Let's just take one more...
May 22, 2006 3:01 AM   Subscribe

How many group photographs do you have to take to get one in which nobody is blinking? Nic Svenson and Dr Piers Barnes work it out.
posted by d-no (9 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
For our purposes I reckon it's fair to say that blinks are independent. If a group of people are looking at a camera, one person's blinks won't influence another's and, unless you've got something caught in your eye, your blinks don't influence each other either.

That seems a bit shaky to me. Blinks aren't completely involuntary: you can have staring contests after all. If you have to sit for a second photo because someone just blinked, it seems to me that some people might make an extra effort not to blink the second time around.
posted by juv3nal at 3:51 AM on May 22, 2006

What? No 'blink' tag?
posted by slimepuppy at 4:31 AM on May 22, 2006

Pshaw. Physicists. An engineer would just use Photoshop to "fix up" whatever they get.
posted by kcds at 4:37 AM on May 22, 2006

Since images can now be doctored, does not matter what percentage of probablity.
posted by Netspider at 7:49 AM on May 22, 2006

If you use a flash, all bets are off.
posted by Foosnark at 9:08 AM on May 22, 2006

This is why you ask everyone to blink just before you take the photo.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:06 AM on May 22, 2006

This is the problem that Microsoft Groupshot (free) is designed to solve; it's pretty good but it helps if you use a tripod or don't move much between shots.
posted by blag at 5:20 PM on May 22, 2006

weapons-grade pandemonium : "This is why you ask everyone to blink just before you take the photo."

Cool. It's so simple, but I never thought of that.
posted by Bugbread at 3:39 AM on May 23, 2006

I always asked people to close their eyes and then wait until I said, "Open!" at which time I took the photo. It works better for larger groups where you don't want to take a huge number of shots to hedge your bets.
posted by JJ86 at 10:02 AM on May 23, 2006

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