Camera angle misleads thousands in newspaper headline

Written by RedShark News Staff

Daily Mail (amonst others)787

Simple camera tricks can mislead viewers with ease. Even without CGI or special effects, there's the potential to decieve with any camera, and any scene. Here's a case in point...

"The camera doesn't lie" is one of the most misleading cliches in common use. It's never been more inaccurate than now, the era of Photoshop and CGI. The reality is, well, there is no reality.

But even when you go back to basics - with no computer trickery at all, it doesn't take much to mislead vast numbers of people.

Take this video, for example. We came across it like thousands of others, via a rather sensational looking headline: "New Boeing 787 Dreamliner performs near vertical take-off".

Now, I know a little bit about aircraft; enough to know that fixed wing planes don't take off vertically. Not unless they have swivelling engines, and I'm not aware of any airliners that have those.

But the video is pretty convincing. That plane takes off at a crazy angle.

Except that it doesn't.

What actually must have happened is that the video was shot from another aircraft some way away, though a long lens. The lens was at exactly the same angle as the take-off angle of the Dreamliner. So as soon as the 787 lifted off, it was head-on to the camera. And that's why it looks vertical. The actual angle, according to pilots who have commented on this, is more likely to be around 20 degrees. Not exactly vertical.

But you can see how easily people have been misled. National newspapers have reported this take off as being "near vertical" and so that's what a huge number of people think.

This is a pretty obvious example if you know a little about lenses. But I wonder how many times we're led astray and it's not so obvious?

(The "vertical" take off is at about ten seconds into the video).


Tags: Business


Related Articles

15 July, 2020

Why working for free is a bad idea

RedShark Replay: Been asked to provide your services for free lately? Andrew Johnstone on the insidious nature of The Culture of Free.

Don't work for...

Read Story

8 July, 2020

France had a national HD TV system as far back as 1949

RedShark Replay: France has always liked to go its own way on technology, but not many remember its pioneering efforts with 819-line monochrome...

Read Story

5 June, 2020

Bloomberg TV+ and Haivision: Streaming goes 4K and interstellar

The power of live video over the internet got a couple more jolts in the arm this week when financial services giant Bloomberg upgraded its streaming...

Read Story