Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Light anomaly

Light anomalyI took this photo (right) recently. It shows a patch of moss with fallen leaves, as one might expect in autumn. However, in the middle there is something odd. It appears to be a slightly fuzzy orange elliptical translucent object. As it doesn't look very solid I would describe it loosely as a light anomaly. It is clearly in front of the moss so must either be lying on it or floating in the air above it. Incidentally, as the EXIF data confirms, no flash was used.

The answer to this puzzle is in the second photo (right) taken precisely 2 seconds earlier of the same scene. The 'light anomaly' is now in Hoverflyfocus and revealed to be a hoverfly. Notice how the moss is now well out of focus. The hoverfly was around 2m in front of the moss. I was trying to photograph the hoverfly but took the upper photo just after losing focus on the insect.

Had someone taken the picture above and not noticed the presence of the hoverfly, they would only have got the 'light anomaly' photo with no obvious explanation. They might well have concluded that it was some kind of anomalous phenomenon. As it happens, I wasn't deliberately trying to get a photographic anomaly, though I often do. In this case I just got lucky!

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