare coming off the engine at the same angle as the yellow line
  35. The line was burned into the sensor (due to the high light levels) during composition. Betcha the subjects were standing to the left or right of the center of the frame then moved to where the image was taken. If a tripod was used this is most likely but it still could happen since we are talking about only the legs moving.
  36. Aliens Perhaps?
  37. look closely at the car door. the black and yellow line is clear.....the two people are not reflected in the door
  38. I think it is lens flare or internal reflections within the lens. Similar to the spots created from the sun or some other bright light source, in this case the flare is from the yellow line and the white concrete, creating the illusion that the black lines are contuing across the legs as well. Just like ordinary lens flare lines up with the light source, so that this flare, thus connecting the lines on both sides of the legs, and giving the impression that the lines go across the legs.
  39. "...the exposure compensation was +14.6 !.!.!."

    Another oddity is that the actual exposure is about 3 1/2 stops over what the "Sunny 16" rule would predict.

    You've got one very strange picture here, William. I hate to sound skeptical, but I hope this isn't some kind of demonstration of how one can photoshop a pic, and still have it show up as an unaltered, in-camera JPEG. If it is, then I'm waiting to hear how you did it...
  40. I think it's quite obvious what is going on here, William. Both you and the SS agent are dead and, as such, you are not nearly as opaque in pictures as you are used to. The real mystery is why are you still here starting threads on PN? And if that isn't it, then I really have no idea what the heck is going on with your camera.
  41. William,
    How fun!... I read a few of the responses, but I stopped and decided to post my impressions. If I was at this location with a camera I could produce the EXACT same image... But, I think a bit better.
    Asked to testify in a court of law, I would put my hand on my NAPP (National Association of Photoshop Professions) and swear to the truth of my testimony. This is several images. I'm not buying your story. Sorry, you can come back and swear and implore, but I ain't buying it. Again, I could produce this exact same image in Photoshop, but producing it in camera, in one image is extremely doubtful. Let's move to the evidence phase of our trail...
    All I have to work with is the web file you've provided. But, there are some very telling artifacts present that point to the layering of multiple images.
    Yes, the yellow/black line runs through the pants legs... but look at the opacity of the people and their suits. Above the handshake, the density of the color in the suits is greater that below. Look closely at the heal of the big guy and you'll see a bit of tarmac trough his heal. The same is true on the left leg of "your?" pants. Around the shin area area you see the tarmac line run a fraction of the way into the pant's leg... then disappear. This say's to me that we have a slightly sloppy layer masking job. The next problem is Tiny's left side. Running along the profile of his right side (the viewer's left) is a slight 3-4 pixel glow. CA would not explain this with the light source present but, a marginal extraction job would. It should not be there.
    The shadows and light sources are pretty spot-on except for a problem with the security guy walking up to the car. He has a light reflection off the left-hand side of his head and a small light source off of his left nostril. I can possibly see how that might be. But, without the original file, I'm unsure of this and would not be part of my testimony. It looks as if this image was taken at a slightly different time of day. I find the color and intensity of the security guard's reflection in the hub cap of the "Caddy" far too bright and with a slightly incorrect color cast. Also, there is no distortion from the convex nature of the hub cap... Sorry, I can't believe this. I believe he has been dropped into the image, then the reflection has been dropped onto the hub cap. But, this layer is better done than the foreground figures. The hub cap is a big "tell".
    Now for the big problem... You're a brand new member (April 28) that works for the government... I find this very interesting... Let me know if I can be of further help.
  42. Oh, and one more further problem... the length of the shadow of the security guard is about 2/3 of the height of the guard. The foreground principles shadows are equal to their heights. This doesn't work...
  43. "I ain't buyin' it!"
    That's Texan for, "Bull S%#t!"
  44. I think it is a fake. First off, the aircraft shadow angles relative to the sun and the ground are away from the viewer. This accounts for the lack of an engine shadow behind the subjects on the ground. Now look at the shadows of the car area and the two forground subjects. They are angled from the left to the right of the viewer, indicating a different sun placement above the subjects. It s a simple lighting issue. The shadow of the C-141 in the backgriound looks similar to the Air Force 2 in the forground.
    The reflections on the car are wrong too. To the left of the person is a reflection of somebody no longer an element of the image. Also, the three people reflected on the rear door look wrongly spaced and do not appear to be the three people in the foreground-- the two subjects and the photographer.
    The handhake area too has been altered. Note the brightness, of the hands and coloring. They should be in low contrast shadow and dull like the mans hand on the right side of the picture. Its sloppy work too, just look at the elevated contrast artifacts of the mans suit aound the hands. It looks altered then pasted down.
