Monday, August 6, 2012

What's wrong with this photo?

Watching the W400m final last night, they showed the FinishLynx photo during Richards-Ross's interview and I noticed something very strange (not the missing 'ss' on Sanya's time).  Is anyone else out there also a big enough dork to know what I'm talking about?  There are enough enginerds and scientists who read this blog that someone should pick up on it.

Hint: It has to do with how the FinishLynx images are created and the culprit can be seen in the picture below.  Leave a comment if you think you got it.


JAR said...

I'm not sure if this is what you are getting at, but the technology often makes runners' feet, hands, arms, legs either look extended or disappear. This has to do with the fact that the arms and legs go through the finish line at a different rate of speed than the torso as a whole. The technology takes pictures at a much faster rate than a regular television camera, and is set up to accurately record someone going at the speed of a 100M runner but not the speed of their arms or legs.

c-rad said...

The FinishLynx photos from this Olympics are presented with a seemingly white track surface, despite the track actually being red. Hence, there is no distinguishable finish line (white on white) in the above image. This normally doesn't matter because the FinishLynx cameras are so small that they only capture - and essentially create - the digital finish line, as shown by their precise positioning in the bottom image. However, the image shown above has a perspective that does not appear to be perpendicular to the race field, but rather slightly above and behind the runners.

I have no idea if this is what you intended, but its my guess.

///MM said...

You're correct in that distortion is caused by the velocity that objects cross the line, but that's not the strange part of this photo. Particular cameras are not set up for races of different speeds (they all expose at ~2kHz). Cyclists and Nascars appear smooshed (technical term) because they move faster, as do hands and feet relative to the runners' bodies.

The lines not being perpendicular is a result of my crappy camera phoning skillz, not the Lynx.
The white background (vs. red) is due to the fact that the camera actually only takes a skinny picture of the finish line, over and over and over. If the finish line were purple, the photo would look purple.

There's another hint or two embedded in this comment. I'll post my answer later this afternoon.

Andy said...

I have absolutely no idea Zero.

Andy said...

But goddamn I'm eager for the answer.

MECU said...

It's the Omega logo in the background. It shouldn't be readable like text like that. Just red/white color.

It may have been added in afterwards. If a sponsor paid enough, you could put in a green screen and then have another software (or maybe FinishLynx does this?) add in a logo.