Author Topic: Yet Another Fiducials Claim  (Read 1258 times)

Offline smartcooky

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Re: Yet Another Fiducials Claim
« Reply #15 on: April 19, 2020, 06:29:58 PM »
I do wonder about the mentality of HB's. I mean what exactly is the claim here as regards to the fiducial thing.

I presume  it "looks wrong", but what is the claim here? That NASA deliberately "photoshopped" the fiducials behind stuff in the pictures for... err reasons?

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Offline JayUtah

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Re: Yet Another Fiducials Claim
« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2020, 07:17:17 PM »
In the past, the claim was that pre-computer photographic compositing techniques were used to compose the Apollo photos from background and foreground elements.  That's only if the claimant managed to think at all beyond the "looks wrong, therefore fake" position.  If reasons are given, it's along the lines of a workflow that allowed for better compartmentalization, or an overall lower number of participants.  They can argue, for example, that the landscape backgrounds came from unmanned landers, and that they could reuse the same backgrounds for a number of photos.  And then other photographers could be employed to take photos of foreground elements in other surroundings, telling them it was for editorial purposes.  And a few photo guys working in a secret darkroom cutting the photos together would involve fewer people that whole crews operating an all-up photo shoot.

But the problem is still that it's a stupid way to fake photos, if that was the intent.  The key argument in all cases was that the fiducials were on the background plates to begin with, and therefore had to be worked around when adding foreground elements.  If you want fiducials in the image, and you want the whole image to be consistent and coherent, you put the reseau plate in the final process camera and leave the fiducials out of everything else.  It takes all of a few seconds to think of that.  The problem remains only if the backgrounds were convenience resources, obtained from a source NASA didn't control.  But there would have been countless other ways to get what they wanted, without the fiducials.

And of course the hoax claimants always cherry-pick the photos and leave out those that don't conform to their claims, such as those where the fiducial is only faded and not obliterated entirely, or where the fiducial is selectively absent only in the bright areas of some individual foreground element.  I think the funniest counterexample is one where a fiducial overlays the U.S. flag, and the fiducials are missing over the white stripes but visible over the red ones.  Did we really need to composite in only the white stripes?
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Offline NthBrick

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Re: Yet Another Fiducials Claim
« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2020, 07:28:32 PM »
I do wonder about the mentality of HB's. I mean what exactly is the claim here as regards to the fiducial thing.

I presume  it "looks wrong", but what is the claim here? That NASA deliberately "photoshopped" the fiducials behind stuff in the pictures for... err reasons?
I was going to write something, but Jay just covered the subject in spectacular detail. The whole concept effectively hinges on NASA composing a fake photo, adding the fiducials as the last step, realizing "Crap! We forgot 'x' piece of equipment!", and then sloppily editing it in over the fiducials.

...And then, of course, they don't bother to correct the photos that relatively few people have seen before releasing them onto the freaking Internet. It's not a great method of debunking a given claim, but sometimes evaluating the underlying necessary conditions of a claim can be helpful in determining how reasonable the claim is.

Offline JayUtah

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Re: Yet Another Fiducials Claim
« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2020, 07:51:02 PM »
I've phrased the need to look at underlying necessary conditions as the difference between reasoning backward and reasoning forward.  Reasoning backward is to note missing fiducials, assume a hoax occurred, and then to hypothesize what happened.  Reasoning forward is to present the problem as it would have appeared to people wanting to perpetrate a hoax, and then trying to determine how likely it is that the hypothesized process would have been the one employed.  I've always purported that any plausible process has to be evidentiary attractive in both the forward and backward directions.
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Offline smartcooky

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Re: Yet Another Fiducials Claim
« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2020, 01:46:30 AM »
OK, to what is being argued here is that the fiducials are used asa sort of compositing alignment mark, right?

If so, I have some bad news for HBs. I used to do some low level photo manipulation in the BC era (Before Computers) - alignment marks were outside the edges of the image! They would not even be visible on the final print.
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Offline apollo16uvc

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Re: Yet Another Fiducials Claim
« Reply #20 on: April 20, 2020, 05:43:51 AM »
In the past, the claim was that pre-computer photographic compositing techniques were used to compose the Apollo photos from background and foreground elements.  That's only if the claimant managed to think at all beyond the "looks wrong, therefore fake" position.  If reasons are given, it's along the lines of a workflow that allowed for better compartmentalization, or an overall lower number of participants.  They can argue, for example, that the landscape backgrounds came from unmanned landers, and that they could reuse the same backgrounds for a number of photos.  And then other photographers could be employed to take photos of foreground elements in other surroundings, telling them it was for editorial purposes.  And a few photo guys working in a secret darkroom cutting the photos together would involve fewer people that whole crews operating an all-up photo shoot.

But the problem is still that it's a stupid way to fake photos, if that was the intent.  The key argument in all cases was that the fiducials were on the background plates to begin with, and therefore had to be worked around when adding foreground elements.  If you want fiducials in the image, and you want the whole image to be consistent and coherent, you put the reseau plate in the final process camera and leave the fiducials out of everything else.  It takes all of a few seconds to think of that.  The problem remains only if the backgrounds were convenience resources, obtained from a source NASA didn't control.  But there would have been countless other ways to get what they wanted, without the fiducials.