    All I did was copy the low res image from the web link and look at it in photoshop. The details matter. So, are we being tested by the NSA? Did I win a free tour of the space alien bodies in storage?
  45. FWIW, LinkedIn shows a William Sturtevant as a Sr. Security Specialist at FedEx in Allentown, PA. The color of the badge of the guy in the photo seems to be the usual FedEx purple, and he is wearing a lapel pin that looks like a police badge, so at least these observations are not inconsistent with the OP's story about him going out to the pad after the VP departed.
    William, to give you the benefit of the doubt, are any of your friends or co-workers reasonably proficient with Photoshop? If so, did any of them ever ask to borrow your camera or its memory card after the day this photo was taken? Asked differently, has that camera and its memory card ever left your possession? If so, that would have given a person an opportunity to replace the image on the card with a doctored version to "have fun with you". What about your friend, Blake, who you state first pointed out the problem? Is your memory of the details in the picture exactly consistent with what is shown (eg, Was there a guy walking up to the car behind you? Was he holding a paper?, Did you shake "Tiny's" hand with exactly that grip? etc.)
    Tom M
  46. Based on the version that was considerable lightened, I suspect that there is something behind the photographer causing another line to be reflected on the pants. The theory is not watertight -- it would be rare for the reflection to line up like that, whether it's a reflection in the lens or from some external object. But the line seems to align better with the legs than with the line behind you, which would indicate that it's somehow project on you.
  47. Tom is a bit of sleuth and has identified my position and company correctly. I work as a Security Specialist for FedEx and -as such- liaison with Secret Service when the President and VP come to town. The badge you are looking at is actually brown, not purple. It's a Lehigh Valley International SIDA cargo badge. The pin is a Secret Service pin given as a gift during President Obama's visit (see the unrelated picture attached).
    The posts so far are pretty funny, even the ones that accuse me of lying. Since the integrity of my original statement is called into question, I'll do my best to post the pictures so we can lay doubt to rest and get on with the mystery of how this occurred. I normally could care less what people think of me but in this particular case I will never get this mystery answered until people can stop looking at 'what if' and start looking at 'what is'.
    So let's start with the obvious... This is me.
  48. On the day of VP Joe Biden's visit, I took 11 pictures with the same Samsung camera. This was the first one of AF2 taxiing to the FedEx pad.
  49. The second picture is kind of the same thing.
  50. I'm still perplexed by that missing shadow, but the weird EV +14.6 EXIF data also rings out at me because that's just crazy for a camera that can do +-2 EV in its specs. William, EXIF data is information about the picture, like the shutter time, the f stop you used etc. 14.6 EV means the camera thinks it was told to overexpose by 15 stops of light. Like making a 1/100 second shot into 20+ seconds. Download something called photome (a free application) and you'll see what we mean.
    This makes me wonder if the camera didn't just do some weird fubar like try to do two images (a regular exposure and a weird +14.6 EV malfunction) which then both burned into a combined malfunction photo somehow. EV 14.6 makes 1/118.8 into 30+ s - this camera is incapable of this. The longest it can do is 1/4 s. So maybe the camera took 1 normal, then malfunctiond and tried to take the +14.6EV malfunction shot, got stopped at 1/4 in the malfunction (because that's the longest it can do), realised that this image wasn't complete but because it hadn't received the proper 'image finished' signal from its electronic brain (it hadn't done the +14.6 it thought it needed to) combined it with the previous.
    -update - the other shots William is posting also have large +EV. Guess that blows this theory :)
  51. The third picture is the mystery picture in question. This was taken several hours after the plane had landed and VP Biden was out doing his business. Here are some bullets to clarify anything that might have gotten lost in the thread:
    1. I know virtually nothing about cameras. My limited knowledge is on how to make a picture smaller or bigger (adjusting how big the file gets) and how to take macro shots.
    2. No tripod was used.
    3. The camera is my personal camera.
    4. This particular picture was taken by another FedEx employee who snapped it off like somebody would if you were visiting Disneyland. Not a lot of work was put into it.
    5. The sun was high above us and shining down into the camera (i.e. the employee who was holding my camera had the sun in her eyes).
    6. None of us are dead (to my best knowledge, anyway).
    7. None of us have been exposed to an electromagnetic pulse, been kidnapped by aliens, or have the ability to phase.
  52. The next shot is the back of AF2 and the cargo plane in the background.
  53. The fifth picture shows the nose of AF2 with the steps extended from the plane. You can see the airman who was carrying the paper and leaving the 'perfect reflection' here. Yes, he does exist too.
  54. The sixth picture is another nose shot of AF2 with the cargo plane in the background (C-3 I think).
