Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Freaky Aviation Illusions

This is a topic that's come up in a forum I read sometimes, and it's an effect I'd honestly never seen before (none of these photos are mine):

That's a camera illusion. It looks like some weird Photoshop job, but it isn't. This below is actually one of the stranger photos I've seen, because of how normal it seems until you look closely:


Even the shadows:

The iPhone seems to have lots of trouble, there are many examples like this:

I honestly don't know why this happens. I studied film and I know about shutter effects on various things, but this seems to be unique to cheap digital cameras. I've had it explained to me but it still doesn't make any sense - these cameras supposedly scan their subjects line by line rather than all at once, so that a subject can move during the exposure but still be in sharp focus. This could make it look like they're "bent". But that explanation really doesn't hold up if you think about how propellers actually move and then compare that to these photos.

In fact, you can see this in motion too, which is quite interesting:

Another one, but the blades are bending outward:

A couple of bonus illusions for good measure - check out this powerless hovering helicopter:

Same principle here, this is a little easier to understand than the oddly bent propellers:

Still pretty wild, though.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:29 AM

    Cool pictures. Very interesting. :)


About This Blog

This is increasingly not a blog about Alphabet City, New York. I used to live in the East Village and work on Avenue B, but I no longer do. Why don't I change the name if I'm writing about Japan and video games and guitars? Because New Yorkers are well-rounded people with varied interests, and mine have gone increasingly off the rails over the years. And I don't feel like changing the name. I do still write about New York City sometimes.


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