And of course the hoax claimants always cherry-pick the photos and leave out those that don't conform to their claims, such as those where the fiducial is only faded and not obliterated entirely, or where the fiducial is selectively absent only in the bright areas of some individual foreground element.  I think the funniest counterexample is one where a fiducial overlays the U.S. flag, and the fiducials are missing over the white stripes but visible over the red ones.  Did we really need to composite in only the white stripes?

I would like to see a few guys in a darkroom composite tens of thousands of 16mm frames and literally hundreds of thousands of TV frames of the lunar surface.

The darkroom supplies for one mission alone would be off the charts.
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Offline JayUtah

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Re: Yet Another Fiducials Claim
« Reply #21 on: April 20, 2020, 09:23:59 AM »
I don't recall that any claimant tried to say what the fiducials were for, either as part of the hoax or as purported to be part of a real mission.  Of course they're really to detect mechanical distortion in the image (i.e., stretching of the transparency).  The locations of the fiducials on the reseau plate were known to a very high precision.  Thus the positions of the fiducials in the exposed image could be used to rectify the image such that dimensions in image space could be corrected to extract accurate data photogrammetrically.  Hence their ordinary use as a data acquisition camera.
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Offline apollo16uvc

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Re: Yet Another Fiducials Claim
« Reply #22 on: April 20, 2020, 10:38:22 AM »
I heard they could (are already?) used incase the film starts to shrink.

After 40-50 years it likely already happened to a miniscule degree. This is a problem motion-picture preserves face when trying to scan films from that era.

I dont know how much cold-storage would slow this down.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2020, 10:40:43 AM by apollo16uvc »
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Offline JayUtah

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Re: Yet Another Fiducials Claim
« Reply #23 on: April 20, 2020, 12:38:44 PM »
I heard they could (are already?) used incase the film starts to shrink.

Sure, anything that causes the film to change shape, for any reason, temporarily or permanently.
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Offline Abaddon

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Re: Yet Another Fiducials Claim
« Reply #24 on: April 22, 2020, 09:25:21 PM »
OK, to what is being argued here is that the fiducials are used asa sort of compositing alignment mark, right?

If so, I have some bad news for HBs. I used to do some low level photo manipulation in the BC era (Before Computers) - alignment marks were outside the edges of the image! They would not even be visible on the final print.
Ah, right. We used to refer to those as "printers marks". Typically, two marks at each corner marking the image extent and a colour calibration bar. Plus some text indicating date, source and suchlike bumph. In the print game, these would typically be chopped off in the finishing process.

It is the same principle in the apollo photographs, as it provides a reference, but it is different in that it was intended to be retained, not discarded.

ETA: I immediately thought that I could provide a sample image because a friend and customer of mine operates in that space. Then I remembered that he is all shut down so I can't.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2020, 09:29:58 PM by Abaddon »

Offline Abaddon

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Re: Yet Another Fiducials Claim
« Reply #25 on: April 22, 2020, 09:33:17 PM »
I heard they could (are already?) used incase the film starts to shrink.

Sure, anything that causes the film to change shape, for any reason, temporarily or permanently.
That's a good point. I can't say I have seen anything about the current condition of the original film. Have you any idea as to it's current condition?

Offline robot1000

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Re: Yet Another Fiducials Claim
« Reply #26 on: April 27, 2020, 05:59:57 AM »
The left-hand image on the linked site purporting to show an object covering a crosshair is a detail from AS16-107-17446.

I have downloaded the high resolution scan from NASA's website and placed it next to the reproduction for comparison:



There is a noticeable difference. In the reproduced image the white object seems to extend further past the crosshair. Also in the reproduced image the crosshair is completely invisible where it crosses with the object, but in the original, the crosshair is still faintly visible over the object, as if partially transparent. The fact that it's still visible at all would seem to disprove the idea that the object had simply been pasted directly on top (in which case the crosshair would be completely obscured).

Offline jfb

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Re: Yet Another Fiducials Claim
« Reply #27 on: April 30, 2020, 12:43:50 PM »
There's a reason most hoax sites use low-quality images (my favorites are flatbed scans of printed images from a book or magazine and then compressed out the wazoo), and it ain't to save disk space or bandwidth.  Such images are chock full of artifacts that look "suspicious", blocked crosshairs being a prime example. 

Offline JayUtah

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Re: Yet Another Fiducials Claim
« Reply #28 on: April 30, 2020, 02:27:23 PM »
Indeed, anything that can be conjured into existence by wiggling random sliders in Photoshop seems to be the order of the day.
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Offline Abaddon

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Re: Yet Another Fiducials Claim
« Reply #29 on: May 01, 2020, 06:01:35 PM »
Indeed, anything that can be conjured into existence by wiggling random sliders in Photoshop seems to be the order of the day.
Yes, I have noticed that the mere act of installing Photoshop magically confers expertise on a certain kind of person, for some reason.