Stan – Dr.Ciani contacted me by email and offered to evaluate the original digital copy. At that time I obtained from Phillips – Bilby an untouched copy. Below is his analysis of the Gamecam Photo, originally posted here on the 19th of April, 2010. And then below that is Dr.Ciani’s analysis of the untouched copy.
Anthony Ciani, PhD (email@example.com)
Condensed Matter Physicist
(Dr.Ciani’s thoughts on the posted photo of Gamecam Photo
of 19th of April, 2010.)
After reading this and seeing the original scan, it became clear what that person did. He tried to apply a sharpen or deconvolution filter to a heavily noisy image, which was already in focus. The result is that it creates a moire pattern, which hides detail. He then “cut” around the figure, and applied some type of level adjustment (probably a gamma filter) to attempt to brighten the subject. The end result was a low quality, distorted image, which appeared to be doctored.
[Stan – the original non-enhanced photo. For large scale image click link]
(Dr.Ciani was supplied with the above untouched original photo which he then enhanced himself. What follows is Dr.Ciani’s analysis of that original photo of which Dr.Ciani enhanced himself and is posted below in both small and full scale.)
My analysis of the photo:
The digital image purports to be a scan from a developed photographic film, used in a game camera. The type of film is unidentified. The image contains EXIF data indicating it was made by a Noritsu Koki QSS-32_33, and saved by Noritsu’s image software. EXIF data can be faked; however, there are no indications that the image has been altered in any way, post scan. The Noritsu Koki QSS-32_33 is a low volume film processor, and the image was probably made directly from the negative; although the QSS-32_33 can scan images from prints. For simplicity, the term “film” will be used to refer to the scanned original, and “image” will be used to refer to the digital data.
The game camera (model unknown) is a flash photography model. The object of interest, hence forth referred to as unidentified humanoid shape (UHS), is just within the range of the flash, and is approximately as dark as the surrounding vegetation, and similarly hued. The intensity values in the image span almost the entire range, but there is no true black present in the image, which reduces the likelihood that there has been alteration of the image. UHS is within a darker region of the picture, and being dark itself, there is a substantial amount of dithering over UHS. This is typical when scanning dark areas, as noise in the electronic sensors becomes equivalent to the signal.
UHS appears to be a real object in the film. The camera flash and lens are not coaxial, which allows the lens to see shadows caused by the flash. These shadows should be offset in the same direction which the lens is offset from the flash. In this case, the lens would be below the flash. The distance between the shadow and the casting object should decrease as the object rises above the horizon. The shadows being cast on UHS appear to be consistent with this. UHS is also clearly in front of some limbs and trees in the background, which pass behind UHS. There is no indication of UHS being anything other than a real object in the scene, and there is no indication that any part of the scene is a composite image.
[Stan – Dr.Ciani’s enhancement – For large scale image click link]
The above enhanced image has undergone several processing steps to remove noise (which adds blur), and then enhance the edges. This process was performed in the following manner. The image was copied into a new layer, and the color space was reduced to gray scale. A filter was applied to erode dark pixels. This filter increases the intensity of a pixel if it is of lower intensity than its neighbors. The effect is to remove noise over the lighter areas, identifying solid objects. The filter was applied with a 25% level (75% original gray scale, 25% filtered gray scale). A second gray scale layer was then enhanced using a difference of Guassians, to bring out edge detail, which created a light map, used to highlight continuous regions. The edge enhanced layer was then combined with the filtered layer to produce a light map which highlighted the branches and UHS. This light map was then applied to the original layer, to brighten the key objects. The result brings out the form of UHS and the trees, but removes the appearance of texture from those objects.In reality, it was the noise which destroyed the texture.
There is a caveat as well. If the noise is strong enough, this process can highlight objects which never existed. The only region with strong enough noise for this to occur is the area around or above the head of UHS. In the enhanced image, it appears UHS may have a highly domed head. This may be a result of the filter highlighting a random “pattern” in the noise, essentially, digitally enhancing pareidolia. The general form of UHS is certain. The noise is too low for pareidolia.
A scan of the film using higher exposure settings may provide additional detail for the dark regions of the film, while destroying detail in the empty area illuminated by the flash. Some of the noise may also be due to film grain, depending on the ASA speed and model of film. The limiting information seems to be pixelation, more than noise or film grain. The film should contain more information than this, and a higher resolution scan should yield significantly better detail. Even better if multiple, high resolution scans are averaged together, to remove noise.
Stan – Original untouched photo on left, Dr.Ciani’s enhancement on right.
The UHS object itself is interesting. There are three bright points on its figure. Two near the knees, and one between the left elbow and body. These might be reflective materials (e.g. mica), bare metal, or brightly colored objects. The two lower spots are very likely flecks of material. The object under the arm is different, and clearly being carried, with the left hand wrapped around it. It is also not a single bright point, and some details can be identified. The object is oval in general shape, darker than UHS, and may have color, perhaps blue or green. The bright spot is roughly in the center of the object, and is not perfectly round. The bright spot seems to have a darker spot in its middle. In this case, pixelation is the limiting factor, the noise is not substantial. Overall, the image appears to be an unaltered scan from a film processing unit. The film is likely a picture of a real scene. The limiting factors pertaining to detail in the image are the scan resolution, followed by the exposure level. It is suggested that the film be taken to a professional photographic shop, where it can be scanned using a higher end film scanner, perhaps with an optical resolution of 4000 dpi or higher. Film scanners with optical resolutions of 7200 dpi exist, and would be best. Ideally, a scanner with an adjustable exposure level or high dynamic range should be used to intensify the dark areas. Film is analogue, and so, such an optical intensification should produce a better scan.