The Living Force
Romania, May 25 2022


I have been pondering for an hour about this photo (and earlier felt drawn to it several times… wondering, what it is that doesn’t add up)

I have tried to check with various “forensic” tools on the internet in an attemp to scutinize if an image has been tampered with… but my skills are small in terms of how to interpret those tools.

Now that i took a break, sitting on my way to work, looking at it again… my senses constantly gets drawn to an area, the vague shadow below the “spacecraft” (the shadow area of a small cloud i am assuming being in front of the ”spacecraft”).

Here is the thing; if a strong light source radiates its light outwards, then a smaller cloud in front of it, should cast a much stronger shadow. But in this photo it is transparent ghostly and let’s you see the stripy cloud behind. And that does not fit together.

Since this seems to be a motorola type of mobile phone (or sensor related, I don’t know but is indicated in one of the “forensic” tools checking file info). The image does not indicate any longtime shutter speed has been used (longtime exposures / shutter speed would favor ghostly artifacs/details especially in combination with lightning with moving clouds)

So it likely must been a short exposure and therefore there should be no ghostly transparent cloud sections in the image.

(There is curiously no photo exif data present in the file - something all cameras and mobile phones produce unless you open it in photoshop and then save it without exif info).

Again: look at the upper rim of the cloud which is sharply outlined and dark (opaque) in front of that bright light. Here the cloud appears dense enough to appear darker. But when you look below, you see “though” that cloud all of the sudden, only indicated as a faint shadow. And that makes no sense !! It should be opaque, not almost entirely transparent.

These are my 3D photography thoughts to the image. I do not claim to know, but rather offers an alternative angle. To be honest if one wants to fake an image like that, it is pretty easy with something bright against a darker background such as clouds.

You put on top an image layer over the scenery, a lightning bolt for example, set it in photoshop into “lighten” or “screen” mode, it then only copies in the highlights but not the shadows. Then use a blurry eraser brush to eliminate any harsh transitions so that the added (bright) detail “melts into” the surrounding cloud landscape

2) the “windows” in that alleged spacecraft looks weird to me. While the image itself shows very sharp details of the city, the windows remind me of a digital filter (Topaz Sharpen AI software or Gigapixels) i often use in my scanned images in order to tame noise from analog negatives, or to enhance a low resolution image. It creates an impression of sharper details but in a typical “consumer AI” way when you look really close. Where the finest details often don’t get really straight lines, but rather look “wobbly”.


The Living Force
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