Dashed Lights Coming From the Sky [Likely long exposure + flash + flickering lights]

November

Member
We should have someone go outside, set up a blinking LED a half or three quarter miles down the road, set the shutter speed for five seconds, in the dark, with nothing but a street sign in the close distance, leave the flash on, and see what happens.

We will not even concern ourselves with the nonsense of having a blinking LED in the middle of a dark desert road -- for no apparent reason -- at that particular time - when the photograph was being taken.

And don't forget to jiggle the car you set the camera on, (prior to the shot), once -- with an almost imperceptible 2.5 earthquake. See what happens with the street sign (jiggle the street-sign, simultaneously with the car) -- and just see if the photograph can be recreated.

Maybe "Myth Busters" can figure it out. (Even tho there is no myth, it's just a curiosity,)
 
Last edited:

cloudspotter

Senior Member
I don't know the answer to that.

I am not a professional photographer.
If I remember correctly, I read a little bit about night photography, and may have set the shutter to remain open longer.

However, I know that I had taken many photographs from this same setting and not one of them produced a blurry effect, day or night.

This isn't even a blurry effect, as you can see from the photograph taken with the neighbors lights in the foreground in the other picture of the EQ glow.

My thought is, if leaving the shutter open could have caused a "trail" effect -- and it was even possibly -- a ten second exposure (which I seriously doubt) -- those lights would not have been that distinct, and they would not have been separated so clearly.
As per Mick's photo of his scanner on a 0.4 second exposure?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
We should have someone go outside, set up a blinking LED a half or three quarter miles down the road, set the shutter speed for five seconds, in the dark, with nothing but a street sign in the close distance, leave the flash on, and see what happens.

We will not even concern ourselves with the nonsense of having a blinking LED in the middle of a dark desert road -- for no apparent reason -- at that particular time - when the photograph was being taken.

And don't forget to jiggle the car you set the camera on, (prior to the shot), once -- with an almost imperceptible 2.5 earthquake. See what happens with the street sign (jiggle the street-sign, simultaneously with the car) -- and just see if the photograph can be recreated.
A camera flash has a duration of about 1/5000 of a second. The street sign, and the road are ONLY lit by the flash, so they appear stationary.

The suggestion of small red LEDs was initially made thinking the camera might be inside the car. Your subsequent descriptions made it seem more likely it was outside, and hence the lights were probably some way down the road - something of the size of brake lights of a car at the intersection.

You keep calling this a dark desert road, and yet there are occupied houses all around it, and at that intersection. It's not entirely out of the realm of possibility that the source of the lights (which might only have been on for a fraction of a second) was some local person.

I keep meaning to try some recreation, but it always seems to be light when I come accross this thread.
 

M Bornong

Senior Member
Ahhh... at last someone heard me.
I am not going to say that "camera movement" would not be a possibility, because I was there that summer, and that earth would not stop moving.

But IF that is the explanation, why isn't the street sign moving?
I know it was a flash of light on the street sign, but that same instant flash would have made the street sign light appear to have moved, as well.
Because the flash froze the sign, your shutter was open for longer than the light created by the flash. The something creating it's own light in the distance can still move. The photo that Mick posted of his scanner demonstrates this. There is no blur of the scanner, the LED shows movement. In my photo, the speakers in the back ground show no movement, , Sean's face and body are for the most part clear, frozen by the flash, the stage lights provided enough light to blur the movement, and the LEDs on the PA were intense enough and flashing to provide that red dotted streak.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Here's another example, using a flashlight with a strobe function (rapid flashing).

Here's the setup, taken with a normal exposure:


And here it is with a 0.5 second exposure, (f22, ISO 100 to simulate night conditions).


Note the shoe, the colored pad, and the floor do not move, yet the (stationary) flashlight leaves a segmented trail.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Here's the same exposure, but from a distance with flash. Notice the reflections on the globe and the skateboard do not move (as they are illuminated by the flash), yet the strobing light does.

 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Here's a scene in daylight, about 30 feet away, flashlight is on the left armrest of the seat.


