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Author Topic: What We See and How We Photograph It.. an very interesting experiment  (Read 3457 times)
Michael West
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« on: December 11, 2012, 09:51:39 AM »
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I just finished reading the LULU article... What We See and How We Photograph It an experiment

it contains this photograph which when used as source material for a flash  animation produced some rather odd results.





it will not animate properly for some as yet unexplained reason.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/articleImages/MR40/Fig_2.jpg

http://westworldwide.businesscatalyst.com/perceptual.gif

is the image "fooling" Adobe Flash professional

http://westworldwide.businesscatalyst.com/perceptual.swf

the source file

 http://westworldwide.businesscatalyst.com/perceptual.fla
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siba
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« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2012, 03:26:26 AM »
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why do you say that the animation doesn't work? It seems to be working when I click on your links.
Stefan
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Michael West
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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2012, 09:36:04 AM »
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I should have said it doesnt animate correctly. in that the "B" square does not appear to remain a consistent tone in the file as produced with Adohe  Flash.

the same image layers do animate properly in the file I output from Photoshop.  Why flash interpreted them as it did I do not know.


 
 
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Ray
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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2012, 09:10:04 PM »
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I should have said it doesnt animate correctly. in that the "B" square does not appear to remain a consistent tone in the file as produced with Adohe  Flash.

the same image layers do animate properly in the file I output from Photoshop.  Why flash interpreted them as it did I do not know.




I'm not sure what point you are making here. The A and B squares actually are the same tone, that is, they actually do have the same RGB values. They just appear to be different because of their surroundings. A light square surrounded by darker squares will appear lighter than it actually is, and the same light square surrounded by even lighter squares will appear darker than it actually is.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2012, 09:15:39 PM by Ray » Logged
HSway
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« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2012, 05:10:16 AM »
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I'm not sure what point you are making here. The A and B squares actually are the same tone, that is, they actually do have the same RGB values. They just appear to be different because of their surroundings. A light square surrounded by darker squares will appear lighter than it actually is, and the same light square surrounded by even lighter squares will appear darker than it actually is.

Absolutely, such a cloning in a graduated tone sky brings this seeming often apparent. Your first thought is that the software went bonkers.

Hynek
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Ray
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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2012, 07:50:28 PM »
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I'm surprised there has not been more discussion on the subject of this article by Charles Johnson.

Perhaps it's because there's nothing one can really contest. The issue that reality is an illusion has long been the subject of philosophical debate. That there is 'stuff' out there is something we must assume to be true in the interests of common sense. But how that stuff is seen, detected and interpreted must vary from person to person, from culture to culture, from species to species, from camera to camera, and from one scientific instrument to another.

There appears to be a consensus of opinion amongst Astro-physicists that 95% of the 'stuff' in our universe is totally invisible and undectable. It might exist. It might not. However, a mere consensus of opinion does not settle the issue. Such invisible matter has to eventually become visible through some scientific process, or some of our theories will have to be scrapped, or significantly modified.

I recall when I first became aware of the power of Photoshop in the early 1990's, and the fact that one could zoom in on an individual pixel and change its color to any shade one desired, I was mightily impressed. Here was the potential for total control over the illusion within the two-dimensional limits. One could create one's own illusions to taste, although I now realise there are much quicker ways than addressing each individual pixel.

In a sense I find this article connects well with a recent Alain Briot article in which Alain made the rather contentious point that any manipulation of a photographic image is quite acceptable in the interests of art.
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kencameron
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« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2012, 09:33:06 PM »
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I'm surprised there has not been more discussion on the subject of this article by Charles Johnson.
Perhaps it's because there's nothing one can really contest. The issue that reality is an illusion has long been the subject of philosophical debate.
Maybe one reason for the silence is that any comment risks provoking one or two of LuLa's ever alert four-figure gatekeepers to magisterially remind the rest of us that anything worth saying on the subject has already been said, by their good selves, on multiple earlier threads.

But hey, here goes nothing. The only thing I would contest  - or at least qualify - in Charles Johnson's excellent article was its "anything goes" conclusion, which is also what I would query in the Nick Devlin piece to which you refer.

Yes, in a sense anything does go, and sitting behind that conclusion is all the neuropsychology, philosophy and image manipulation technology covered in the two articles and your post. But I would also argue that one of the considerations in play when we look at anything we think of as a photograph is some kind of expectation that it at least started from a representation how things were, or how they looked, at a particular moment. It doesn't follow from this that there is anything wrong with manipulation - but the expectation won't completely go away, and remains as one of the things to be taken account of - manipulated, if you like - by the photographer.

This happens in various ways. The expectation can be acknowledged and subverted, by manifest photoshoppery, or acknowledged and built on, in high resolution and technically expert realistic photography or shots that take advantage of unique conditions of light or weather, or street shots.  Reality is captured, and a moment is captured. Mostly of course the expectation is simply taken for granted. The complete absence of any hint or trace of such a naive expectation maybe excludes something from being considered a photograph.

