X-ray vision with a digital camera?

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by mikem77, Aug 9, 2005.

  1. I took this picture with a Canon A40 digital camera about a year ago. This is in Door County and the body of water is Lake Michigan. The vantage point is from a cliff about the water. In the picture appears some kind of metallic cylinder. This was NOT visible at all by the naked eye. My wife and I were both shocked when we saw the preview image on the LCD and looked long and hard at the water try to discern something. Any ideas? A larger version can be seen here: http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~mikem/xray_vision.jpg
  2. Pull the other leg :)
  3. Lens flare.
  4. Assuming this is not a hoax. It looks like the top of a hollow metal post right in front of you, filled with something. Whatever it is its not "in the water" in fact I would say its nowhere near the water. The perspective is all wrong for the object to be far away, and consistent with it being close to you. Its also slightly out-of-focus, apparently, again consistent with it being closer to you. Any possibility that because you are looking directly into the sun (therefore squinting and probably having difficulty seeing correctly) that you missed the post in front of you when you took the photo?
  5. Wow! Congatulations, you have the secret version of the A40 with X-ray vision. It's supposed to be a special version made only for the military, but it seems one of those has reached the shop where you bought it by accident.
  6. The Loch Ness monster playing some tricks. IMO ;-)
  7. A really big dust spot? And your horizon is tilted.
    Sorry. Couldn't resist.
    Could it be that this mystery object is related to this phenomenon?
  8. Awww, darn. Didn't realize that you need to register--you don't if you click through on Google.

    Anyway, do a search on "Flying Rods Photos" and you'll see what I mean.
  9. I'll bet that it's a water intake or suction well for municipal water treatment systems. Unforunately I can't get hold of my local Lake Michigan "expert" to confirm it.
  10. >>I'll bet that it's a water intake or suction well for municipal water treatment systems<<

    It wouldn't be so close to the surface and it wouldn't point upward!.

    Again, assuming this is not a hoax, the object is NOT in the water. You cannot see any water ripples over any of the edges and the focus is too different from the rest of the picture that the ONLY way for it to change so drastically is for the object to be far closer to the camera than the body of water.
  11. No hoax! We actually walked down to the rocky shoreline and nothing was sticking out of the water. It must be some wierd interaction between the very bright sun and the lens.

    The location was the Ellison Bluff County Park:



  12. HC had it long ago.

    Sun + Lens == flare (the pink bit, with the green glow around it) Add a Bit of Dust == strange looking flare.

    Notice how similar it looks to dust seen in flash photos taken with digital point and shoots cameras?


    Strong outer edge circular shape with mushy bits in the middle. Very technical terms, I know :) The only real difference between the example above and Mikes is the dust spot in his image is larger and therefore much closer to the sensor (probably inside the lens as opposed to floating in the air right in front of the lens).
  13. You must be pulling our legs, but you could have picked a more believable picture.

    At the risk of stating the obvious, just increase the levels and you will see it is the filled pipe that John mentioned above. Looks like scaffolding size to me so it must have been pretty close from where the picture was taken. Go look there not at the waters edge.

    If it was in the water why does the vegetation (trees?) in the bottom left go behind the pipe?

    Can you pick a UFO picture next time please. :)
  14. Richard,

    I am not a prankster. Not in a global forum using my real name and not to a bunch of people I don't know.

    According to the EXIF info, the focal length was 5.4063mm. Now if you compare the size of the sun with the size of the object and the angle of view, would this make sense? The vantage point was probably over 100 feet up. I can't prove to you that the picture was taken in Door County (Ellison Bay) overlooking the Green Bay (Lake Michigan), but if you are at all familiar with the area, there are certainly no big pipes sticking out of the water! The area is pristine with one of Wisconsin's nicest state parks adjacent to it.

    Unfortunately the Canon A40 doesn't embed GPS information...of course if I were really a prankster I could have modified this too!

    Rob and HC must be right and that it is severe sun flare interacting with dust.

    No, not a prank. Some people thought I was pulling a prank with this story too:


    But then the story was published in several newspapers including interviews from other people involved.
  15. >> I am not a prankster. >...if you are at all familiar with the area, there are certainly no big pipes sticking out of the water! > Rob and HC must be right and that it is severe sun flare interacting with dust. 00DB1c-25105484.jpg
  16. I know what histogram "levels" are in Photoshop.

    Yes, I think you are probably right and that the object could be a fence post only 2-3 inches in diameter and that I didn't realize this. The picture was not taken from a parking lot. It was taken from a path leading out over a cliff. But Yes, there was a retaining fence to keep people from falling over and it is possible that I took the picture very close to a fence post. I don't recall exactly, but this now seems like the most likely explanation.

    However I (and others) were obviously confused by this!! To me it looked like a large object 20-30 feet wide! I did not suspect a fence post located within a couple feet of the camera. Sorry.
  17. With a 5mm lens it is very possible for a close object to be relatively sharp since it has just so much depth of field.
    I assumed it was some reflection within the camera.
  18. Hi Mike,

    I did not really think you were trying to fool us but I thought it best to er on the side of caution else I might have been 'had' if I was wrong :)

    My first impression on viewing the image (even without any monkeying around with the levels) was that it was some kind of pipe in the foreground. With the shadows lightened it becomes much more obvious.

    I can understand your surprise though at seeing it on the preview screen. I suppose under those bright conditions you could not see any trace of the trees on the screen so it would look like the object was in or on the water.
  19. Gustavo Orensztajn Photo.net Patron, aug 10, 2005; 06:28 a.m.

    "The Loch Ness monster playing some tricks. IMO ;-)"

    No, sorry, very misleading comment Gustavo, I live beside Loch Ness and the monster looks absolutely nothing like this!

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