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My "UFO" photo - How much can we tell from it?

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posted on Aug, 28 2010 @ 07:51 PM
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Please actually read this before commenting on the images below (yes, I know the first image is a bird)...

I was in my yard having a coffee and reading a magazine when I felt like I was being watched, but ignored the feeling...Until a little bird started dive-bombing me, and I realized maybe I had actually felt the bird watching me (Turning the tables on birdwatchers?). Note: it was the same type of bird that had flown in circles 3 times, about 2 ft. around my feet, as I was walking to my bus stop days before - which had really impressed me, as it was nearly skimming the ground, making a perfect tilted circle around me -- swooping up behind me and coming down right in front of my feet.

Anyways, this time I was sitting on a little log on the ground, with an old wooden rocking chair a couple feet from me (I don't use it anymore because it's splintery and rotted away). And another (or the same) bird swooped down a few times between me and the chair, a little more than a foot away from me, at a height about halfway down the chair, so really close to the ground again. I wanted to know what kind of bird it was, so I ran inside and grabbed my camera, hoping to take a picture I could show to an avid birdwatcher in my family. You can see the bird in the first picture (it's a barn swallow, by the way).

IDENTIFIED flying object:



Since I now had my camera on me, I started messing around with it, trying to catch the bird in more photos by snapping a picture just when I thought it might come into view (this was difficult, as it was fast and unpredictable). So I only got the 1 photo of it, above. After taking a photo through the back of the wooden chair, though, I noticed a speck of something on the LCD screen and zoomed in on it. There hadn't been anything in the sky, and there still wasn't, so I thought, really fast bug that I hadn't noticed? I checked to see if there was a spider web on the chair with something stuck in it, but there wasn't.

Anyways, I think that makes this an as yet unidentified flying object. Didn't see any birds that high up in the sky, and my barn swallow was behind me at that time, swooping into view AFTER I took the photo (also, he was much closer than the speck in the picture). Here's the original photo, plus a crop, and (everyone loves photoshop filters!) a crop with "glowing edges" filter, if that helps...







MY QUESTION IS:

Is there any way to tell the distance of the unidentified object to the camera, and therefore the size? Even when you have objects in the foreground, and at other intervals? How much can you really tell from a photograph? Nothing?

What prompted me to post it was this image from a game camera, on another thread. Very similar. Please see thread for images from the same camera that night:

[atsimg]http://media.nbcdfw.com/images/640*480/ufo-game-camera-02.jpg[/atsimg]

Was it a bug I didn't notice, or......was the barn swallow trying to call my attention to the cloaked flying saucer in the air above us, which I was apparently oblivious to? And will I ever really know for sure...

Humor aside, I wouldn't even have considered the latter if not for some bizarre experiences from my childhood and some recent disclosures from family members which are not a topic for this thread. Please analyze away (the photo, I mean)!

[edit on 8/28/10 by burdenofdreams]




posted on Aug, 28 2010 @ 07:55 PM
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reply to post by burdenofdreams

MY QUESTION IS:

Is there any way to tell the distance of the unidentified object to the camera, and therefore the size? Even when you have objects in the foreground, and at other intervals? How much can you really tell from a photograph? Nothing?

 


Quite simply, no.

Check out this thread: A simple lesson on perspective



posted on Aug, 28 2010 @ 07:57 PM
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Woops, the first "UFO" image was too big, I guess, but you should be able to right-click, copy the image location, and paste it into your brower's URL bar to see the whole thing...if so inclined. The speck is on the far right in the sky.



posted on Aug, 28 2010 @ 08:03 PM
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reply to post by greeneyedleo
 


It got me thinking, that even if someone did snap a picture of some sort of extraterrestrial vehicle, there wouldn't really be any way to verify it. When I see this photo, and the one on the "game camera" page, something tells my brain that the specks are a certain distance away from the camera, and a certain size, but our eyes can't really discern that in a 2-dimensional representation, I suppose.



posted on Aug, 28 2010 @ 08:06 PM
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First one looks like a bird.
Dunno about the second one, too blurry to tell.



posted on Aug, 28 2010 @ 08:12 PM
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reply to post by hippomchippo
 


Bird's can be UFO's! Do you know what species of bird is flying near you? Therefore it's an Unidentified Flying Object. :p



posted on Aug, 28 2010 @ 08:25 PM
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reply to post by Romantic_Rebel
 


It looks like a Robin.



posted on Aug, 28 2010 @ 08:25 PM
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reply to post by Romantic_Rebel
 


I agree, UFO does not necessarily mean extraterrestrial. But if that person had read my post, they'd see that I did identify the first photo as a barn swallow.



posted on Aug, 28 2010 @ 08:27 PM
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reply to post by Nematode
 


You're right! Now the bird is an "Identified Flying Object" There's you're UFO mystery OP!



posted on Aug, 28 2010 @ 09:20 PM
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reply to post by burdenofdreams
 


Burdenofdreams.....

