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I guess they weren't so big after all
July 9, 2014 8:21 PM   Subscribe

Tilt/Shift filter applied to Hubble photos.
posted by Chocolate Pickle (28 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

posted by 99_ at 8:22 PM on July 9

Freudian slip?
posted by spock at 8:22 PM on July 9

Objects in Hubble Telescope are larger than they appear.
posted by spock at 8:23 PM on July 9 [2 favorites]

What sort of filter? Is that available at my local camera store?
posted by bstreep at 8:23 PM on July 9

Oh, the humanity!
posted by R. Mutt at 8:25 PM on July 9

I think it works best on the first and seventh ones (the Horsehead Nebula and the Sombrero Galaxy, I think but probably am wrong).
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:28 PM on July 9 [3 favorites]

[fixed the typo, carry on]
posted by mathowie at 8:29 PM on July 9

I agree, Chocolate Pickle. Especially the Sombrero Galaxy. Nine isn't bad either.
posted by tavella at 8:30 PM on July 9

Aw, they're adorable little galaxies, yes they are!
posted by emjaybee at 8:34 PM on July 9 [8 favorites]

Yeah, the first one works so well that it's kind of freaky! ("Waitaminute, am I actually a mighty deity drifting through the cosmos and daydreaming about being an intelligent ape clicking around on a computer...? No? Oh, ok.")
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 9:12 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]

For me, the fifth one works best because it seems to put the galaxy in the far background.
posted by wobh at 9:58 PM on July 9

Number 6 is also successful at this, but it looks worse at the top and bottom
posted by wobh at 10:00 PM on July 9

Like others, I find the Horsehead and Sombrero ones work the best. Though did they do other processing to the Sombrero picture? Normally it has a large fuzzy elliptical core, and isn't surrounded by that many stars.

Most of the others just looked weirdly blurry.
posted by zompist at 10:28 PM on July 9

I think I was wrong, and that isn't the Sombrero galaxy.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:30 PM on July 9

No, it is. Compare it to this image-- details of the dust lane match up perfectly.
posted by zompist at 10:36 PM on July 9

I just went 'D'awww!" at the awesome magnificence of the cosmos. My life is squeeplete.
posted by The otter lady at 1:35 AM on July 10 [1 favorite]

Details of the dust lane match up perfectly

It's a small whirl after all
posted by hal9k at 1:36 AM on July 10 [1 favorite]

I honestly don't understand what I'm supposed to be seeing ... these look small, somehow, to some people? Why? Can someone explain?
posted by kyrademon at 4:45 AM on July 10 [1 favorite]

Mostly these don't work that well, if you ask me, because a nebula doesn't look that much different when out of focus.

kyrademon, tilt-shift is a photographic manipulation that simulates the shallow focus we're used to seeing in pictures of very small things. When it's done correctly, the effect is uncanny.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:04 AM on July 10 [3 favorites]

kyrademon: For most people, the type of selective blurring shown in these photos gives the impression of looking at a very small object. This is because, without optical trickery, when you focus on a distant object, other objects much closer and farther are also in focus; but when you focus on a close object, objects only a little closer or a little farther away are very blurred. For my own eyes, I see this effect readily if I hold a piece of paper with writing on it perpendicular to my face with the near side just under my eye.

A type of camera lens which can exaggerate this selective blurring is called a tilt-shift lens, and it has adjustments that can make surprising changes to how much of a photo is in sharp focus.

In this case, the effect is accomplished by using a software filter on a picture. The filter blurs not at all along a central line in the photograph, and progressively more strongly the further away from that central line.

For me, the illusion presented in these photos is convincing, though familiarity with the effect could play a role.
posted by jepler at 5:08 AM on July 10 [1 favorite]

Oh, I hate tilt/shift filters. Its using photoshop to (badly) recreate an optical lense trick designed to (badly) trick the eye into thinking you’re looking at something smaller than you really are.

If they were genuinely tiny models, focus would be based on distance from the viewer, not vertical distance from the centre of the shot, so the top of the nebula would be in focus, and the background behind it would be way out.

4 year old self link
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 5:15 AM on July 10 [1 favorite]

I'm pretty sure they overlaid Sombrero on top of an open cluster.

Overall this is a goofy idea, but when it works it gives a great reminder that none of these objects are flat, even though they always look that way in images. The tilt/shift definitely adds a wrong non-flatness to them, but as long as one doesn't try to interpret that as meaningful then I think it's actually a pretty productive exercise.
posted by kiltedtaco at 6:25 AM on July 10 [2 favorites]

stars in my pockets, like grains of sand
posted by ergomatic at 7:50 AM on July 10 [1 favorite]

Tilt-shift or not, I don't care.

These photos are beautiful. What an amazing universe there is out there, and how sad it is none of us will live long enough to see any of it.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:18 AM on July 10

Catsup applied to fine French dining.
Loudness boosting applied to delicate chamber music.
Comic Sans applied to letterpress typeset poetry.
posted by Nelson at 12:05 PM on July 10

What? No, it's not just a cheap trick. I think the point is how arbitrary and subjective your point of view is. Besides, those images are processed as all get-out to begin with: invisible wavelengths made visible, etc., etc.
posted by Rich Smorgasbord at 4:58 PM on July 10 sad it is none of us will live long enough to see any of it.

What are you talking about? We're seeing it now.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:22 PM on July 10

I meant in the sense of getting Out There and seeing it. I thought that was clear; sorry it wasn't.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:02 PM on July 10

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