  55. The seventh picture is a FedEx ramp employee who didn't bring a camera with him, so I offered to take his picture and email it to him later (which I forgot to do for a week... Oops!). I can't see his reflection in the hub caps or on the car door, but he still exists I can assure you.
  56. The eightth picture is just something I snapped off. You can see Lukas (the guy from the previous picture) standing next to 'Tiny' and Suzanne, the lady who took the mystery picture.
    Oh, I forgot to mention...
    8. The camera was handed back to me immediately and never out of my possession from that time on.
  57. The nineth picture is one I stepped further away from AF2 for. Here you can see 'Tiny' on the left. Hopefully the last two pictures will put the conspiracy theories to rest. This picture also gives you an idea of the position of the sun if that helps.
  58. The nineth picture is one I stepped further away from AF2 for. Here you can see 'Tiny' on the left. Hopefully the last two pictures will put the conspiracy theories to rest. This picture also gives you an idea of the position of the sun if that helps.
  59. The tenth picture is a distant shot I took with the zoom function. You can see a portion of AF2 in the top corner, not my stage boom holding the scale model of the cargo plane in place. :)
  60. The eleventh and last picture is my attempt to be artistic. I captured the three planes together. Funny enough I thought THIS picture looked doctored because the FedEx plane (which is the farthest away) appears to be in front of the cargo plane. It isn't of course. The swooping tail section of the cargo plane just happens to expose the FedEx plane in the background perfectly.
    Not to be argumentative, but the discussion of the position of the shadows reminds me of the people who think that we never landed on the moon. :)
    So that's everything. Feel free to ask any other questions or to forward these to whomever you wish. Thanks for taking the time to look into my fading legs.
  61. Thanks for posting the other photos. Seems like it was a pretty fun day, mystery and all. :)
  62. They might be vampires. Their bodies aren't being reflected on the car reflection. Spooky scary :)
  63. I don't get why people think their bodies are not being reflected in the car - they are. They're not on the front door, but the rear door.
    It's not conceivable that the guy the camera was lent to... just simply pushed a wrong button... and did something like make a preview or movie clip which somehow either ghosted onto this one or made some sort of weird double exposure thing is it?
  64. You stated "no fancy (camera) settings" were chosen so I feel safe in assuming you went with all Auto/defaults, yes? If so, it would appear that your camera has a bad sensor, especially if all your Biden visit shots were taken with exactly the same settings as all of them are washed out, overexposed, and I've looked at them across 3 separate brands of monitors and computers with the same results.
    From the Wikipedia thingy ....
    "Digital camera sensors are inherently sensitive to infrared light[12], which would interfere with the normal photography by confusing the autofocus calculations or softening the image (because infrared light is focused differently than visible light), or oversaturating the red channel. Also, some clothing is transparent in the infrared,"
  65. Ha ha ! A good laugh !
    Well, I have 3 issues:
    1) The photo is PP
    2) Secret Service dudes, and the ones they touch, become translucid...
    3) I have too much time on my hands for reading the whole thread ...
    Bill, thanks !
    Today you got me in 3
    BTW: I believe in Miracles but Not in the Visible ones !
  66. I would have to guess that it is a combination of a few things:
    1.) 1600x1200 is an in-camera reduction of the standard 2048x1536 it can take. I think this plays into it.
    2.) I haven't looked at the EXIF, but if the flash fired for fill, I would have to think it is part of the flash reflection off the chrome wheel on the car illuminating the reflective painted lines at just the right angle.
  67. Bill - Thank you for responding patiently to our questions. Unfortunately, this is one of these situations where one has to rule out the likely (ie, a photoshop joke/hoax) before considering extremely unlikely possibilities (eg, a bizarre flaw in the camera's programming or rare combinations of other errors).
    Folks knowledgeable about JPEG encoding: In the past, when I have seen the results of a bit error in a JPEG file, the result is often the appearance of diagonal, brightly colored bands for the remainder of the non-progressively encoded image. Is there any possibility that one or two bit flips in a JPG file could be decoded in the way we see. Specifically, I'm thinking about progressively encoded files where the latter parts of the file contain the higher-rez components of each 8x8 block.
    Tom M.
    PS - At the moment, I don't have time to examine the other pix you submitted, but will do so ASAP, most likely, late tonight.
  68. Let me tell you what my 7 year old son said when I showed him the shot.
    "Dad, this happens when we land to a really hot place (he means the vacation places where the heat under sun is far above 40'C), I think it is because of heat"
    Can it be really the radiation caused by the heat reflected to the sensor?
  69. Sometimes when I get excited, I become invisible too. Never underestimate your super-hero powers.
  70. Folks -
    I AM a physicist.
    Joking aside - Please, enough with the National Enquirer level of physics speculation.
    • Nobody goes invisible.