Thank you for your interesting report & photos.

Taken in isolation, my "guess" is that your photo shows something small & close to the camera, that is out of focus.

But as greeneyedleo said, we certainly can't know that for sure.

As for your commentary pertaining to "earlier experiences" & "being watched".....well, I guess that's just another example of the "weirdness" that seems to be integral to this very difficult topic.

Kind regards
Maybe...maybe not



posted on Aug, 28 2010 @ 09:38 PM
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Personally i belive u i seen 1 about a month ago, dissapear right in front of me, No photos so i didnt make a thread but now i belive,

Just cant decided if its goverment secret ops or aliens



posted on Aug, 28 2010 @ 10:43 PM
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It's nice to see a post from someone who just asks for help with identification, rather than the usual large leap to conclusions.. Kudos to you!

Originally posted by burdenofdreams
....
Anyways, I think that makes this an as yet unidentified flying object. Didn't see any birds that high up in the sky, and my barn swallow was behind me at that time, swooping into view AFTER I took the photo (also, he was much closer than the speck in the picture). Here's the original photo, plus a crop, and (everyone loves photoshop filters!)

Umm, no they don't.
I do like them when used properly, but you have to be very careful when you emphasise by adding false detail. And I'm afraid glowing edges (and posterising and a whole pile of others) are 'destructive' filters, in other words they remove real detail, and add false detail. We don't really want either of those - but thanks for trying!


MY QUESTION IS:
Is there any way to tell the distance of the unidentified object to the camera, and therefore the size? Even when you have objects in the foreground, and at other intervals?

Yes and no. There are some hints (see below) and we can try to apply the black arts of imaging forensics and photogrammetry. Trouble is, unless you know what you are doing, it is very easy to fool yourself that you can analyse all sorts of things from an image... truth is, there are LOTS of caveats and traps..


How much can you really tell from a photograph? Nothing?

Depends.

Let me explain. In your image, we have a few clues, namely the foreground stuff (pole) obviously in focus, and what appears to be a more distant (but how much?) wire that is out of focus (o-o-f). Then there's the 'thing', also o-o-f. For this particular image, there will be ranges that are too close to be in focus (eg objects closer than the pole), a range in focus (eg the 'middle ground' where the pole is), and another range out of focus (beyond middle distance out to infinity). Obviously if the lens was focused at a different distance, the ranges would differ, and the plane of focus would be located farther or closer. (Also, the size of the aperture determines how MUCH is in focus, ie how 'thick' the plane of focus is, but I digress..)

Now, for objects near to the plane of focus (let's say that was ten feet away for the sake of argument), they will gradually get more and more blurry as you get further away. So an object say 15 feet away will be just a little o-o-f, while one at 100 feet will be more o-o-f. So the amount of fuzziness gives an indication. The more wide the 'fuzz', the further away.

But wait.. If the object is closer, say 9 feet, it will also get fuzzy. If it is 3 feet away, more fuzzy again. Now you can probably tell that these numbers aren't linear - in other words the amount of fuzziness doesn't change in a linear fashion. On some lenses, the appearance of the fuzziness (it's called 'bokeh') will also change in appearance (shape and texture), so you can also get clues that way.

But wait..
. How do we know that the out-of-focus-ness is the only issue? Could the object be moving and therefore have motion blur? Well, motion blur is usually streaky, so probably that isn't a big issue. But what if the object itself has ill-defined edges (eg a tennis ball, a fuzzy insect)? And as for the wire that we can see, exactly much of its 'blur' is actual blur? - the problem is that the wire is thin, and unless we can actually determine its real width, we can't really tell how much blur there is, to compare it to the object.

There are more issues, but I think you are getting the picture (pun intended). Yes, if you have enough information, and lots of usefully placed objects in the image to give lots of clues and things to measure, you may be able to determine something useful. In this case, we are a bit short of all that. The 'thing' does appear to be more blurred than the wire, so it is possibly/probably further away, or it could be much nearer to the camera than the pole... There just aren't enough clues.

In other words... I've been no help at all.


But hopefully this gives you a small taste of the complexity of image forensics. And I'm no expert.. I just get by..


BTW, it' probably not going to help much, but.. camera? lens? I'm being lazy, should have checked exif...

Edited to try make it a bit clearer..

