Slideshow: are these images too good to be true?

These were the best pictures of the solar eclipse seen from Ireland - but were they real or Photoshopped? Read on...

 

On the weekend following the eclipse the sequence of pictures (in the slideshow below) appeared on the Facebook page of Kinsale College of Further education. Taken by Roger Brady a Film & TV Level 5 student, they were immediately shared far and wide on social media. Many comments were complimentary but very many, including me, questioned the authenticity of the pictures. To get a rook, relatively close to the camera and the sun/moon, as close to infinity as it gets both sharp is a very big ask and not something that most cameras could achieve It turns out that the remarkable sequence is absolutely genuine. The pictures were taken on a video camera. The effective focal length of a telephoto lens on a small video sensor, combined with a tiny aperture meant that the technical feat was possible. We asked Roger for his account of the shoot -

“On the morning of the eclipse I began to wonder if I was going to see the event never mind get an opportunity to film it, because the cloud coverage was starting to vary. When the cloud started to thin enough to see the event I turned on my camera. The camera I was using is a Sony HD video camera.I was in such a rush to film the eclipse because I had to get to college, I’m studying Film and TV at Kinsale College of Further Education. I thought I would take the chance to film it hand held rather than set it onto the tripod. I opened the viewfinder and because it was set on auto it came into view almost immediately, when you view the footage you can see it takes me a few moments to settle on the image. I put the zoom to maximum and about ten or eleven seconds into the recording something flew through the shot, I shot about four minutes of footage, turned off the camera and went into college.

It wasn’t until I loaded the footage into the PremierePro program we use to edit our video footage and slowed it down did I see the amazing clip of the rook flying straight through the shot because when the rook flew through the shot it took about one second. When I called over our tutor Fran McMorran and the other students and showed them the slowed down footage of the rook the classroom had a sudden buzz about it. We decided to take some stills and post them on the college web site and Facebook page. We were not expecting the reaction it got,it captured the imagination of the public so fast and went viral. We were getting feedback from all around the country and from Europe, North America and New Zealand. It went global in a few hours.

I am delighted for the coverage the college is getting, and on a personal level it has given me an opportunity to hopefully give a boost to my college funds for next year and beyond. If anyone is interested in purchasing a sequence of this rare and amazing footage you can get in touch at rogerbrady11@gmail.com or leave a post on my Facebook page. I should also add that up this point I was slow to set up a Facebook page now I understand how valuable it can be. A huge thank you to all who have viewed the images and left you’re comments. It has truly blown me away. Roger Brady “

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