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Perfect timing
December 31, 2012 12:07 PM   Subscribe

People taking photos :
9:03AM 9/11.
The 2004 Tsunami.
This was taken a second before a lightning strike the hikers. The kid on the left died.
6 bolts hitting the water at the same time.
Diet Coke & Mentos (click on pix to see the second candy).
Bored.
Gray squirrel leaping between two trees. 8 lives left.
Throw ups: A baby, a seaman, a group photo.
Fencing.
…I took a picture w/ no flash at the same time someone took a picture w/ flash

Bubbles and a dog.
Flying dolphin.
The clock on my microwave changed at the same time I took this picture”.
Airplanes: with The Buddha, Doing flips, landing in Hong Kong.
Lava Kiss.
The woman on a train platform.
A bird blocks speed camera.
Two laughing horses Times two.
Two soccer player, a boy & a girl.
Basketball: with Rick Snyder and mid-dribble.
Balls: Catching, kicking and one to the face.
Mom & dog, dad & seagull.
Splash down.
The EagleDeer.
Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom.
Sparring a fish.

(Buzzfeed can now have enough material for two new posts. From)
posted by growabrain (44 comments total) 121 users marked this as a favorite

 
Some fantastic pics there.
posted by zeoslap at 12:14 PM on December 31, 2012


A bird once beat me in a bike race (I'm the guy on the left)
posted by mathowie at 12:15 PM on December 31, 2012 [26 favorites]


Oh, wow. Thank you for these.

My heart skipped a beat at this one. Heartwrenching.
posted by ChrisR at 12:15 PM on December 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


It seems kind of fucked up to mix wacky animal hijinx with photos of people moments before they die.
posted by theodolite at 12:16 PM on December 31, 2012 [66 favorites]


I like how the flying dolphin is running from a flying orca.
posted by bswinburn at 12:16 PM on December 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Background about the hikers that were hit by lightning
posted by growabrain at 12:24 PM on December 31, 2012 [8 favorites]


6 bolts hitting the water at the same time

That one's a long exposure.
posted by foobaz at 12:25 PM on December 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm just wondering why the photographer of "group photo" would have had such an insanely high shutter speed in that situation, but what do I know?
posted by Navelgazer at 12:35 PM on December 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I saw this post and thought, "The most amazing photo I've seen in 2012 was that one of the couple kissing in front of the lava flow in the rain. I wonder if that photo will be included in the post." Glad to see you're a step ahead of me! :)

I love the Atlantic's InFocus photography section. The world can be so beautiful. I never thought that finding amazing photography on the web could be a talent itself, but I swear, Alan Taylor raises it to an art form.
posted by The Girl Who Ate Boston at 12:39 PM on December 31, 2012 [8 favorites]


8 lightning bolts strike SF Bay Bridge at once (Daily Mail; Flickr original)
posted by filthy light thief at 12:43 PM on December 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm just wondering why the photographer of "group photo" would have had such an insanely high shutter speed in that situation, but what do I know?

The action is frozen by the speed of the flash, not the shutter speed of the camera.
posted by The Deej at 12:43 PM on December 31, 2012 [12 favorites]


> A bird once beat me in a bike race (I'm the guy on the left)

I'm pretty sure that bird was cheating.
posted by .kobayashi. at 12:48 PM on December 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


8 lightning bolts strike SF Bay Bridge at once

Notice the streaking of the lights of the vehicles crossing the bridge? Not "at once" I suspect.
posted by Bovine Love at 12:50 PM on December 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Tonight, I got lightning in 3 seperate 20 second exposures. This is a single exposure. " reads the description on that Bay Bridge shot. I parse that as a "single 20 second exposure" which indicates (as pointed out above) that it's not really striking "at once" but rather in quick succession.
posted by crush-onastick at 12:55 PM on December 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Some fun photos. But the no-flash/flash photo is suspect. A camera flash can't light up an auditorium (and if it could, the shadows are facing the wrong way).