    • Near IR radiation may pass through a mm of clothing, but it certainly won't go through the thickness of a body.

    • Heat mirages don't make things go invisible; they just bend light, and they only work over much long distances.

    • I have it on good authority that there were no black holes, aliens, sprites, or other such items nearby.

    • etc.
    Taking this fellow at his word, lets see if we can come up with an explanation that is physically possible.
    Back to your regularly scheduled programming.
    Tom M.
  71. Maybe he should just cut to the most obvious chase and ask Samsung's tech support.
  72. ^^^
    hehe, good one but I don't think this is covered in their script.
  73. Okay... Here is my two cents worth here. First, thanks William for fielding some pretty sceptical responses with finesse. I don't think that what we are looking at in the legs is restricted to just the yellow and black line but the concrete also. Look at the SA's chest area, which is far less washed out than his legs. I believe that it is an unusual case of lens flair that dissipates the further the view moves from the line. I think this lens flair is related directly to the same flair we see coming off the bottom of the engine cowl. The angle of the this flare is at a slightly different angle from the yellow line flair due to parallax distortion.
  74. Here is the really interesting thing. The grey plane in the background is NOT a C-141. It is a C-5. Second there is No Air Force 1 or 2 unless the President is on board and it is up in the air. It does not matter what aircraft he is in, could be a cessna and still be called Air Force 1 if it is an Air Force cessna. Until then it is a ordinary plane. Just a little gee wizz info. As far as the lines it does seem awkward for me to think that this was taken at the same time. Especially with the way the shadows are represented. As far as the concrete continuing in the heel the the shoe. That is the reflection from the shoe polish.
  75. I see people talking about heat from the radiation. I believe that you are talking about from the radar in the nose cone. This cannot be true. The radar is turned off as soon as the plane lands. Upon start up it is not on till taxing. There is no heat that they put off. The aircraft has been shut down for a while, hence the staircase is down and a vehicle around the aircraft. They are to far back to be affected by the radar. The radar is 90 degree side to side and about 50 to 100 foot out depending on the aircraft. But I can assure you that the radar is in no way shape or form running.
  76. "Second there is No Air Force 1 or 2 unless the President is on board and it is up in the air." Technically true, although posting 'Here is a picture of what was previously designated at AF2 two hours prior" becomes rather cumbersome, don't you think? :)
    Bob, no problem. I understand the skeptism. Heck, my own friend was skeptical!
    Phyllis, I actually did email Samsung at your suggestion. I'll post their response if I get one.
  77. Which model Digimax do you have?
  78. @Tom: sure about the black holes? CERN could be now mass producing them...
    I'm a physicist too and agree with Tom: there are two possible ways this could have happened:
    - some algorithm in the camera went haywire and produced funky effects
    - or this could be a photoshop work. However all the "there's some funny pixels" and "the shadows are wrong" sound like wild guesses and the usual "it's a fake" cry.
    It would be interesting if you can reproduce it: take some similar situation where somebody stands in front of a line with light coming from the back and check if you get that effect again...
  79. It is a Samsung Digimax 301, 3.2 Mega Pixel, Focal Length 5.1mm Samsung Lens.
  80. Wow. That's....old. Like 2004.
    Well, I don't know how much use it's seen prior to this incident, how it's been stored, etc., same for the card, but knowing its age now, that camera and maybe the card, too, if you were using one, have long since reached end of life and are failing IMHO.
    Treat yourself to a brand new sparkly clean camera and card.
  81. Strange picture..This is my thought. I could be wrong as I am not an expert in optics etc...We all know about optical illusions. Our eyes are being tricked to believe something which actually is not. The same thing happened here. The Lens is like our eye..Here the lens got tricked..
    You can try one simple experiment here. Just cover the line in all the picture except the pants. You can cover with the same color as the ground. You will note that the lines through the pant look much lighter. In fact if you do not observe carefully, you might not even note it. where as when you see as it is, the lines look so prominant.
    Not sure if this can be replicated with all lense. It probably has also got to do with the particuler camera model.
  82. Tomm -
    Jpeg errors - when they occur don't typically replicate patterns like the artifacts on this photo, nor do they look as natural as these do.
    If it were a jpeg artifact or a file error - I would expect it to be much brighter and random than what we are seeing here.
    As for the PS / Manipulation of this photo - to what end? It would make no sense at all to take a photo, ps / manipulate it then come onto a forum of strangers and ask what happened to the photo... unless the date were April 1...
    Radiation Heat - I think what the poster was referring to was the heat from the tarmac itself, not from the plane's radar. As pointed out - heat reflections tend to be viewed / observed from a distance - not 10-20 feet... anyone that has ever driven on an interstate in the summer can attest to that.
    I'm sticking with my first guess - flare or an error in the software processing the jpeg in camera.
  83. This is another reason why film is superior to digital.
  84. And yet trolls are just as ugly regardless of what camera they use, Pearse.
  85. Could this simply be a reflection bouncing off the sensor to the rear of the lens and back to the sensor? The lines seem to match but in close inspection they seem to be off slightly and the over all appearance of the lower half of the frame is one of optical flare. Just my guess.
  86. About as strange as my Nikon D200 with over 16 million shutter actuations (as stated by every shutter count software I've used.) Electronics can do funny things.
  87. 14.6 EV just means the Exposure Value was 14.6, which corresponds well to nice sunny circumstances. It is not exposure compensation.
  88. The explanations that this would be an electronics/software problem do not convince me. The problem is that the pattern fits the subject way too well. Neither hardware nor software care about the scene contents when they go bad. And there is no way the camera could have seen behind the two guys, unless the camera was on the tripod and got some ghost image before the guys walked in, which is not the case.
    So the cause would be more likely to be found in the world of optics...
  89. Oscar -
    Your're probably right about the 14.6 number being the EV.
