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Author Topic: 1938 Aerial Photos  (Read 310506 times)

Victor Russell

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Re: 1938 Aerial Photos
« Reply #75 on: June 24, 2013, 04:54:26 PM »

Hi Ric and forum members,

I'm an avid forum reader (as of about six months ago) but this is my first post. The news about the rediscovered Walrus negatives was thrilling and I'm grateful to Ted for his financial support and to Ric and Jeff for making the trip to NZ. I eagerly await the results, with fingers crossed that new and useful data will be revealed.

Similar to Peter, I have a couple questions about Jeff's approach as posted by Ric above. I am not a professional photographer or an image analyst, so I am not speaking from the experience that Jeff has, but I am familiar with new model Nikon DSLRs and my understanding is that there really are benefits to capturing the photos in Nikon's RAW format (NEF) instead of as uncompressed TIFFs. Specifically, even though the TIFFs may be uncompressed in comparison to the JPGs, they still result in a loss of data when compared with the RAW (NEF) format, and this data can be critical for certain post-processing activities.

Rather than spell out these details in full, I'd point you to these two posts from photography forms that succinctly explain the key issues. There are many other confirmatory sources out there for those who'd like to read up on their own:
http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/3381214
http://photo.net/digital-darkroom-forum/00aZtn

My other question is a broader one: could Jeff explain what the advantages are of photographing the negatives using the setup he describes compared with the approach of using a high-end 4x5 transparency scanner such as could be found at a professional photo lab (of which there are several examples in Christchurch)? I'd always been under the impression that a better overall result could be obtained via one of these new model scanners than by a copy-stand approach, even with the equipment Jeff describes. Is this not the case?

Thanks so much for the input!

Kind regards,
Victor
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Richard Lyon Metzger

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Re: 1938 Aerial Photos
« Reply #76 on: June 24, 2013, 09:27:34 PM »

What is this??? ???
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David Alan

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Re: 1938 Aerial Photos
« Reply #77 on: June 25, 2013, 02:59:13 AM »

Yeah, first posting, big time lurker.  Forgive me my ignoring the current legal issues, for now at least, while I offer a couple of thoughts about the newly found photos.  I may have my head up my youknowwhat but here goes.

My original schooling was in photography and for many years I shot large format (4x5) images.  And I put in many years in the darkroom as well.

I am absolutely blown away by this find of not only prints but the negatives as well.  I suspect theses negs will not be as sharp as one would hope, they were, afterall, shot from a ungainly airplane in the tropical mid day.  Vibration of the engine, air turbulence, the moisture in the air, and most likely a shutter speed of less than 1/125th of a second -all take a terrible toll on resolution.  But, they should make the Bevington photo look like a finger painting.

The image I have attached is from the 3rd photo Ric posted.  It is blown up about 600%.  In Photoshop, I have monkeyed with the contrast and brightness levels, as well as using a gaussian blur filter to soften the edges of the pixels somewhat.  My intent was to maintain the number of gray zones and limit the distraction caused by the pixelation.

The lines I have drawn on the image run parallel to and slightly below what I believe to be scarring in the coral.  (For anyone not familiar, the living corals are "rooted" to the calcium skeletons of their predecessors and form a comparatively thin layer of "skin" on the eons of calcium "bones".)

If the Electra had been pulled into the ocean it only makes sense that, even in normal tidal action, the plane would be broken part.  Separated, the heavier motors would scrape, kill and remove the coral as they were inexorably pulled across the shallow corals toward deeper water.  This scraping action would leave behind an area much lighter in tone than the surrounding, undamaged coral.  And,because it was a scraping action as opposed to a gouging, there is no shadow to be seen  The fuselage may well have done the same.

The arrow points to an area which I interpret as being fairly rocky, as indicated by the darkest pixels. Shadows. But the distribution of lighter pixels around them does not seem to jive with the surrounding area.  Further, as you move in tandem with the "scars" towards open water, there is a smattering of more light pixel groups fanning out from this rocky area.  (The larger white area just below the shaft of the arrow is almost certainly a dust speck, likely on the neg.)