It reminds me of the time my sister tried to take a flash photo of San Francisco at night from across the bay (many miles away).
posted by eye of newt at 1:01 PM on December 31, 2012


The picture of the people who ended up getting hit by lightning reminds me of a day back in high school. I did track & field and we were standing around waiting to do javelin when I looked at one of my teammates and noticed her hair standing on end just about the same time as she noticed my hair standing on end. We both looked at the javelins we were carrying, dropped them on the ground and started running inside while warning everyone else.

Nothing bad happened, but I still remember that moment of realization, mirrored in my teammate's eyes, that we should get the heck out of there.
posted by sciencegeek at 1:02 PM on December 31, 2012 [22 favorites]


When I was in an elementary school soccer team (the woefully unfortunately named Rainbows.. sigh..) and in the middle of a game kids hair started sticking up like that seemingly for no reason a few parents were smart enough to get the kids the hell off the field. Moments later the lightning struck the second closest conductor nearby and blew a transformer across the street.
posted by mediocre at 1:04 PM on December 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


The action is frozen by the speed of the flash, not the shutter speed of the camera.

Yay! I learned something new! Thanks!
posted by Navelgazer at 1:06 PM on December 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


9:03AM 9/11

Fuck. I remember watching that live on television. Just watching the confused helicopter feed about the first tower, and then watching that second plane streak in. Unreal. It was around 10PM in Japan. I had just got out of a nice bath, and was drinking a beer, watching the news. Horrible stuff. I phoned my parents and woke them on the West Coast. As I was talking with my father on the phone the bastards rammed a plane into the Pentagon. I wish to hell we could have that decade back.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:13 PM on December 31, 2012 [16 favorites]


Eye of newt, here is an explanation of the flash effect
posted by growabrain at 1:15 PM on December 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


Eye of newt, here is an explanation of the flash effect--growabrain

Wow. Some auditoriums have ceiling flash strobe lights for press photographers. You learn something every day.
posted by eye of newt at 1:22 PM on December 31, 2012


This one with the dude doing the face-plant in the background has me a little perplexed.
posted by Auden at 1:25 PM on December 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


My heart skipped a beat at this one. Heartwrenching.

I hiked a handful of 14ers earlier this year with some friends. At the top of one, we probably could have taken a similar picture. The wooden pole marking the summit started crackling like a Van de Graaff generator, followed by all of the rocks, and there were sparks running in the gap between my hood and my face.

I don't know how nobody got struck, but I am entirely confident that I have never done anything with the speed and efficiency with which I got the fuck down off that mountain.
posted by brennen at 1:39 PM on December 31, 2012 [16 favorites]


The decisive moment Mr. Cartier-Bresson might say.
posted by JJ86 at 1:41 PM on December 31, 2012 [9 favorites]


I liked the alien horse.
posted by arcticseal at 1:59 PM on December 31, 2012


…I took a picture w/ no flash at the same time someone took a picture w/ flash…

I spent way too much time at a MeFi meetup trying to do this, and finally succeeded.
posted by LeLiLo at 2:01 PM on December 31, 2012


Well, once upon a time this past year I was walking down the sidewalk on the way to school with my daughter, and we saw this water stain: (nsfw, and funniest thing in the world if you're eight - and perfect timing for showing and telling all your friends in the schooyard)
posted by peagood at 2:34 PM on December 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


8 lives left.

Is it me or is that gonna be one really big cat given its size relative to the fire escape and photographer?
posted by Atreides at 2:38 PM on December 31, 2012


I shot hundreds of those mid-dribble images when I worked at the newspaper years ago. I never thought that anyone would find them interesting.