    However, EXIF tool names that field, "Exposure Compensation" NOT "EV", and correctly shows compensation values in the range of minus a stop or so to plus a stop or so in units of one-third of a stop, and the numbers it displays match up exactly with the settings on my d200 and d700 cameras, as well as a bunch of P&S cameras that I own. EXIF Tool also displays reasonable values in this field on a random sampling of on-line images that I checked which included (as I recall) Pentax, Canon and a couple of other brands. This is the first time I have ever seen a number this high in this field.
    My conclusion from this is that the Samsung embedded SW loaded the wrong number into that field. If Samsung can make an error like that, my confidence in them doing other things correctly is reduced.
    FWIW, I seem to remember considerable discussion (a couple of years ago) about the need for correctly formatting the data in the EXIF fields, and a warning that bizarre things happen if you do it incorrectly (ie, don't pad unusually short number with zeros, overwrite other fields by storing too large of a number in a field, etc.). We might be getting to the heart of this matter.
    Tom M
  90. I tried three experiments, each of which intentionally corrupted the file under consideration in different ways:
    1. Using EXIF tool, I substituted several different values into the Exposure Compensation field. Some values were reasonable, eg, "0", while others were clearly impossible, eg, "1000" and "-1000". These had no effect on the photo in several different viewers that I tried.
    2. Using the original, large file, I changed the byte at offset 0004e000-00 from "DF" to "11". The effect was to insert a pale red veiling glare in the lower 40% of the image. This is shown in the attachment to this message.
    3. I re-encoded the image using the "progressive" option and relatively low quality setting. I then changed the byte in the new file at offset 0000a0000-00 from "78" to "11". The effect was to insert a jagged, stairstep effect in the strips in the tarmac in the lower central part of the image. This is shown in the attachment to the next message.
    My conclusion is similar to Oscar O., namely, bit rot would be extremely unlikely to produce such a precise match-up between the corrupted image and the original, but the above experiments show that it doesn't take much, just the twiddling of one byte, to either put a veiling flare over part of the image or, with a progressively encoded file, to induce corruption of the image in one area. I'm not saying that I think bit rot is the cause of what we are seeing, but the effects are not necessarily extreme, as suggested above.
    Tom M
  91. Experiment #3
  92. Note also that the line of the stripe as it runs through the legs is somewhat lower in resolution. I've tried to PS in an overlay with lower opacity, but it does not lower the sharpness of the line as in the original. Also note that if you take a look at one of the other photos - the "Lukas at AF2" photo - and pay close attention to the stripe (overlay it on the original as close as possible for a photo shot from a different location) you will note that the particular area behind Tiny's legs was actually missing some of the black paint from the near side. This does not show up in the band either. Both of these indicate to me a flair or sensor burn instead of a transparency or double exposure.
    Tim Z
  93. I know this guy. I searched the net and found this one:
    Seriously, I think what Bob Irvine wrote above is so far the best explanation.
  94. OK ... I think I have part of the answer. Open Bill's image, "Lukas at AF2". Look at the shape of the flare caused by the reflection of the sun from the upper RH corner of the rear window of the car. It's one dimensional, and spreads in exactly the same direction as the yellow line in the image under question. Whatever is causing the light to spread like that will affect everything in the picture, albeit at a much lower level. However, if there is some object in the picture that is reasonably intense and in the same direction as the flare (eg, the yellow line), the flare will faintly fill in any missing sections.
    For Nils Pickert (the other physicist) - regard the shape and size of the flare in the "Lukas" image as the Green's function response of the OP's camera, ie, it's spatial response to an intense point source of light. Convolve that specific Green's function with the scene that was photographed by the OP, and I bet you would see exactly the "filled-in line" artifact we have been discussing, but its effect on other parts of the image (which don't have structure that is aligned parallel to the flare direction) will only manifest itself as a reduction of the contrast.
    Note: There is an area in the image we've been discussing (aka, the "Transparent Legs" image that has a hot spot, and that is the very bottom front of the engine. If you look carefully, you will see faint flare coming from that spot, and, as a confirmation, the flare is in the same direction as flare in the "Lukas" image and the yellow strip in the image under discussion. In fact, I am not the 1st to notice this - Bob Irvine noticed it first and commented on this above.
    With the right software, it is very easy to simulate the effect of a Green's function and test this theory. I'll try to do this when I get back to my office next week.
    Of course, the real question is what produced lens flare in this very unusual shape? It's not at all like the multi-lobed, star-shaped flare we are used to seeing. Since it is almost one dimensional, the object causing the diffraction must also be approximately one dimensional, eg, a screen. Bill S - did you put anything in front of the lens of your camera? If not, are there any scratches on your lens?
    Tom M.
  95. The following image is just to debunk the debunkers. The only thing more annoying to me than people Photoshopping images for attention, is people saying images are "shopped" for attention. For everyone of you who said things like "the shadows don't match up" or "where is the shadow of the engine?" or "why is there no reflection of the guys on the car?" ... guess what? You just failed basic Geometry. For your education, light travels in straight lines, even if it's inconvenient for your brain:
    The black lines are sun rays. The orange dots are the locations the sun's rays grazed objects in the image. The gray dots are where those rays hit the ground making the edge of a shadow. The green line is the horizon (making the person taking the photo either about 2 inches shorter than Mr. Sturtevant, or they tilted the camera up to get more of the airplane). The orange lines are the lines on the tarmac heading in a direction we can almost bet is due West. The blue lines and dots represent the centerline of the shadow of the engine assuming the jet is perfectly perpendicular to the tarmac. The purple oval on the car is the reflection of the two gentlemen in the foreground, they are shortened by the curvature of the body panel.
    Amazingly, all of the black lines converge slightly as they go up as if they are going to one point... the sun maybe? Amazingly the shadow of the engine begins directly behind Tiny right elbow, barely misses appearing beneath William's right arm and rejoins the wing somewhere in his left lung, however the trailing edge of the engine is clearly visible, the blue dot. If someone was to go through all of the effort to generate this image with that level of accuracy... why the heck would they put a big yellow line through the subject's legs?
