rubber lens effect

by Stormfish May. 05, 2012 4003 views

reality may be a straight thing, something that's following laws and rules and whatever quantum mechanics, but human perception is not.

what i caught above is an effect that only happens when shooting with my mobile phone camera from a fast moving car. these sign posts and bridge pillars are actually straight standing with 90 deg, but the camera is too slow to capture this even in perfect sunlight (i. e. small shutter, short exposure times). the result is a skewed structure in the foreground, while the less moving background is perfectly fine.

i have not found out why the mobile cam does this. my DSLR and compact cam don't do this, and i assume it's because both have bigger lens. if someone out there with more optical skills can explain this to me, i'd be glad.

until then, i'd just say: reality may be a straight thing, but my human perception of it isn't. no wonder, we've lost the ability to fly to the moon.

driving at about 60 miles per hour

the view forward on the bridge… as you can see, it has straight pillars. ok, the the struts are tilted ;-)

richmond-san rafael bridge, CA []

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Edyta 7 years, 8 months ago

however it is produced... I like the resulting distortion

7 years, 8 months ago Edited
Jacki 7 years, 8 months ago

Sometimes you "fish" just think too much!! So here's another part of the question ... when I shoot with a real camera from the moving car the background is FAR less likely to be in focus than with my mobile phone and far more likely to show horizontal blur throughout the picture... even when I adjust to a very fast shutter speed.

7 years, 8 months ago Edited
David Swatton 7 years, 8 months ago

Well, "it's all relative".... as Einstein would have said....

7 years, 8 months ago Edited
Stormfish 7 years, 8 months ago

[url=]a link to the above mentioned race car picture by jacques henri lartigue[/url]. thanks, lyency, for this explanation. it would make sense... i've tried to examine the shutter on my mobile cam, but either the lens open is soo small or the shutter set so deep inside that i can't see if it closes radial or from top to bottom.

what's strange about the race car shot is that the tilting of the background is to the left, while the tilting of the car (best seen it it's tire) is to the RIGHT - now what's going on there?

glad to have you solve this little riddle... you rescue reality for me! :-)

7 years, 8 months ago Edited
-- Lyency 7 years, 8 months ago

behind the race car the top of the posts are leaning to left (just like your bridge pillars) due to the panning that follows the car.

7 years, 8 months ago Edited
-- Lyency 7 years, 8 months ago

the classical photograph of a race car taken in 1912 and showing a similar effect is due to jacques henri lartigue.
as the slit of a focal plane shutter moves from top to bottom different moments in time are projected on different parts of the film, and the print shows a car with oval wheels leaning right as the eyes follow it bottom up. perhaps a similar delay of recording the information happens in case of digital capturing?

7 years, 8 months ago Edited
Larry Sample 7 years, 8 months ago

What tilt? Looks fine to me.

7 years, 8 months ago Edited