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Analyzing position of sun in last photo

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Analyzing position of sun in last photo

Post by biggles on 09.11.14 23:16

Hi all,
Not sure if this will be useful or not, but in case anyone is interested: Here is a useful tool - suncalc.net - which is really handy for visualizing what position the sun is at, on any particular date, and at any time. 

I know there's been a lot of discussion on the 'last photo' and 'group photo' (or whatever its called) and people wondering if shadows are fake or not. I'm afraid I don't know the ins & outs well enough to be sure, but I used the suncalc tool to see what direction the sun is at on 3rd May 2007 at 2.29pm (the supposed date&time of the last photo I think?).

Here's the link, hopefully you should see (what I hope) is the correct pool in the last photo, with the date/time set to 3/5/07 2.30pm

http://suncalc.net/#/37.0881,-8.7314,20/2007.05.03/14:30

I think I have it positioned in the right place where the last photo was taken, but someone more familiar with the area would need to confirm. You can click the 'Satellite' button to show the actual satellite image in google maps.

If we know the angle of the sun, we would then know what angle the shadows will be cast at. Would this be useful to someone who knows what direction the last photo was taken in? If the direction of the shadows is wildly out (compared to what suncalc says they should be) then we might be able to figure out what time the last photo was taken, or even if it was an entirely different time of the year?

Maybe this will be useful to somebody

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Re: Analyzing position of sun in last photo

Post by Nina on 10.11.14 8:32

biggles wrote:Hi all,
Not sure if this will be useful or not, but in case anyone is interested: Here is a useful tool - suncalc.net - which is really handy for visualizing what position the sun is at, on any particular date, and at any time. 

I know there's been a lot of discussion on the 'last photo' and 'group photo' (or whatever its called) and people wondering if shadows are fake or not. I'm afraid I don't know the ins & outs well enough to be sure, but I used the suncalc tool to see what direction the sun is at on 3rd May 2007 at 2.29pm (the supposed date&time of the last photo I think?).

Here's the link, hopefully you should see (what I hope) is the correct pool in the last photo, with the date/time set to 3/5/07 2.30pm

http://suncalc.net/#/37.0881,-8.7314,20/2007.05.03/14:30

I think I have it positioned in the right place where the last photo was taken, but someone more familiar with the area would need to confirm. You can click the 'Satellite' button to show the actual satellite image in google maps.

If we know the angle of the sun, we would then know what angle the shadows will be cast at. Would this be useful to someone who knows what direction the last photo was taken in? If the direction of the shadows is wildly out (compared to what suncalc says they should be) then we might be able to figure out what time the last photo was taken, or even if it was an entirely different time of the year?

Maybe this will be useful to somebody
Hi Biggles. I see you have gone to the trouble of an interesting post and links and not had any replies even though 131 people have read your post. Sorry about the lack of response, so I am saying thank you for your links and when I have a bit more time I will have a look at them  thumbsup

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Re: Analyzing position of sun in last photo

Post by rustyjames on 10.11.14 9:00

Thanks biggles for the link.

I have been using this one - http://www.findmyshadow.com/ - as it allows you to create objects and see the shadow lengths and also the altitude of the sun in degrees, but the link you provided is a lot nicer for quickly seeing the direction of the sun at different times.

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Re: Analyzing position of sun in last photo

Post by HelenMeg on 10.11.14 10:04

Hi Biggles
Yes good link and should be really useful, I dont get involved in shadows myself - but hope someone will pursue this...

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Re: Analyzing position of sun in last photo

Post by bobbin on 10.11.14 12:04

http://suncalc.net/#/37.0881,-8.7314,20/2007.05.03/14:26

Thank you biggles. It took me quite a while to work out how to make the different options for dates etc. work but I've got it now.

A very useful app indeed and it confirms my suspicions. Bravo for sticking at it, to find such a tool, and bring it to this forum.

With the tree trunk directly behind Maddie, and the sun shade to the right side of Gerry (our left side in the picture) it is possible to get an exact position on the pool edge of where the photo is supposed to have been taken.

With the sun calculator set for 3rd May 2007, the sun is coming almost exactly face on to Maddie and Gerry whose faces are turned to their left towards the supposed camera position.