  96. @Tom: wouldn't you expect some intensity variation over the the large area of the secret service guy's legs - shoudln't it bekome less prominent further away from the edges?
    It also looks a bit like the shoe of the guy at the car also shows the effect. It is only the diagonal yellow-black line, no other lines shine through.
  97. It almost seems as though the person in the background has the line going through their shoe as well. At first I thought it was just a reflection, but the part of his pant leg where the black part of the line would go though, also seems darker. Maybe my eyes are starting to play tricks on me (as long as it's not my camera it's cool!).
    This is really very strange, hopefully somebody can solve this mystery.
  98. Ok.. I can't stand it no more. The cargo plane in the background is not a C-141 or a C-5A. It's a C-17.. Now I feel better..
  99. Fascinating post. Amazing really, because the most obvious thing has been missed - the big guy ("Tiny") in the left f/g ............ IT'S ELVIS!
    Dave D
  100. The lines that go through the people do not line up with the line on the ground. It's pretty close on the right, but it's noticably off on the left. It's sitting high. So we can safely rule out magic x-ray vision.
    What seems VERY strange to me is the shadow of the airplane. The airplane's shadow is behind it while the shadow of everything else is moving to the lower right.
  101. I think the photo's is fake, if you look at the way shadows are cast, there should be a visible shadow cast by the engine, the wing shadow looks too far back in the distance when you look at the direction and angle of the shadows cast by the two individuals in the foreground.
    Also the shadow of the plane is right under the plane, it should be cast much further to the right if you compare it to the shadows of the forground individuals.
  102. This is hilarious! I, too, have way too much time on my hands to be reading this entire thread, but you all definitely have my I have no explanation, but I do find it quite amusing...
  103. Call me an idiot, but the ONLY reason why there is a "mystery" here is that we take the guy's word even AFTER he tells us he is a "Special Agent", which is a euphemism for deceiving people for a living. Having done photography for over 25 years and having done HDR for about two, the ONLY, and OBVIOUS explanation to this picture is ghosting, a rather OBVIOUS product of combing two different images to form one. If the first image has a car in it, and the second image exposed for the sky is shot at night and doesn't have that car, then the old image of the car would show up in a lighter version. It's called "ghosting". Looking at this collage, the first image of the handshake was done first, then the more vivid image of the lines done later. It was then blended rather amateurishly over the handshake picture, explaining the lines over the pants. I think just about EVERYBODY jumped to that conclusion, but insisted--I don't know WHY--on disbelieving their eyes and listening to this guy.
    Anyway, JMHO.
  104. FCOL, take that photo down, you are revealing classified technology about top secret stuff in that aircraft and runway. Stuff developed from China Lake and the Philadelphia Experiments. If the communists see this, there is no telling what they can do with it, they could figure out our most advanced Photoshop Techniques. lol
  105. Regarding the plane's shadow- it's an illusion. It looks like it going back but is actually to the side. Look where the shadow of the left horizontal stabilizer meets the shadow of the fuselage and tail. Draw a line vertically from that point and see what it correlates to and the offset of it.
    Incidentally, remember also that when light is at striking at an angle other than absolute vertical or absolute horizontal, the distance out from the object will change with the height of the object.
    Patrick's analysis is very helpful, as analyzing complex shadows is seldom as easy as it looks.
  106. The "transparent legs" phenomena is now essentially solved. I can reproduce its major features using the mathematical techniques I described to Nils in my last post (ie, May 01, 2010; 05:12 a.m.). I am modeling the situation as if there were a set of very, very fine, parallel scratches in the front element of the OP's lens, and these scratches are oriented more or less perpendicular to the strip in the tarmac that has been puzzling all of us. The result of this is that some of light from the strip is diffracted by large angles, almost exactly parallel to the stripe, and some of this light lands on the sensor in the area where the pants are, making the pants appear even more transparent than in the original image posted.
    This theory can be tested by running another scattering simulation, but this time, with the scratches oriented perpendicular to the first set. In this case, the light scattered from these scratches do not land on top of the stripe ( or the pants), and so you see no enhancement of the apparent "transparency" as compared to the original image.
    I performed the scattering calculations in Matlab, and I'll be happy to send the code to anyone who is interested. I was lazy and didn't want to spend too much time on this little project, so:
    • (a) I performed the calculations on a B&W version of the image, not a color version;
    • (b) I took zero time to vectorize the code, so it's not elegant and runs very slowly; and,
    • (c) To offset the slow computations, I generated my examples from a small (600 x 450) version of the original image.
    • (d) I didn't take time to tweak the parameters of the model, so the veiling flare introduced by the scratches is quite a bit stronger and more "smeary" in my demo images than they are in real life, but this set shows the change in "leg transparency" clearly.
    • (e) The model assumes that the scratches are all over the surface of the front element of the lens, so that all parts of the image receive the same veiling flare in my model. However, it is likely that the scratches are concentrated in one part of the lens, say, slightly below center. This would affect the distribution of scattering across the frame and make the top appear "clearer" than the bottom.
    Key to the attached images:
    • 1. The image attached to this post is the same as what the OP posted, simply down-rezed to 600x450 and converted to B&W.
    • 2. The image attached to the next post shows the result of applying scattering as described above, ie, parallel to the main line on the tarmac. This increases the apparent transparency of the pants.
    • 3. The next post contains the image which shows the result of applying scattering which is peaked perpendicular to the main line of the tarmac. This decreases the apparent transparency of the pants.
    Tom M
  107. Great stuff Tom, this would also be quite useful for some educational images about how different defects affect the image. I'd like the code if you may, shall I drop you an e-mail?
    Also thanks to the original poster, I enjoy little thought exercises such as this.
  108. Tom, that still makes absolutely no sense to me. Maybe I'm just dense this morning.
  109. CCU


