Solved: Strange Beam of Light over Mayan Temple and Florida [Lightning + Rolling Shutter Artifact]

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
The thread is getting a lot of traffic about this image:


So I have updated the OP to collate the information in the thread.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
That's a nice example, with the "beam" largely going behind the trees. But you can still see some lightening of the trees, and pinkish reflections off the boat.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Another from the video linked in the comments:

Attributed to Raine Carosin
 

Mark Barrington

Active Member
"Rushed to get the photos DEVELOPED"?
As we discussed earlier in the thread, the same phenomenon can happen with a film camera or with a digital camera, since they both use rolling shutters that only expose a small amount of the film or collect data from a slice of the sensor at a time, at least at very high shutter speeds. See post #40 in this thread. So, even though the technology is somewhat different, both film cameras and digital cameras use rolling shutters, and you should expect to see this kind of exposure artifact under certain conditions with both of them.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
As we discussed earlier in the thread, the same phenomenon can happen with a film camera or with a digital camera, since they both use rolling shutters that only expose a small amount of the film or collect data from a slice of the sensor at a time, at least at very high shutter speeds. See post #40 in this thread. So, even though the technology is somewhat different, both film cameras and digital cameras use rolling shutters, and you should expect to see this kind of exposure artifact under certain conditions with both of them.
I think here they are simply using "developed" to mean "downloaded"
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
Is this the same effect on a picture of the Tianjin explosion site?


It doesn't look as sharply defined as the others.
 

Spectrar Ghost

Senior Member
Looks like photoshop to me.

...

The explosion happened at night. Do they really think they can get away with photoshopping a photo of the aftermath and calling it evidence?

Probably. What's worse they're likely right.
 

Frank1968

New Member
Hi everyone.
Since how long do these shutter artifacts occur? Only lately we are seeing this showing up in social media etc... Could it be that the Mayan temple photo atracted peoples attention to it?.
Thanks,
Frank
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Hi everyone.
Since how long do these shutter artifacts occur? Only lately we are seeing this showing up in social media etc... Could it be that the Mayan temple photo atracted peoples attention to it?.
Thanks,
Frank
I think in part it's due to improved camera technology for the cheap CMOS sensors, allowing shorter (per row) exposures, which are more likely to give a "beam". Perviously you'd be more likely to just get half the image washed out, which does not look very interesting, and such photos would generally be discarded. Stuff like:
 

Spectrar Ghost

Senior Member
Hi everyone.
Since how long do these shutter artifacts occur? Only lately we are seeing this showing up in social media etc... Could it be that the Mayan temple photo atracted peoples attention to it?.
Thanks,
Frank
It's possible, at least for these partial exposure artifacts due to lightning. A similar photo was uploaded to Wikipedia last August for the rolling shutter page.

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/898303

This documents a (different)rolling shutter artifact in 2011.

Its unclear to me how often lightning bolts occur with a short enough duration to show this partial exposure. Of course, the more CMOS phone cameras in use, the more we can expect to see these artifacts. The increase in camera quality in low light conditions probably also contributes.

Short answer to why now: Dunno.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I think the Mayan temple photo probably was the thing that made it popular though. The Florida photo kind of built on that and bumped it up to the next level, pushing awareness of the phenomena to a broader audience, and hence encouraging people to post their photos.

This thread has over 344,000 views, and about 280,000 of those were in the last three days, about the Florida pic.
 

Frank1968

New Member
Thank you for replying on this. Yes I suppose the quicker cmos readings and thus, creating a smaller column will have a very large impact. I've noticed that some people are going really nuts on this pictures. Even after giving an understandable explication and linking to the clear info i got from here, they won't except it. Crazy .. Those 300.000 + views worldwide does not surprise me :) ... Thanks again !
 

Lisa P

Active Member
Another one to add to the collection. It would be nice to know who made the original post.

View attachment 14450
https://www.facebook.com/groups/globalskywatch/permalink/10155952210760302/
A different person posted this pic on facebook and asked the question 'Project blue beam?'.

Harry Rhodes commented 'There is a patent on this...'. I have no idea what 'Project blue beam' is but I am sure if it exists it wouldn't be caused by a camera shutter.

[Broken External Image]:http://[img]http://i.imgur.com/ceLYm8Q.jpg[/IMG]

[Broken External Image]:http://[img]http://i.imgur.com/mO8NbdI.jpg[/IMG]

*having probs uploading photo's
 
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Leifer

Senior Member
Here are some "strange" vertical beams during a recording. I'm not sure if they are of the "shutter-roll type", or internal lens reflections......?? (May, 2012)
 
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Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Here are some "strange" vertical beams during a recording. I'm not sure if they are of the "shutter-roll type", or internal lens reflections......?? (May, 2012)
That's a different thing. CCD blooming. Super bright light overflows into adjacent cells in a column. Different ttype of sensor too.