There also seems to be a similar area of rock and possible debris about 200 feet away at a two o'clock position.  I believe someone mentioned seeing this also in a another of the photos, and there might have been some speculation that it resembled the the rudder and fuselage. In that photo and the original of this one, the area in question looks to be one solid tone of gray until you blow it up and reduce the contrast, after which 15 or more tonalities are visible.  I would also have to disagree with this just based on scale.  The Norwich was nearly 400 feet long and had a 53 foot beam.  Using the ship as a measure of scale, this area is easily two to three times the size of the Electra.

In closing, a couple of quick notes for Ric.  You describe the method you will use to copy the negs but there are a couple of things that don't make sense to me.  First, you intend to use a Besseler 4x5 Negaflat to hold the negs, but these are 5x5 negs.  ?   I still have my Negaflat carrier.  There is no way you can secure anything larger than a standard 4x5 film in this holder.  Also, if you haven't used one of these carriers before, you should know they will scrape the emulsion off  along the two long edges where the frame grabs hold and makes the neg taut.

Also, I would agree with another poster in his suggestion that you use the RAW format to save the images.  I believe the Nikon 800 records RAW in 14 bits per channel whereas Tiff records at 8 bits per channel.  When it comes to processing the images from RAW you have all the information that was recorded by the camera. TIFF on the other hand decides what to keep and what to lose in the way it processes the data.  No, it doesn't compress data (unless you use Jpeg compression to record the file) but it does discard it.  If you have a slight exposure error in TIFF, it's gone you can't get it back.  RAW allows you retain that information. 

Oh, and Good On Ya Mr. Campbell!

cheers,

d

We has met the enemy, and he is us.
                                              Pogo
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: 1938 Aerial Photos
« Reply #78 on: June 25, 2013, 06:04:19 AM »

I am familiar with new model Nikon DSLRs and my understanding is that there really are benefits to capturing the photos in Nikon's RAW format (NEF) instead of as uncompressed TIFFs.

Jeff shot RAW in Oxford.  I'm sure he's up on the pros and cons of RAW vs TIFF (I'm not).  If he has decided to shoot TIFF in New Zealand I'm confident he has a reason.  I don't second-guess him on forensic techniques.  He doesn't second-guess me in my areas of expertise (which are few and far between).

My other question is a broader one: could Jeff explain what the advantages are of photographing the negatives using the setup he describes compared with the approach of using a high-end 4x5 transparency scanner such as could be found at a professional photo lab (of which there are several examples in Christchurch)? I'd always been under the impression that a better overall result could be obtained via one of these new model scanners than by a copy-stand approach, even with the equipment Jeff describes. Is this not the case?

Scanners are not the way to go for this kind of forensic analysis.  Quoting myself quoting Jeff in The Object Formerly Known as Nessie:
"When images are taken at a lower resolution, curved edges have the appearance of being sharp and are straight due to aliasing by the image sensor,This illusion is further exacerbated by image processing software in the scanner which attempts to increase the local contrast at these aliased edges."
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: 1938 Aerial Photos
« Reply #79 on: June 25, 2013, 06:14:17 AM »

The lines I have drawn on the image run parallel to and slightly below what I believe to be scarring in the coral. ...

The arrow points to an area which I interpret as being fairly rocky, as indicated by the darkest pixels.

I'm afraid you've drawn your lines on the ocean.  The reef is above the white line (surf line).  There's quite bit of water on the reef.  We'll be able to get the exact state of the tide once we have the full resolution imagery, but I don't think we're going to be able to see the reef surface well enough to look for scarring.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: 1938 Aerial Photos
« Reply #80 on: June 25, 2013, 06:18:54 AM »

What is this??? ???

If you mean the little white mark on the ocean, I'd say it's either a speck of dust on the negative or, if it's a real thing, it could be a whale shark.  They're not uncommon out there.
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Monty Fowler

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Re: 1938 Aerial Photos
« Reply #81 on: June 25, 2013, 08:40:04 AM »

Sigh ... my two cents - Jeff Glickman is The Pro From Dover. I have met him, talked with him, studied his work product and his experience. An expert is someone who knows when to call in the experts. In this case TIGHAR, the Earhart Expert, is calling in Jeff, the Photo Expert. I leave the second-guessing and armchair quarterbacking to the experts. We leave the expert be to do his job.