    Cut to the chase....
    If you eliminate the impossible what you are left with is the answer.
    • The legs aren’t transparent.
    • The line is too perfect for it to be an optical flare of any kind. (what you see in the photo is the line as painted on the ground.)
    • Contrary to an earlier post you can see the perpendicular concrete joint lines through the legs.
    The answer, therefore, is that at least two images have been combined.

    The real mystery in my mind is … how did the yellow and black line on the tarmac get painted down the side of the aircraft?
  110. @Oskar - Send me an email, and I'll be happy to send you the code.
    @Landrum - Think of it as putting an old-fashioned "streaks" or "star" filter over the lens. For example, here is the same image to which I applied the Tiffen DFX 2.0 "horizontal streaks" filter in Photoshop.
    As you can see, the dark shadow of the tail section on the tarmac now extends horizontally into the OP's jacket, and the line on the tarmac in back of the subjects, now extends horizontally across their pants legs. Unfortunately, this commercial plugin gives you no way to adjust the angle of the streaks, just horizontal and vertical streaks, but it certainly gives you the idea of how something can be made to seem transparent while staying within mainstream physics (and even mainstream Photoshop plugins).
    Tom M
  111. I'm still perplexed by that missing shadow, but the weird EV +14.6 EXIF data also rings out at me because that's just crazy for a camera that can do +-2 EV in its specs. William, EXIF data is information about the picture, like the shutter time, the f stop you used etc. 14.6 EV means the camera thinks it was told to overexpose by 15 stops of light. Like making a 1/100 second shot into 20+ seconds. Download something called photome (a free application) and you'll see what we mean.​
    The camera is likely reporting the EV value of the shot, rather than a +14EV adjustment. Judging from the lighting in the picture, it was a bright sunny/bright overcast day which would put the picture in the 14EV area.
  112. Tom Mann,
    Many thanks for the hard work on this! Thanks specifically for trusting me and spending your valuable time on this.
    In answer to your question, the camera has several scratches all over the lens, and oily fingerprint streaks, and a tiny hair or scratch inside the lens (although I have no idea how that is even possible). This is not a camera I keep in a case and clean with a diaper - it's a field camera used for taking pictures of things on the go. It has been dropped, crushed, stepped on, and even survived a fall from the top of my car when I drove off with it on my roof. Oddly enough the killing blow was letting my wife handle it for 15 minutes in her purse during a softball game, but moving on...
    I have questions that I was hoping you could answer from an amateur's perspective. The scratch thing - does this mean the light from the tarmac lines are passed along the scratch, like a fiber optic cable? And the scratches just happened to line up with the lines? Am I understanding that properly? Would this have happened with a film-based camera too or did the digital aspect of the camera aggravate/mitigate the optical illusion?
    I feel better about that whole thing though and I can go to bed soundly knowing I'm not photoshopping things in my sleep without software. :) Tom, I don't know what you do for a living but you certainly have a back-up career waiting for you in photo analysis.
    Charles Eagan, keep working on that moon landing video... You'll disprove Neil Armstrong and NASA yet! LOL
  113. And, underwhelmingly, here is the response from Samsung... :)
    Dear William Sturtevant,