[edit on 29-8-2010 by CHRLZ]



posted on Aug, 30 2010 @ 12:23 PM
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reply to post by CHRLZ
 


CHRLZ, you are AWESOME. I just starred you. When I took the photo with a Sony cybershot (can get the exact model for you later), I was probably about a foot away from the chair, but I can get an exact measurement later when I'm at home. I can also get an exact measurement of the electrical wires, which are pretty thick. It seems like if it was closer than the chair, it would have to something on the lens or very close to it, me being so close to the chair (the "pole" you see in the foreground). But I checked the lens and snapped a photo right afterward to make sure there was nothing on the lens. And I thought, fast moving insect? But you're right, wouldn't the blur be different? Anyways, thanks!

Oh, and the "everyone loves photoshop filters!" statement was sarcastic...couldn't help myself.



posted on Aug, 30 2010 @ 01:02 PM
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Interesting photo could be anything, because there is no real good way to detect what size the object is, there is no real way to determine if the blur is caused by being to close or too far from the camera.

There are dust particles that are always floating around that are small enough to be picked up when only real close to the camera, and can cause a really good shot to have a huge looking out of focus blurry dot over some ones face. This could be what was captured, but it is hard to tell.

Like CHRLZ pointed out you really need more depth comparisons within the image. For instance, if you have a picture of a family and the blurred dot appears in front of one of the subjects, you can be certain the object is close to the camera, however if it appears to be blocked by one of the subjects, appearing behind the subject, it is most likely further away and bigger.

I hope this helps in your own analysis of the object, what I believe you have here is a UBO, an Unidentified Blurry Object.



posted on Aug, 30 2010 @ 01:04 PM
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New scientist have a new release about perception... I suggest reading it as it brings a lot of things to light!



posted on Aug, 30 2010 @ 01:06 PM
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reply to post by burdenofdreams
 


Sorry seen the bird first and yea commented sorry.
2nd

[edit on 8/30/10 by Ophiuchus 13]



posted on Aug, 30 2010 @ 04:19 PM
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Originally posted by burdenofdreams
reply to post by CHRLZ
 


CHRLZ, you are AWESOME.

Can't argue with that..
Thanks!!


When I took the photo with a Sony cybershot (can get the exact model for you later), I was probably about a foot away from the chair, but I can get an exact measurement later when I'm at home.

OK, being a cybershot means it is a small sensor camera (rather than, say, a DSLR). That means you have pretty wide depth of field, ie the plane of focus is quite 'thick'.

I can also get an exact measurement of the electrical wires, which are pretty thick.

And how far away they are? That would help also.


It seems like if it was closer than the chair, it would have to something on the lens or very close to it, me being so close to the chair (the "pole" you see in the foreground).

That's a chair? I'm having trouble visualising that - can you post a full, uncropped image showing the overall scene? Reduced in size is fine, just not cropped.


But I checked the lens and snapped a photo right afterward to make sure there was nothing on the lens.

Excellent work! Yes, it could have been something on the lens, or the clear cover over the lens which some of these cameras have. Or even something inside the camera that was on the sensor itself... If you really want to get carried away, you could try to get a similar image, taken again with the camera focusing on the chair, but with an aircraft or helicopter in shot... That will tell us what an object at 'infinity' looks like when the camera is focused at the same distance as it was originally.


And I thought, fast moving insect? But you're right, wouldn't the blur be different? Anyways, thanks!

No worries. Oh, and bear in mind that the insect (if it was) may be moving towards or away from the camera, so we might not be able to detect the streakiness of motion blur...


Oh, and the "everyone loves photoshop filters!" statement was sarcastic...couldn't help myself.

Heh! I always get a chuckle when someone presents a heavily posterised, saturated, over-processed and super-enlarged, pixelated-to-hell image, and says "SEE!! Aliens!".

I thank you for NOT doing that!

[edit on 31-8-2010 by CHRLZ]



posted on Aug, 30 2010 @ 04:31 PM
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Even if it was a crystal clear photo of a silver flying saucer, the photo wouldn't tell us much of anything. Because we already have very good, if not entirely crystal clear, photos of flying saucers and they essentially tell us nothing about anything. What they are, where they come from, who built or is flying them, etc.

A photo by itself, without accompanying hard evidence linked to whatever is in the photo, is basically nothing more than a worthless curiosity.



posted on Sep, 2 2010 @ 03:18 PM
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Just wanted to say I haven't abandoned the thread. I'll be back at home on Saturday to try to re-create the photo and measure all distances involved. - BoD



posted on Sep, 2 2010 @ 03:54 PM
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reply to post by burdenofdreams
 


AND

reply to post by CHRLZ
 


It should go without saying, but I'll say it anyway...an objective question is answered objectively. Good work



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