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Ray
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« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2012, 01:09:28 AM »
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Reality is captured, and a moment is captured.

Surely the point of the article is that reality is never captured, because reality is an illusion. What is captured is our best simulation of what the average human perceives, through processes of color calibration of camera, monitor and printer etc, which are presumably modelled along the lines of average human perception.

There are other ways in which reality is not captured. When you look at a shot from a wide-angle lens, perspective is distorted. Things that are close seem far closer than the eye perceived them to be, and things that are moderately distant seem hugely distant in the resulting image.

However, I guess most people consider what they see to be reality, and unfortunately, not only what they see, but what they are conditioned to believe is reality, hence the enormous amount of strife and trouble in the world.
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kencameron
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« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2012, 03:14:05 AM »
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Surely the point of the article is that reality is never captured, because reality is an illusion.
Absolutely, and the arguments are all sound enough, as I think I implied in my post. What I am saying, though, it that it is a very potent illusion which we always, to some extent, believe in, despite the arguments. And taking it down to photographs, the idea of directly capturing a moment of reality is another very potent illusion, which is always in our minds when we look at anything we think of as a photograph, even though we know very well that, in another sense, the camera always lies.
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Rob C
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« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2012, 03:23:53 AM »
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As a dazed four-figurer, I failed to see or understand the point being made. Was that the point? That you can state anything you like and for another not to accept it and go along with it reveals just how stupid he/she might be?

I see light grey and darker grey blocks; a cylinder of several shades of greenish-tinge.

If the greys were identical, they would make a single block of grey with no sharp, straight-line toning to differentiate them as squares. The only difference I'd see is that caused gently by the uneven 'lighting' gradation as well as the shadow of the cylinder...  But as I said, I don't understand the challenge.

Caveat emptor or caveat bare Emperor?

Rob C
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kencameron
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« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2012, 03:41:26 AM »
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As a dazed four-figurer

Pushing five, give or take another four figures. That will be a day.


I failed to see or understand the point being made. Was that the point? That you can state anything you like and for another not to accept it and go along with it reveals just how stupid he/she might be?

I am not sure which point you fail to see - the OPs, or any of the others made thereafter. If it was the OPs, I don't see any room for implications of stupidity - it was surely just about how an optical illusion works and apparently doesn't work when animated. As for the others, they are all about how perception works more broadly and I have the feeling none of us thinks we have a perfect understanding of what we are talking about.

Although Charles Johnson is pretty lucid, IMO.



« Last Edit: December 23, 2012, 03:43:03 AM by kencameron » Logged

VidJa
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« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2012, 03:14:14 PM »
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Great article Charles,

It illustrates exactly what we experience in science these days. We have the ability to measure almost everything, and we do. See the example in genomics, it is no problem to do routine sequence analysis, but people fail to see the small world of perceived 'truth' that can be tested further. I.e. The observe, experiment conclude, learn, paradigm. Instead, a lot of scientific articles just dump the results, like extracting a mediocre jpg from a raw file.

Going back to photography, have a look at http://prismes.free.fr/ it summes the gist of the article....

Btw, i have no links with sophie, i just follow and admire her work since 2005.....
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Ray
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« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2012, 05:46:49 PM »
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I see light grey and darker grey blocks; a cylinder of several shades of greenish-tinge.

If the greys were identical, they would make a single block of grey with no sharp, straight-line toning to differentiate them as squares. The only difference I'd see is that caused gently by the uneven 'lighting' gradation as well as the shadow of the cylinder...  But as I said, I don't understand the challenge.

Let me try and explain it to you again, Rob. The checker board consists of alternating grey and white squares which are all clearly either grey or white. One of those grey squares, top left of the green cylinder is marked A, and one of the white squares, a bit below and to the right, is marked B.

Despite the fact that the white square marked B is in some slight shade created by the cylinder, there's no way that the eye (and human brain) can perceive that the grey square marked A and the white square marked B are in fact exactly the same shade. But they are.

If you open the Info palette in Photoshop and place the eyedropper tool over square A and then square B, you'll see that both squares have the same RGB values of 121,121,121.

Now I would say that the main reason for this illusion is that the grey-appearing square marked A is surrounded on all four sides by white, and therefore appears darker than it really is, and the white-appearing square marked B is surrounded on all four sides by much darker shades of grey, with values around 64,64,64, and therefore appears lighter than it really is.
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Jaffy
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« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2012, 12:15:29 PM »
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If you get a piece of paper with 2 holes spaced to line up on A and B you'll see the the shade is the same.
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allegretto
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« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2013, 08:57:33 PM »
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Gee, some here would argue with a stop sign!

Don't see why this is such a buzz. The real issue is not any PS stuff, it's about the way the visual cortex is organized. Any truly objective measuring device demonstrates equivalence. It's your brain that sees a difference.

Ray, where did you read that "95%" of the stuff of the Universe is "invisible and undetectable"Huh That is truly throw-away Science at best.
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Ray
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« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2013, 01:51:25 AM »
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Ray, where did you read that "95%" of the stuff of the Universe is "invisible and undetectable"Huh That is truly throw-away Science at best.

