Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Strange glowing yellow dots

Glowing yellow stuffThere are strange things everywhere if you look closely enough. Take the photo (right) here that I took recently. The picture shows a cobbled pavement covered in fallen leaves. But there is also something odd. There are lots of glowing yellow dots! What might they be?

The vast majority of photographic anomalies are found when a photo is examined after exposure. The anomaly was hardly ever seen at the time the photo was taken. This is significant because the photographer will often not remember much about the circumstances of the photo being taken after the event. This can result in 'unknown' human figures, taken to be ghosts, showing up when they were simply real people present but not noticed by the photographer at the time. When someone is concentrating on taking a photo they can easily not notice quite obvious things in the background of the picture.

Then there are other oddities whose explanation actually lies just outside the frame of the photo and which were, again, not noticed at the time. This picture is an example of that type of anomalous photo. Although the photo was taken in plain daylight, there was a streetlight on nearby. Its bright yellow light is being reflected in the wet street cobbles leading to the 'glowing yellow dots' seen here. Since streetlights are seldom on during daylight hours, it's not an obvious explanation to someone looking at the photo after the event.

So it is not a photographic artefact. The effect was 'out there' in the real world, not just in the camera. I DID notice it at the time, which is why I took the picture. However, it could easily have only been noticed after the event by someone who either forgot about the lit street light or never even noticed it at the time. It is a case of missing information being the key to explaining the effect. I get frustrated with many anomalous photos that I'm sure could be easily explained if only there was another picture available of the same scene taken from a different angle. In this case, a photo showing the lit street light would have helped! I often ask people with anomalous photos if any other pictures were taken at the same time. Sometimes there were and they can be really illuminating.

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