Of course, if anyone wants a second opinion, they can always pony up their own funds for their own evaluation. My money, the form of a check, is on Jeff Glickman.

LTM, who trys to back the winners,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 CER
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
« Last Edit: June 25, 2013, 08:45:11 AM by Monty Fowler »
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Skip Daly

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Re: 1938 Aerial Photos
« Reply #82 on: June 25, 2013, 08:43:01 AM »

Huffington Post has the story...but what is the reference to "visible footprints"?  Did I miss a discussion about this on here somewhere?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/24/amelia-earhart-island-photos-castaway_n_3492636.html
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Monty Fowler

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Re: 1938 Aerial Photos
« Reply #83 on: June 25, 2013, 09:04:59 AM »

Skip - it's the Huffington Post, which is not a credible news source.

LTM,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 CER
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: 1938 Aerial Photos
« Reply #84 on: June 25, 2013, 09:06:47 AM »

Huffington Post has the story...but what is the reference to "visible footprints"?  Did I miss a discussion about this on here somewhere?

Ah ... the joys of dealing with journalists.  I talk about possible trails seen in the 1938 aerial photo of the Seven Site and I'm quoted as saying we see possible footprints.
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Joshua Doremire

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Re: 1938 Aerial Photos
« Reply #85 on: June 25, 2013, 11:53:21 AM »

Sigh ... my two cents - Jeff Glickman is The Pro From Dover. I have met him, talked with him, studied his work product and his experience. An expert is someone who knows when to call in the experts. In this case TIGHAR, the Earhart Expert, is calling in Jeff, the Photo Expert. I leave the second-guessing and armchair quarterbacking to the experts. We leave the expert be to do his job.

Of course, if anyone wants a second opinion, they can always pony up their own funds for their own evaluation. My money, the form of a check, is on Jeff Glickman.

LTM, who trys to back the winners,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 CER

Sigh ... "We have always done it this way."

Maybe it is time to take advantage of advice offered and of online people who make a hobby of digital photography instead of turning your nose up to it. Like the experts and hobbyists alike who know how to work the RAW format. Ignoring this extra available data is like using fingerprints only and ignoring DNA evidence.

What will it cost to take one more shot in the RAW format on all the negatives? 45 min of Jeff Glickman time? Maybe we can add this amount as a further donation to the trip. No sense in going twice. No sense in handling this antique film twice! You should get as much data as possible when you do go. 

I wouldn't count on just an expert as crowd sourcing appears to be getting TIGHAR some good results as well. I am sure the expert is good at what he does. A second pair of eyes on all the available data may see something the first person didn't. This second pair of eyes may be extremely comfortable in RAW format use...

Do you really want to leave the extra data there with the possibility of having to go back later?

This is like the 3rd suggestion to consider also shooting RAW.
TIGHAR # 4274R
 
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: 1938 Aerial Photos
« Reply #86 on: June 25, 2013, 11:58:09 AM »

This is like the 3rd suggestion to consider also shooting RAW.

Will everybody please just chill about the RAW format thing?  I'll discuss it with Jeff.  If it makes sense to shoot RAW we'll shoot RAW.  Sheesh.
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William R Davis

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Re: 1938 Aerial Photos
« Reply #87 on: June 25, 2013, 12:35:30 PM »

There is something light colored and looking man made near the shore?  The other dark dot is dirt maybe?
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Patrick Dickson

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Re: 1938 Aerial Photos
« Reply #88 on: June 25, 2013, 12:54:15 PM »

Quote
There is something light colored and looking man made near the shore?

indeed it does......nude swimmer in a black stocking cap ?!    :-*   Just Kidding !!
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Ricker H Jones

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Re: 1938 Aerial Photos
« Reply #89 on: June 25, 2013, 02:57:54 PM »

Let's look for this Norwich City lifeboat, probably just off the beach. It was photographed by the NZ expedition and its location may give us a clue to the Norwich City shelter site. 
Rick J
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