Not at all. It's cutting-edge science and a big problem for Astrophysicists.

Until fairly recently, our theories of gravity, and theories of the origins of the universe, expressed with the catchy phrase, The Big Bang, which you must have heard of, predicted that the rate of expansion of our universe should be seen to be gradually slowing down. At some point in the very distant future, the expansion, it used to be thought, might slow to a halt and the universe would then begin contracting and eventually collapse upon itself.

I believe the brilliant physicist, Stephen Hawking described the possibility of such a scenario in his first popular book, A Brief History of Time.

However, as our telescopes and measuring devices have become more sophisticated, it's now become apparent that our universe is expanding at a much faster rate than our calculations of the total amount of mass and energy in the universe would predict, and that certain distant spiral galaxies are rotating at far greater speeds than their observed mass would account for.

In science, when our observations of 'reality' cease to correspond with the predictions of our theories, then we either have to devise new theories which match the new observations, or find a plausible explanation for why such new observations may still be consistent with our current theories.

The latter approach has been adopted by most Astrophysicists. In order to maintain the integrity of current theories, they've postulated the existence of huge quantities of invisible matter and energy. They don't use the term invisible, of course. They use the term Dark, as in Dark Matter and Dark Energy. But the blunt fact is, at present this stuff is completely invisible and undedectable in any shape or form.

Perhaps they will eventually discover particles of Dark Matter. On the other hand, perhaps they never will because it simply doesn't exist.

Current alternative theories, such as MOND (Modified Newtonian Dynamics) do not provide a completely satisfactory explanation. There are lots of references to this issue on the internet. Here are a couple of links.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modified_Newtonian_dynamics

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120418111923.htm

Estimates of the total percentages of matter and energy which are 'Dark' (or invisible) seem to vary from around 80% to 96%. As a layperson I find this issue quite fascinating because it seems to affirm my own personal philosophy that the more we know, the more we realise how little we know.

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Tony Jay
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« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2013, 05:34:14 AM »
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...the more we know, the more we realise how little we know...
That is certainly something with which I can agree.
(My backgorund is in the biological sciences).

Tony Jay
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allegretto
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« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2013, 07:18:52 AM »
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Ray, first I'd like to apologize for what might appear to be abrupt language. It was not meant to impugn you or be disrespectful personally.

However I am more than a little familiar with the subject. Yes, the "Great Inflation" (a Big Bang wold result in a topographically different Universe) presents our current state of ignorance with ever more difficult problems in ascertaining knowledge. And, I am very familiar with "Dark Matter". The issue being addressed there was the "95%" part. Your citation also suggests "80%" which is as high an estimate as I've ever seen, and prior to your post had never seen the 95% figure. Now it might seem that "80-95%, what's the difference?" but actually for the theory to work, 95% would result in a very different type of Universe than we appear to see.

Whether the Dark Matter is an actual existence, or just another passing theory to be discarded in the future is something that time will tell. While I cannot argue with the math, that things seem to imply much more mass than is currently measured, I've not found complete comfort with the current common explanation. But, if true, the Metaphysical implications are profound! Maybe Heaven and Hell do exist...Huh!!!

MOND...? Meh, just more teleology, based upon attempts to make the math "fit" the observation rather than the other way around. There is a very old principle of Science that states that for a theory to be acceptable, it must be true everywhere in the Universe. MOND... not so much.

Maybe one day will shall understand this Creation, but no time soon I'm afraid.
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Ray
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« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2013, 08:23:25 AM »
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... And, I am very familiar with "Dark Matter". The issue being addressed there was the "95%" part. Your citation also suggests "80%" which is as high an estimate as I've ever seen, and prior to your post had never seen the 95% figure. Now it might seem that "80-95%, what's the difference?" but actually for the theory to work, 95% would result in a very different type of Universe than we appear to see.

Allegretto,
All I can do in such situations is quote from sites that would appear to be reputable, reliable and and written by people who are familiar with the topic. I'm sure you would agree that the NASA government site would be a reliable source of information on such a topic. This is what they state on the following site:

http://science.nasa.gov/astrophysics/focus-areas/what-is-dark-energy/

Quote
It turns out that roughly 70% of the Universe is dark energy. Dark matter makes up about 25%. The rest - everything on Earth, everything ever observed with all of our instruments, all normal matter - adds up to less than 5% of the Universe. Come to think of it, maybe it shouldn't be called "normal" matter at all, since it is such a small fraction of the Universe.


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dreed
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« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2013, 09:40:41 AM »
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Perhaps it's because there's nothing one can really contest. The issue that reality is an illusion has long been the subject of philosophical debate. That there is 'stuff' out there is something we must assume to be true in the interests of common sense. But how that stuff is seen, detected and interpreted must vary from person to person, from culture to culture, from species to species, from camera to camera, and from one scientific instrument to another.

Not "must vary", "does vary", e.g. the perception of colour:
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=68125.0
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