This means that the shadow falling from the tree/sunshade and dandelion would be totally correct but the shading on Gerry's nose/chin face and T shirt are NOT possible since the sun would be shining directly at him.

Nor do I think Madeleine's hat and nose could be so shaded with a 'full on face' sun.

In one months time, June 3rd, the sun is at its almost highest range / angle (21st June). This would give a more over head view than that available for 3rd May where the sun is not at its highest.

At no time however can the sun be high enough, with the orientation of the photo, for a shadow to be cast of Gerry's nose onto his chin.
This would require a sun from somewhat of an overhead position.

Under what circumstances could the nose shadow occur. If the face were turned downwards, collecting the full frontal sun at an oblique angle. However, although Gerry's shoulder may looked hunched, his face is on a direct horizontal if not slightly raised angle relative to the camera, i.e. directly towards the sun.

As determined elsewhere, the angle of sun on 3rd May 2007 was 68.6 degrees.

Gerry's long T shirt shadow, emanating from a position capable of casting a nose shadow down to short of his chin, is now possible to DISCOUNT AS TRUE.

The position at the pool edge is identifiable (relative to background tree, wall etc.)
The position of the pool /tree etc. relative to North, South, East and West is identifiable (google maps).
The vertical (height) angle of the sun is identifiable.   Sun & Moon Today Sunrise & Sunset Moonrise & Moonset Moon Phases
The horizontal angle (angel of attack) of the sun on the family faces is identifiable because of their facial position relative to the camera man (woman).
This is secondarily confirmed by the position of the family faces, relative to the background tree, wall etc.

The members of this forum who have persisted, in spite of serious pressure against them, to argue that the sun angle / shadow on Gerry McC is not consistent with the laws of physics, will be re-assured by the scientific information now available to analyse the photo and remove the guess work.

I would trust that, in the face of this analytical information, the pressure to oblige us to disbelieve our own eyes and powers of assessment, in favour of some expert's view, will no longer be maintained.

It is possible that all three family members bear the same or similar traits of shadow impact, and this may be the premise upon which the 'expert analyst' based his assessment.

The evidence however, in the full background setting which is now corroborated by the criteria of the laws of physics, shows that the persons in the last pool photo, do not belong in the positions in which they find themselves.

Photo-shopping can now be suspected in its fullest sense.

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Re: Analyzing position of sun in last photo

Post by BlueBag on 10.11.14 12:33

bobbin wrote:The members of this forum who have persisted, in spite of serious pressure against them, to argue that the sun angle / shadow on Gerry McC is not consistent with the laws of physics, will be re-assured by the scientific information now available to analyse the photo and remove the guess work.
Hey bobbin,

Can you show us how you factored in the camera settings into your calculations.

You know, focal length, parallax... that kind of thing.

I know you wouldn't be engaging in any pseudo-science and will have definitely done this.

Yes?

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Analyzing position of sun in last photo

Post by bobbin on 10.11.14 12:53

BlueBag wrote:
bobbin wrote:The members of this forum who have persisted, in spite of serious pressure against them, to argue that the sun angle / shadow on Gerry McC is not consistent with the laws of physics, will be re-assured by the scientific information now available to analyse the photo and remove the guess work.
Hey bobbin,

Can you show us how you factored in the camera settings into your calculations.

You know, focal length, parallax... that kind of thing.

I know you wouldn't be engaging in any pseudo-science and will have definitely done this.

Yes?

Thanks in advance.

You are right BlueBag, some people here might think that they can pull the wool over posters' eyes and seek to indulge in 'pseudo-science' but I don't.

What would the above questions have to do with the law of physics of sun angles ?
How did the builders of the Pyramids and Stone Henge manage before the invention of cameras ?

I was fully expecting some sort of response from you because I was sure you wouldn't let this sleeping dog sleep lie, as it were, but please don't try to over-wash it all with silly deflective arguments about focal lengths etc.

Such pseudo-scientific questions have got no thing to do with the detectable sun angles, and any form of parallax etc. would be evident, to those with two brain cells to rub together and acute visual ability.

Most of us have lived through the hippy era when all sorts of lines were not only curved but very brightly coloured.