Here's what happens when the camera is moved during a 0.5 second exposure.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I've added "+ flash" to the "likely" part in the title, as it's an important part of why the background and sign do not move, but the flickering light does.

And note it's just a "flickering light", it might not be LED.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Update, I was out at night with my camera, so took a photo of this scene without flash, just hand held.


Then with flash, holding the camera as steady as I can. Notice the number plates and street signs are brighter and sharper.


I then took the same photo, but this time with flash, and moved the camera.


Notice the number plates, and the street signs do not move, but the lights do move. Now while this is not a dark desert road (it's Windward and Ocean, in Venice California), it does illustrate some of the effects in the original image, in particular the road intersection marker in the distance is well lit, but does not move.


And while most of the lights are not flickering, some are, and leave evenly spaced dashes, as seen in the original photo.

They are not particularly long or spaced out as I unfortunately did not move the camera fast enough, but it illustrates the principle.
 

Glad I'm Me

New Member
Hello All.

I am new to this board. I stumbled on it from Twitter.

I was wondering if anyone could tell me what might explain this photo.

It was taken in 1992, in the desert, during a time of increased earthquake activity.
We had had a 7.4 approximately a week earlier, and I was trying to get a photograph of the "glow" that was over the hills at nights.

The camera is facing west toward hills, they are dark, there are no houses or roads there. This was intentional. I don't know what time it was, sometime between 8 p.m and midnight.

What would explain this?
I have other photos that do show squiggled lights, due to time exposure I assume (I'm not a photographer), but nothing like this.

In the foreground on the right, I think that is a street sign.

I appreciate any information you could give me.

Thank You.
To the author of the above: Back in the days when cameras used rolls of film and needed to be developed I had many times experienced pics coming back with things like this on them. It was due to bad film or something scratching the negative or the film while being processed. Even a tiny speck of water on the lens can cause all kinds of weird images to appear on the finished pic. Now about what is written above , you state you were taking a pic of the glow over the mountains yet you later say the hills were dark and that there were no houses or roads where you were at yet you think there is a street sign in the foreground . In the pic it also shows an obvious asphalt old road.
 

Elfenlied

Member
We should have someone go outside, set up a blinking LED a half or three quarter miles down the road, set the shutter speed for five seconds, in the dark, with nothing but a street sign in the close distance, leave the flash on, and see what happens.

We will not even concern ourselves with the nonsense of having a blinking LED in the middle of a dark desert road -- for no apparent reason -- at that particular time - when the photograph was being taken.

And don't forget to jiggle the car you set the camera on, (prior to the shot), once -- with an almost imperceptible 2.5 earthquake. See what happens with the street sign (jiggle the street-sign, simultaneously with the car) -- and just see if the photograph can be recreated.

Maybe "Myth Busters" can figure it out. (Even tho there is no myth, it's just a curiosity,)
I don't think there were LEDs or other lights in front of you, I'm more interested in whether there was a light behind you. A shutter could stay in the open position, due to a defect, something jammed, or accidentally the wrong exposure time chosen. So you take the picture, the flash lights up the road and street sign, then it's dark again. The shutter stays open, but it's dark in front of you so that's ok. You pick up the camera, and do whatever you did.. All that's needed is one light visble from that spot, and your camera lens pointing in the right direction for half a second, maybe while you were putting on the lens cap, something like that.
However, given that the line ends abruptly in the middle of the picture, it must either be the shutter closing at that moment, or the light turning on or off; the lens cap wouldn't move fast enough, you'd see the line fading, not suddenly ending.
Of the remaining options, the shutter closing is way more likely than a light appearing or dissapearing at that exact moment.

If that light was a sodium street light or some other gas discharge lamp, you'll get dashed stripes on your picture. Google gave me these two examples of what i assume are low pressure sodium street lights.


When you use a flash at night the picture usually has strong contrast, and the black is real black. The lack of contrast in yours (unless that's a scanner artefact) might also be explained by long exposure to the little amount of light from the night sky, the movement of the camera would average out the differences.
 