Rolling shutter artificts only happen when the scene is changing (flashing, or moving).
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
This alternative explanation is rather amusingly speculative:
https://kauilapele.wordpress.com/2015/08/18/galactic-connection-8-18-15-strange-beams-of-lights-are-seen-all-around-the-world/
 

Lisa P

Active Member
Project Blue Beam has pretty much nothing to do with actual blue beams. It's a very strange and complicated apocalyptic believe system involving projecting images of Jesus, etc. onto the sky and/or people's minds with various "rays".

http://www.thewatcherfiles.com/bluebeam.html

Not worth addressing.
You may have misunderstood why I posted that. It was to show Harry Rhodes trying to deceive people by using an easily debunked picture to spread more bunk. I had no idea and was not interested in what project blue beam was but thanks for filling me in at least now I know when I see people talking about it :)
 

Saira

New Member
Good evening all. I've reviewed the posts and understand the explanations, however I witnessed this first hand today, and managed to catch it on video. Any further ideas?
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Hi Saira.

This is exactly the same thing. It's just not particularly bright - the lighting was probably off to the side somewhere. All it did was brighten up the scene a bit, and the rolling shutter got a slice of that brighter scene.
 

Saira

New Member
Thank you for your response. I would agree, if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. My eyes were not on my phone's screen. I was standing in the parking lot of my job looking for cars and making sure I wasn't in any immediate danger. I didn't witness this on screen. I only looked for it afterwards because it seemed off. There has to be another explanation.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Thank you for your response. I would agree, if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. My eyes were not on my phone's screen. I was standing in the parking lot of my job looking for cars and making sure I wasn't in any immediate danger. I didn't witness this on screen. I only looked for it afterwards because it seemed off. There has to be another explanation.
Possibly what you saw was some kind of after-image from the flash, your eye movement, and the edge of the building.

Notice that it is exactly pixel pefect aligned with the sensor.


If it was some kind of beam, it would be pretty unlikely you'd get it lined up. And even if you did, perspective would make it wider at the bottom. Like:


Yours is the same all the way up.

And given that it happened in a storm, everything points to rolling shutter + lighting
 
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Spectrar Ghost

Senior Member
In the photo with the cars, how is the "beam of light" behind the clouds?
The lightning is behind the clouds. Think of it as a slice of a different photo with brighter lighting overlaid on the rest. The location of the temporary light source (in this case lightning) will obey all the normal rules - backlighting, reflection, etc. - in the sliver of photo it effects.
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
Thank you for your response. I would agree, if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. My eyes were not on my phone's screen. I was standing in the parking lot of my job looking for cars and making sure I wasn't in any immediate danger. I didn't witness this on screen. I only looked for it afterwards because it seemed off. There has to be another explanation.
You would have seen the flash as the lightning lit up the scene, but the actual source of the light (the lightning bolt) probably wasn't visible to you (it certainly isn't present in the field of view of the camera). So all your eye would see is the bright flash with no obvious source.
 

Becky Beckerson

New Member
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/46560621/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/does-mayan-photo-show-sign-gods-or-iphone-glitch/#.UxuesvldXbM
I saw around 11 or 12 beams/columns of light that lasted for hours above the cities of east Wenatchee and Wenatchee Washington about 3 years ago. I had a dead cell phone and no way to take pictures. I know what I saw, it was not a trick of light or ice crystals, not lightening, not my imagination. My friend and I tried to find the source and looked for 30 to 45 mins but never could reach the base. The light was definitely coming down from the sky and none seemed to have any specific targets, but random. We gave up looking for the source and quite frankly I was scared because there is no explanation to what they were, or why they were there.....but we went on half way up a mountain to observe. The beams of light lasted hours. And it didn't look anything like the different camera effects examples but just like the picture of the lightning, but there was no lightning on this night and the beams lasted for hours, or is that normal for lightning to stay like that for hours?
 

Becky Beckerson

New Member


The above images are examples of a rolling shutter artifact. A "rolling shutter" means that the image is recorded one row (or column in portrait orientation) at a time, and not simultaneously. This means if the exposure and the flash are of very short duration, then the flash will only illuminate some pixel rows (or columns) of the image. Slowed down it looks a bit like this:

[moderator edit: long OP ]
I saw the beams of light above my home town and I can't explain what it was, I didn't take pictures, and they lasted for hours, about 11 or 12 columns of light shining from the sky, on a cloudy night with temperatures above freezing and no lightning. What did I see? Can you explain it because it baffles my brain.
 
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Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
I saw the beams of light above my home town and I can't explain what it was, I didn't take pictures, and they lasted for hours, about 11 or 12 columns of light shining from the sky, on a cloudy night with temperatures above freezing and no lightning. What did I see? Can you explain it because it baffles my brain.
Could they have been beams of light from the ground, rather than the sky?

image.jpeg

image.jpeg
 
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