This photo unfortunately, for those seeking evidence of parallax etc., is a bog standard family photo, which under the known 'Physical laws of analysis' show it to have inconsistencies that perhaps you would do better to address, rather than try to disprove, by introducing what I would loosely term as 'disruptive' tendencies.

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Re: Analyzing position of sun in last photo

Post by Tony Bennett on 10.11.14 12:53

bobbin wrote:http://suncalc.net/#/37.0881,-8.7314,20/2007.05.03/14:26

Thank you biggles.

...the sun is coming almost exactly face on to Maddie and Gerry...

...the shading on Gerry's nose/chin face and T shirt are NOT possible since the sun would be shining directly at him.

Nor do I think Madeleine's hat and nose could be so shaded with a 'full on face' sun.
@ bobbin

You make the claim, thrice-repeated here, that Gerry, Amelie and Madeleine are all facing more or less due South:

* sun face on to Maddie @ Gerry

* sun would be shining directly at him 

* 'full on face' sun.

The sun would be due South ar around 1.30pm to 1.35pm that time of year.

Could you or anyone else viewing this thread help us please by showing us an aerial view of the pool showing roughly where North, East, South and West are, in relation to were the group was sitting.

It will help us interpret bobbin's post, which I don't accept as the final truth on this matter

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Re: Analyzing position of sun in last photo

Post by bobbin on 10.11.14 13:00

Tony Bennett wrote:
bobbin wrote:http://suncalc.net/#/37.0881,-8.7314,20/2007.05.03/14:26

Thank you biggles.

...the sun is coming almost exactly face on to Maddie and Gerry...

...the shading on Gerry's nose/chin face and T shirt are NOT possible since the sun would be shining directly at him.

Nor do I think Madeleine's hat and nose could be so shaded with a 'full on face' sun.
@ bobbin

You make the claim, thrice-repeated here, that Gerry, Amelie and Madeleine are all facing more or less due South:

* sun face on to Maddie @ Gerry

* sun would be shining directly at him 

* 'full on face' sun.

The sun would be due South ar around 1.30pm to 1.35pm that time of year.

Could you or anyone else viewing this thread help us please by showing us an aerial view of the pool showing roughly where North, East, South and West are, in relation to were the group was sitting.

It will help us interpret bobbin's post, which I don't accept as the final truth on this matter
Tony, look at the information already supplied to you.

http://suncalc.net/#/37.0881,-8.7314,20/2007.05.03/14:30

The calculator from Biggles has been set to show the times and sun angles for Praia da Luz, 3rd May 2007

Press the 'satellite' image top right of the page and you will have the full orientated picture.

Given that Madeleine was apparently sitting with her back to the tree, at the pool edge, by the sun shade, and given that she was looking over her left shoulder, acutely, to the camera, you will see that this gives a southerly direction.

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Re: Analyzing position of sun in last photo

Post by BlueBag on 10.11.14 13:03

bobbin wrote:What would the above questions have to do with the law of physics of sun angles ?
If you have to ask that then you don't understand what you are talking about.

Who would have thought?

You do understand parallax don't you?

You do know how shadows don't line up in photos because of parallax don't you?

You do know that the direction of a shadow (of oh say... a tree, or a sun lounger in a background for instance) is affected by the lens setting?

Now I know you're of a scientific mind and you of course know that.

So please show us how you factored that into you calculations of what is facing where.

Thanks.
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Re: Analyzing position of sun in last photo

Post by bobbin on 10.11.14 13:16

BlueBag wrote:
bobbin wrote:What would the above questions have to do with the law of physics of sun angles ?
If you have to ask that then you don't understand what you are talking about.

Who would have thought?

You do understand parallax don't you?

You do know how shadows don't line up in photos because of parallax don't you?

You do know that the direction of a shadow (of oh say... a tree, or a sun lounger in a background for instance) is affected by the lens setting?

Now I know you're of a scientific mind and you of course know that.

So please show us how you factored that into you calculations of what is facing where.

Thanks.
I suggest you look at my former reply and try to understand it and then go and look at the information supplied to Tony in the post above.

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Re: Analyzing position of sun in last photo

Post by BlueBag on 10.11.14 13:18

bobbin wrote:
BlueBag wrote:
bobbin wrote:What would the above questions have to do with the law of physics of sun angles ?
If you have to ask that then you don't understand what you are talking about.