Last edited:

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Another example of street lights leaving the dashed lines


(a long and a short exposure overlaid, so you can see the background)

I think the solid while lines are from newer non-pulsing LED light.
 

Rns

Member
It looks very much to me like a car in the distance with it's hazard flashers on with a long exposure and camera movement during the exposure.

The colors add up (orange yellow)

If you look closely you notice that the blinking period is not as stable as a modern solid state controller but sloppier like a thermal flash rate of a car module of that era.
 
Last edited:
Thread starter Related Articles Forum Replies Date
Trailspotter Helicopter aerodynamic dashed linear contrail Images and Videos: Contrails, Skies, and Aviation 4
J Strange lights on picture of the moon during "Blood Moon" [Stuck Pixels] Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 10
Rory Unusual line of lights seen over Baja California Sur, Mexico Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 4
Mick West Bright Lights Behind Trees, With Roiling Glare. Panama City, Florida. Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 32
Mick West Unusual Light Track in Long Exposures, Grand Canyon Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 38
8 Strange Row of Lights Under a Plane? Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 38
Mick West The Shape and Size of Glare Around Bright Lights UFO Videos and Reports from the US Navy 36
Mick West Old USAF "UFO" Video Mentioned By Chris Mellon Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 15
jarlrmai Landing lights? Can anyone id the configuration Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 2
Mick West Strange Lights in Phone Photos - Flash Reflection from Window UFOs, Aliens, Monsters, and the Paranormal 0
I Flares in the Sky? [Landing Lights of Planes landing at Phoenix Airport] Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 4
abi Lights in the sky above town lights [Lens Flares] Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 3
Andrew Gillett Explained: Squares in the sky? [Reflection of lights in a window] Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 18
Mick West Red Winged UFO, Mufon case 91964 - Plane Lights Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 34
Mick West Explained: Mysterious lights over Milwaukee [Seagulls, Night Exposure Trails] Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 27
Mick West Explained: Mexico City Earthquake Lights [Power Line Arcing and Transformer Explosions] Science and Pseudoscience 30
deirdre Debunked: Lights chasing each other carving holes in clouds (fake video, fallstreak holes) Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 17
Mick West Lights over Sacramento - Just a Plane, But what's that Beam? Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 0
P Another photographic anomaly [Long exposure of plane lights] Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 2
Trailspotter UFO with navigation lights, Drone or aircraft? [Low Flying FedEx 777] Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 14
deirdre Debunked: Jane Seymour advocates red lights for gun free homes (Satire site) General Discussion 6
M Physical Object or Camera Artifcat? Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 8
derwoodii Debunked: Strange lights above Canberra: (Photoshop mistake) Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 0
Mick West Debunked: Airplane passenger 'takes picture of UFO that was giving off bright lights and orbs' UFOs, Aliens, Monsters, and the Paranormal 28
WhiteTiger Explained: "Chemdust fallout" [Out of Focus Photos of dust, mist, lights, etc.] Contrails and Chemtrails 21
Mick West Identifying Landing Lights Reported as UFOs Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 38
n0sweat Lights in the Sky (Swansea UK 11/10/14) Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 9
Mick West "Strange Lights" over Hawaii [Aegis Ashore SM-3 Missile Test] Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 6
Robert Tankersley Debunked: Video of UFO behind a cloud, dropping flashing blue lights [Viral Marketing Hoax] Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 43
Jarmey 657 More Strange lights in the Sky! [Short Sunlit Contrails] Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 58
CapnPegleg Vegas Police Officers Shot - False Flag claims coming? Conspiracy Theories 32
Balance NASA photo captures strange bright light seemingly coming out of Mars General Discussion 39
Oxymoron Surveillance/Attack Drones... Coming to an area near you. Wonderful world. Conspiracy Theories 99
cheeple Global Economic Collapse coming and the Gold/silver rule Conspiracy Theories 32
scombrid Debunked: Plumes erupt from New Madrid Seismic Zone =2.9M quake follows. more coming? HAARP 159
Mick West Debunked: Geoengineeringwatch.org "Trails coming from Nozzles" [C-5 with normal exhaust contrails] Contrails and Chemtrails 18
Related Articles




































Related Articles

Top