    Thank you for contacting Samsung Electronics.

    With reference to your e-mail, we understand that the pictures which you take with the Camera Digimax 301
    are not clear and you want to know how to get the issue fixed.

    We apologize for the inconvenience.

    Please insert new batteries and then check whether the same issue is faced again with the Camera.
    Turn the dial to Auto mode and then try to take a picture and then check with the issue.

    If the above suggestions do not resolve the problem, your camera requires service which can be arranged by
    Creating a Service Ticket from the link below:

    If you require any further information, feel free to contact us.

    Thank you,
    Samsung Online Support.​
  114. BTW, Patrick, thanks for the shadow analysis. Hopefully it put (most of the) non-believers straight.
  115. Like I said.
  116. @Phyliss C - Sorry, but in your previous posts, you said nothing that has even come slightly close to what now appears to be the only feasible explanation for this phenomena. Specifically, you have posted:
    Apr 29, 2010; 01:20 p.m. - A post in you just joked around.
    Apr 30, 2010; 10:59 a.m - You suggested a bad sensor, IR sensitivity, oversaturating the red channel, and transparent clothing in the IR.
    Apr 30, 2010; 12:48 p.m. - You commented on the mfgr's tech support
    Apr 30, 2010; 01:28 p.m. - You asked what model of camera was the OP using.
    Apr 30, 2010; 01:44 p.m. - You suggested that the OP buy a new camera and/or memory card, but offered zero explanation of why he should do this.
    Sorry, but none of the above qualifies for a "told you so" post. OTOH, several other folks suggested some type of lens flare, of which the kind I analyzed is a particular type, so they were much closer to the target.
    Tom M.
  117. @Oskar - Check your email. I sent you the Matlab code to generate a suitable point-spread-function and then convolve it with B&W images.
    @Bill S- Working backwards...
    1. I'm not surprised about the useless canned response from the mfgr.
    2. I'm glad to hear my suspicions about the condition of the lens were confirmed.
    3. Scratches on the surface of a lens don't work like an optical fiber. An optical fiber confines light that is inside of it. In this case, a tiny portion of the light that is incident on a narrow/shallow scratch is scattered. If the scratch is much longer than its width, most of the light that is scattered goes predominantly in a direction perpendicular to the scratch, and very little gets scattered in a direction parallel to the scratch.
    4. Yes, you understood it correctly: For maximum "transparency" effect the scratches have to be within 20 or so degrees of the line (eg, on the tarmac) that is to be extended.
    5. This is not a film vs digital thing. With the same lens, there would be almost no difference between the two. That's why Tiffen and Cokin were selling star and smear filters to film camera users decades before digital came on the scene.
    6. WRT trusting you, once the initial intros were over, there seemed to be absolutely no reason or motivation for you to fake something like this, and no opportunity for someone to play a joke on you. In addition, folks like you with an easy-to-verify identity are usually never the ones who perpetrate internet hoaxes / jokes, so there had to be some reasonable physical explanation for what happened to your images. In addition, your straightforward and good-humored answers in the face of skeptics vastly strengthened your credibility in my book. While I believe in the maxim, "Extraordinary claims demand extraordinary proof", I'm also a firm believer in "Give people the benefit of the doubt", "Innocent until proven guilty", etc.. :)
    7. Finally, w.r.t a new career in photo interpretation for me, I actually have worked in a different area of optics (lasers, spectroscopy, etc.) for decades, so you are not far off the mark at all. :)
    8. I'll respond to your email later tonight.
    This has been an absolute hoot to work on. Thanks for posting the images and posing the question. For a while, you had us collectively and completely stumped!
    Tom M
  118. The thanks should be mine. "Baffled" didn't begin to describe me on this one, but I also recognized I was dealing with something well out of my field of expertise. I'd love to return the favor but doubt it will ever come up. However if you ever need anyone interrogated let me know... :)
  119. OMG, Tom. You are so full of yourself.
    I am not a camera person at all
    My wife has done -something- to it. I need to poke it to get it to work again.
    I can't seem to find the same anomaly anywhere else.
    The other pictures taken that day look completely normal from what I can see.
    The rest of your questions sound like this to me: blah blah blah blah blah.
    I have no idea how to set an exposure or what EXIF data are either.
    …if anything on the camera is set at a strange mode, it is completely accidental.
    I know virtually nothing about cameras.
    My limited knowledge is on how to make a picture smaller or bigger (adjusting how big the file gets) and how to take macro shots.
    YOU declare that I “offered zero explanation of why he should do this.” (i.e., buy a new camera).
    I asked him what model the camera is.
    He said: Samsung Digimax 301, 3.2 Mega Pixel, Focal Length 5.1mm Samsung Lens.
    My explanation for "buy a new camera". -- It’s OLD – 2004 - and I said that even though he hadn’t said how it’s been treated the past 6 ½ years, I DID say “end of life” at the very least.
    You longwindedly conclude “scratched lens”.
    FINALLY, William reveals that the camera has –
    several scratches all over the lens
    oily fingerprint streaks
    tiny hair or scratch inside the lens
    it's a field camera for pictures on the go
    been dropped
    stepped on
    fallen from the roof of his car as he drove off.
    He really should’ve posted all that in the first place.
    QUESTION: If it were merely a scratched lens that caused this one hinky photo, why didn’t it show up in ALL the photos from that day?
    No, that was not an “I told you so” post. It was a Point of Fact moment – the camera is an OLD Point & Shoot and worn out. And I’m very surprised no one else thought to ask William from the get-go what I did.
    No slam on you, William. Really. Just wanted to let Tom know I don’t walk away from uncalled-for insults.
    Letting it go now.
  120. @Phyliss C: Had the OP's original question been, "Should I buy a new camera? Will it likely fix this weird image defect?", probably everyone in this thread, myself included, would have immediately answered, "Yes". I'm sure the OP has more than enough money to buy himself a new P&S. However, the goal of this thread was never to "fix" his problem, but to understand it. You seem to have no comprehension of that difference, but yet you penned a "Told you so!" post as if you contributed in some meaningful way to the discussion on the cause of the problem. That's why I called you out on your "Told you so!" post.
    One of the other reasons I was annoyed by your suggestion for the OP to buy a new camera, is that you made your suggestion entirely on the basis of the age of the camera, long before you (or anyone else) found out its condition.
    [PC]: "...It was a Point of Fact moment – the camera is an OLD Point & Shoot and worn out. And I’m very surprised no one else thought to ask William from the get-go what I did. ..."
    Let's get a few things straight. No one asked him the age of his camera because everyone who could read the EXIF info embedded in his images knew exactly what camera he was using (and hence, its age) from the very first image he posted. More to the point, you never asked him important questions such as whether his camera was worn out, or, more usefully, if his lens was dirty. You only asked him what camera he used (something almost everyone else already knew), and then you immediately jumped to the conclusion that it must be "worn out".
    I, and many other folks on, have cameras that are exactly that vintage. They take absolutely perfect pictures and are far from "the end of their life". In fact, many of us have cameras which are 50 or more years old, also take perfect pictures and are far from the end of their lives. In contrast, you effectively made a nonsensical blanket recommendation that any camera over a few years old should be replaced if it does anything strange.
    Such "logic" is the antithesis of the intellectual curiosity of the OP, and the earnest efforts of many of the other posters in this thread who were trying to understand the real cause of this unusual image defect.
    Tom M.
  121. I fixed my camera. :) My wife had a sequin (probably from my kid's toys) wedged in the battery contact.
    Maybe I should auction off my magical X-ray camera now? Bids start at $5000!
    In all seriousness, I'm fine with all the posts made. I participate on other forums and am used to conversations going off in different directions, useful or otherwise. I am most grateful for Tom Mann and his ability to confirm the suspicions of many of the other posters. But Phyllis is right... My camera is old and all chewed up. Let's just leave this thread as a mystery solved and a fun thing for other people to find, shall we?
  122. Since the shadow of you and the agent are in exact line with the stripes on the pavement I suspect that the effect is caused from a reflection onto the lens. The camera must have been at the exact perfect angle and height to align the stripes.
  123. I've sold cameras and equip't., been a photog for 'bout 43yrs., was a lab tech and while it is fun to chase these kinds of incidents for the technical aspect of it, simply the route to have taken was to ask the lens condition, the user's level in understanding "clean", etc. It would have shortened the chain considerably. That is part of the process of elimination which is what has just occurred.

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