Also, great post.
posted by photoslob at 3:33 PM on December 31, 2012


Wonderful post, as ever, thanks growabrain. And Happy New Year!
posted by nickyskye at 3:42 PM on December 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Great post. Great pics.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 5:44 PM on December 31, 2012


Fabulous post!
posted by OmieWise at 6:11 PM on December 31, 2012


The book "The Instant It Happened" has a lot of these along with the story behind them. Here is the assassination of the mayor of New York The photojournalist got it only because he had as his primary assignment taking a picture of a horse laughing and showed up after the formal farewell at the dock.
Here is a campaign photo of Wendell Willkie.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:12 PM on December 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


funny - i have a photographer friend who pointed out the stadium flash thing to me. in the context of a college basketball arena, he explained that people put their remote flashes up in the rafters and leave their business card next to them for identification. sure enough you can see the official photographers down on the floor with radio transmitters on their flash hotshoes and when they push the shutter button the whole place flashes momentarily. it's hard to believe that such 'small' lights so far away can really light up the whole stadium enough that it makes a difference to their picture, but it must or they would not do it.

of course when i try to tell my other, non-photographer friends about this they don't believe me...
posted by joeblough at 7:16 PM on December 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


…I took a picture w/ no flash at the same time someone took a picture w/ flash…

Some years ago in a bar I took a picture down a table of friends at the same instant that someone at the far end took a picture from his end. Each photo shows the flash of the other camera, and the same people from the opposite angle. It could not have worked better if we had planned it.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:43 PM on December 31, 2012


…I took a picture w/ no flash at the same time someone took a picture w/ flash…

Some years ago in a bar I took a picture down a table of friends at the same instant that someone at the far end took a picture from his end. Each photo shows the flash of the other camera, and the same people from the opposite angle. It could not have worked better if we had planned it.


I *love* stuff like that

Took a similarly coincidental picture of my Aunt Carol at Thanksgiving one year and you can see it here if you wish.
posted by Bindyree at 9:08 PM on December 31, 2012


Oh, and let's not forget the riot kiss.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 4:19 AM on January 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


For those upset about the lightning photo, the Web has all sorts of contradictory information, some saying the boy on the left was killed outright and some saying he eventually died of his injuries, almost none actually referencing anything but each other. This 2007 book has him surviving the strike, with a nearby hiker getting killed; another has his sister getting killed. It was actually the subject of a 2004 AskMe, which came up with no answers.

In the absence of any additional evidence, I'm going to say that the jury is out on whether or not this is a photo of a young man moments before his death. In fact, while I think it is possible that it is indeed a photo taken just before a lightning strike, I know how easy it is for urban legends to spring up around photos, and for whatever is actually going on in the image to be misidentified. So I'm going to say it's a pretty starling photo, and raises a lot of questions, but I don't think they have been credibly answered.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 5:56 AM on January 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


I did track & field and we were standing around waiting to do javelin when I looked at one of my teammates and noticed her hair standing on end just about the same time as she noticed my hair standing on end.

sciencegeek, I'm sincerely glad that you didn't get hit, but damn that would have been an awesome shot.

And, dances_with_sneetches, a clarification about that shot of the NYC mayor getting shot: he lived for three years afterwards. (It was William Jay Gaynor, BTW.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:14 AM on January 1, 2013


The eagledeer has surpassed the liger to become my favorite animal. So majestic, so serene.
posted by sonika at 11:14 AM on January 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Here's my go at the decisive moment
posted by Saddo at 11:25 AM on January 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


A really weird thing happened after reading this post. I had never heard/seen the concept of a pic taken with no flash and flash at the almost exact time. So I saw the basketball pic, thought it was interesting, read the explanation that growabrain posted and thought nothing more of it. I'd have never thought to get my own pic of the type since I thought it must be almost impossible. Then last night while out shooting fireworks at the beach with my family, this happened. The funny thing is, I think there was no flash per se, just a sudden burst of extra light from the sparkler. Still, same effect.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 7:24 PM on January 1, 2013


.kobayashi.: "> A bird once beat me in a bike race (I'm the guy on the left)

I'm pretty sure that bird was cheating.
"

Did the bird get tested for performance enhancing drugs?
posted by Samizdata at 12:38 AM on January 2, 2013


Timing took on new meaning once I started photographing my daughther's soccer games. This one is pretty good.
posted by mikepop at 7:03 AM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


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