Who would have thought?

You do understand parallax don't you?

You do know how shadows don't line up in photos because of parallax don't you?

You do know that the direction of a shadow (of oh say... a tree, or a sun lounger in a background for instance) is affected by the lens setting?

Now I know you're of a scientific mind and you of course know that.

So please show us how you factored that into you calculations of what is facing where.

Thanks.
I suggest you look at my former reply and try to understand it and then go and look at the information supplied to Tony in the post above.

I did.

You said the shadows behind them were correct.

How did you work that out taking into account the camera settings?
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Re: Analyzing position of sun in last photo

Post by bobbin on 10.11.14 13:22

BlueBag wrote:
bobbin wrote:
BlueBag wrote:
bobbin wrote:What would the above questions have to do with the law of physics of sun angles ?
If you have to ask that then you don't understand what you are talking about.

Who would have thought?

You do understand parallax don't you?

You do know how shadows don't line up in photos because of parallax don't you?

You do know that the direction of a shadow (of oh say... a tree, or a sun lounger in a background for instance) is affected by the lens setting?

Now I know you're of a scientific mind and you of course know that.

So please show us how you factored that into you calculations of what is facing where.

Thanks.
I suggest you look at my former reply and try to understand it and then go and look at the information supplied to Tony in the post above.

I did.

You said the shadows behind them were correct.

How did you work that out taking into account the camera settings?
My reply to you is the same as in my post above.

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Re: Analyzing position of sun in last photo

Post by Miraflores on 10.11.14 13:26

Could someone use this to analyse the playground photo, where Gerry's shadow is pointing to the top right corner, but another shadow (person taking the photo?) points towards the top left?
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Re: Analyzing position of sun in last photo

Post by Guest on 10.11.14 13:31

@ BB.        I have no knowledge of the intricacies of cameras, I admit I'm a focus and press the button person.   However I do try to follow and understand points raised on here regarding such.

I thought the site biggles linked to was fascinating and helped considerably understanding sun position on May 3rd.

However I am quite ignorant of parallax and how it affects shadows, and neither can I grasp how the lens setting can affect the direction of shadows.

Could you please explain in very simple layman's terms how this can happen?
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Re: Analyzing position of sun in last photo

Post by BlueBag on 10.11.14 13:33

daffodil wrote:@ BB.        I have no knowledge of the intricacies of cameras, I admit I'm a focus and press the button person.   However I do try to follow and understand points raised on here regarding such.

I thought the site biggles linked to was fascinating and helped considerably understanding sun position on May 3rd.

However I am quite ignorant of parallax and how it affects shadows, and neither can I grasp how the lens setting can affect the direction of shadows.

Could you please explain in very simple layman's terms how this can happen?
These shadows are in fact parallel and pointing in the same direction.
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Re: Analyzing position of sun in last photo

Post by BlueBag on 10.11.14 13:38

bobbin wrote:
BlueBag wrote:
bobbin wrote:
BlueBag wrote:
bobbin wrote:What would the above questions have to do with the law of physics of sun angles ?
If you have to ask that then you don't understand what you are talking about.

Who would have thought?

You do understand parallax don't you?

You do know how shadows don't line up in photos because of parallax don't you?

You do know that the direction of a shadow (of oh say... a tree, or a sun lounger in a background for instance) is affected by the lens setting?

Now I know you're of a scientific mind and you of course know that.

So please show us how you factored that into you calculations of what is facing where.

Thanks.
I suggest you look at my former reply and try to understand it and then go and look at the information supplied to Tony in the post above.

I did.

You said the shadows behind them were correct.

How did you work that out taking into account the camera settings?
My reply to you is the same as in my post above.
Your non-answer.


Ok.. you need help.

Now that pretty much looks like the direction Gerry is facing.

Gerry is in the middle position between the sun umbrella and the tree.

All shadow directions in the background will be affected by the camera settings (which I'm sure you knew).
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Re: Analyzing position of sun in last photo

Post by Tony Bennett on 10.11.14 13:53

bobbin wrote:
Tony, look at the information already supplied to you.

http://suncalc.net/#/37.0881,-8.7314,20/2007.05.03/14:30

The calculator from Biggles has been set to show the times and sun angles for Praia da Luz, 3rd May 2007

Press the 'satellite' image top right of the page and you will have the full orientated picture.

