Sunday, August 28, 2016

bpest wants to know how we can know that Mary Moorman was holding her camera level in this picture.

Well, it looks level, doesn't it? And she's standing vertical, isn't she? And the line of the top of the camera seems to be perpendicular to the line of her body.

Why would anyone even doubt it? Mary has said many times that she knew nothing about photography; she just pointed the camera and clicked. And she was a young woman at the time, and I presume her proprioception worked fine. I'm sure she was capable of holding a camera level and taking a picure- and that was all she was trying to do. There is no reason to even consider whether she was holding the camera level. If it was anything less than level, it was a mere trifle less. 

And then, he thinks that because the monument seems to be leaning in the Moorman photo that that gives him the right to tilt the picture.

Then, what about the Altgens photo? The tower in it is leaning a lot more than that:

Oh, but don't worry; I can fix it.

Who knew Altgens had his camera tilted so much? And he was the professional photographer with decades of experience. You'd think he'd know how to hold his camera straight. He certainly didn't tilt it deliberately because he said he didn't. He even demonstrated how he held his camera, and it was perfectly level. We even have a photograph of him taking his pictures on Elm Street.

To my eyes, that looks level, although granted I'm 65. 

And, the problem of unlevel camera fields must be huge. I guess from now on, every photo we look at, even our own, we're going to have to ponder if it's level and fix it if it's not. I mean, after all, if you've got two people here, both of whom professed to hold their cameras level, and one was a professional photographer of long standing, and they couldn't do it, then all kinds of others must not be doing it. 

In reality, it's easy to take a level picture, and most people do it with ease. And, it's for two reasons: one is that they're looking at the field as they're taking the picture, and they can see if it's level before they press the shutter. And the second is that, they have their proprioception working for them, which tells them what vertical and horizontal are without even looking. 

The result is that this has NOT been a universal problem for photographers, and there is no reason to think it was a problem on November 22, 1963. Both Mary Moorman and Ike Altgens said they held their cameras level. We have images of them to prove it, but I would be inclined to believe them without it. Taking a level picture is just not that hard to do. 

In the case of the Moorman photo, you really can't tell anything because it was taken by Babushka Lady, and she having shot at a sharp diagonal, the shape of her camera field was going to be markedly different from that of Mary Moorman who just faced Elm Street squarely and shot. So, Babushka's diagonal field was intrinsically larger than Mary's because Mary was squarely facing a nearby hill which her camera couldn't see over. So, in order to return to Mary a photo that kinda/sorta looked like the one she took, they had to take a "cookie cutter" to Babushka's photo- if for no other reason than to reduce the field. But, obviously, as with cookie dough, you can apply the "cookie cutter" any which way you want. So, the whole photo is untethered from reality in that respect and in other respects. It really is a monstrosity.

If only a little tilt could make it real, eh? You wish. 


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