View Full Version : Shadow Detail In A Back-lit Photo

2003-Dec-18, 06:18 PM
As I understand it, one of the pieces of evidence the hoax nutbars cite as showing the moon landing to be a hoax is the fact that details can be seen in the shadows of the astronaut's photos. The HBs ask where the light comes from that lights up these shadows. Must be studio lights they say.

Today's CNN Science & Space section offers a spectacular 12/17/03 eclipse photo that illustrates how very possible seeing detail in the shadows can be (as the result of scattered abient light).

In this photo we see details of a person who is directly between the camera and the light source - the eclipsing sun. This backlight/sihlouette-situation would have to be one of the most improbable configurations in which details would appear in the shadow. Yet we still see these details in the relative lightness of the person's jacket.

The person must obviously be very far from the camera - given his size in relation to the sun - thus making the possibility of additional artificial light very unlikely. And the photographer says he was even unaware there was even a person in the shot at the time.

Here is the URL at CNN where the photo can be found. Though it's hard to tell how long CNN will keep it on view:



Here is the original photo source by eclipse-chaser Fred Bruenjes on moonglow.net (Great eclipse shots here.) He also explains at his web site how he got the photo:


Both CNN and Bruenjes refer to the photo as being "composite." Bruenjes explanation is that the composition is for doctoring the colours of the sun's corona only. "I have increased the color saturation slightly to better show the green thru red corona colors, otherwise the image is truthful."

In any case, he offers the completely raw, undoctored photo here that shows the same shadow detail:



(Edited to add CNN Science & Space URL)

AGN Fuel
2003-Dec-18, 10:48 PM
Nice photo!

I have got a photo on my PC of the shadows of 9 identical posts, which vary dramatically in length & direction, beautifully displaying the concept of vanishing points.

Can I e-mail this photo to anyone to put it on a website, so that it can be accessed from this board? I have already used it a couple of times with people who bring up the 'shadows must be parallel' nonsense.

die Nullte
2003-Dec-19, 06:43 AM
Well, these photos are clearly fake. Not only can you see detail in the shadows -- notwithstanding the weasley explanation -- but the Sun is oval, sort of. Everybody knows it's round. And what's that black thing in front of it?

Donnie B.
2003-Dec-19, 12:20 PM
It's a beautiful and dramatic photo, but unfortunately it can't be used to trump the HBs' arguments.

Since it was taken here on Earth, at the bottom of the atmosphere, the backlight can (arguably) be attributed to atmospheric scattering rather than surface scattering. (In my opinion, the latter probably contributes at least as much as the skylight, but that won't wash with the HBs).

I notice that the image seems to be particularly low-resolution, as if it was highly compressed for transmission. I wonder if the original is higher-res? That would be nice to see.