Given that Madeleine was apparently sitting with her back to the tree, at the pool edge, by the sun shade, and given that she was looking over her left shoulder, acutely, to the camera, you will see that this gives a southerly direction.
OK, thanks for the info, BUT that doesn't help me to know anywhere near precisely enough in which direction the three (if the picture is genuine) were facing when the pic was taken.

Let me make my reason for asking plain.

You said, three times, in different ways, that they were FACING THE SUN.

However, in other posts, either by you or by others, I have seen references to the sun being BEHIND the three of them.

It's thus vital to know exacly what point of the compass they were facing.

What would really assist me (and all of us) is an AERIAL shot of the Ocean Club, including the pool - together with an indication somewhere of where N, E, S and W are.

This will aid all of us in interpreting this photograph

TIA

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Re: Analyzing position of sun in last photo

Post by Guest on 10.11.14 13:55

@ BB.    May I say pictures of an already controversial photo and shadows doesn't really explain things.!!

How can a lens setting affect the direction of shadows??   You must bear with my complete ignorance, but I would like to understand.  Ty.



-------------_

Snip -
However I am quite ignorant of parallax and how it affects shadows, and neither can I grasp how the lens setting can affect the direction of shadows.

Could you please explain in very simple layman's terms how this can happen?[/quote]
These shadows are in fact parallel and pointing in the same direction.[/quote]
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Re: Analyzing position of sun in last photo

Post by Snifferdog on 10.11.14 13:58

Here is a link on error of parallax re. Photos/shadows.

http://userpages.umbc.edu/~tbenja1/umbc7/santabar/vol1/lec9/9height.html

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Re: Analyzing position of sun in last photo

Post by BlueBag on 10.11.14 14:02

daffodil wrote:@ BB.    May I say pictures of an already controversial photo and shadows doesn't really explain things.!!
They are not controverial.

Parallax is a reality perfectly demonstrated in the Apollo picture.

You want an Earth one?



All the shadows in this picture are in fact parallel.

If you measure each individual one they would all be in the same direction.

That's photography for you.

So when someone is banging on about shadows behind Gerry and the kids being "Correct" without reference to parallax they are talking out their backsides.
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Re: Analyzing position of sun in last photo

Post by Snifferdog on 10.11.14 14:07

Hello BlueBag.

There are people who argue that the moon photos were faked - I have no opinion as to whether the giant leap for mankind actually took place or not - winkwink so perhaps not a good example to use here.

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Re: Analyzing position of sun in last photo

Post by BlueBag on 10.11.14 14:11

Snifferdog wrote:Hello Daffodil.

There are people who argue that the moon photos were faked - I have no opinion as to whether the giant leap for mankind actually took place or not - winkwink so perhaps not a good example to use here.
People argue they are faked because they don't understand parallax.

Same people who don't understand "the last photo" probably. 

I chose it deliberately.

There are plenty of Earth examples of parallax.
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Re: Analyzing position of sun in last photo

Post by Guest on 10.11.14 14:12

@BB. Thank you a much clearer explanation of parallax (snifferdog also). I didn't realize it was so simple

I'm sorry to keep on but how can lens settings affect the direction of shadows ?
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Re: Analyzing position of sun in last photo

Post by rustyjames on 10.11.14 14:13

I'm working so can't try and address all of bobbin's points until this evening at the earliest.

However Tony I posted my view on the positioning on the "Another look at the Last Photo" thread starting around page 24, but that was immediately derailed onto "suit photo".

I've reproduced the summary picture below of the direction I believe.

This takes into account:


  • A calculation of the distance of the photographer from Gerry detailed on that thread.  I hold my hand up that it is an approximation of the distance due to the assumptions that have to be made, but should be the right order of magnitude, and on plotting it looks to be reasonable
  • Taking into account a direct line from the photographer, "through" the pole of the shade, should line up with the corner of the paved area of the main pool
  • And taking into account a line to the right of the tree should be just to the left of one of the main pool shades
  • Note the image used is June 2007




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