There are a number of places Google StreetView does not go that are relevant to the disappearance of Madeleine. Many of these are relevant both by day and by night.
A while back I tried to emulate the Smith sighting at night. The photos I took were useless. I didn’t know how to set the flash on my camera to off, which meant the results looked absolutely nothing like what the human eye sees.
Since then, I have learned how easy it is to set the flash function to off. And last night I went to bed early, which meant I woke up in the early hours, and could not go back to sleep. So it was time for an experiment.
These photos have nothing whatsoever to do with the Madeleine case. They are simply a test to see if I can get something that approximates to a human eye view in a night time setting. They were taken this morning at 5am, before any hint of sunlight. There was no cloud cover, so there is also starlight and a the moon was about one third full.
They look quite reasonable to me, but the test has thrown up some issues.
The first is that I took 7 or 8 photos, and these were the only two that passed muster. My left arm is still crocked so getting the camera steady is quite difficult. That means it will be a few weeks more before I try to get some more photos relative to the case. There is no point in trekking down the hill into Luz, taking some poor quality photos, then trekking back up.
In turn, that means I will probably be testing out the video function on the camera in the interim. Some of the events of that week in May 2007 are better understood in video.
The second issue is whether I have actually captured what the human eye sees. This one is actually quite difficult. I need to check the result – the photograph – against the human eye. Is the photo just as bright, just as much contrast, just as sharp as the original? Do the colours, or lack of them, match well? Is the focal angle a good match i.e. do you get the same width and depth as a human being sees, not fisheye or zoom? Is everything the human eye can see being captured, or are some things being dropped off by the camera software while others get emphasised?
The two photos, IMO, are a fair match to what I could actually see, but to be confident of that, I need to check the photos in detail, then go out again in similar conditions again to recheck on the match.
Basically, it would be cool if I was a pro-grade photographer or video cameraman, but I’m not. I take photos or videos to capture holidays and family fun, not to compete with those trained in the industry..
So the plan at the moment is to see if I can get the basics right. Given that my camera/video is in the €60 to €70 price bracket, trying for anything higher is laughable.
Until my dodgy arm gets a bit better, it’s practice, practice, practice! And some physiotherapy for my poorly arm so I can stop the camera shake.