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Thread: Nuclear Explosions, Your Camera as a Thermometer, Exif Data, and Exiftool

  1. #1
    David's Avatar
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    Nuclear Explosions, Your Camera as a Thermometer, Exif Data, and Exiftool

    Hi All - I hope the title dragged you in! Let me take a roundabout route to the subject. I've become interested in infrared photography and have posted on the matter. Help has been forthcoming from amongst others Steaphany. One of the problems I encountered was that my IR images usually showed hotspots. As a result of the explanation put forward by said Steaphany, I tested an old (60 years!) lens from Pentax - a Super-Takumar 50 mm 1.4 - and found, as expected from the theory put by Steaphany, that there was no hotspot. So far so good. However, I wished to record in the image file that I had used a Pentax lens. Now, good ol' Canon DPP software displays EXIF data, including space for comments, but it does not allow you to actually edit the data or add comments.

    Clearly an EXIF editor is needed. Is one to be found? Well you can pay Opando or you can look further. Enter a super tool called ExifTool from one Phil Harvey. This command line tool

    http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/~phil/exiftool/

    displays every piece of hidden data associated with your photo image. Unfortunately it does not allow easy editing. Luckily, a GUI, ExifToolGUI, has been written for it:

    http://freeweb.siol.net/hrastni3/fot...xiftoolgui.htm

    The idea is that you download the relevant zip files from both sites into the same folder, edit the file name for Exiftool from exiftool (-k).exe to exiftool.exe and then run exiftoolgui.exe. It worked a dream! You can see all sorts of things that are not normally associated with Exif data displays and you can add comments and modify some parameters.

    During these wondrous explorations, I came across a most interesting fact: my Canon 40D camera is a thermometer! OK, OK - no doubt you all knew that, but I didn't. It looks as if modern cameras have thermometers built in. The 40th entry under "Maker" info in the Exiftool data tells me the temperature when I took the shot.

    Anyway, the key point is that if you want a powerful, free Exif data display and editor, then Phil Harvey's ExifTool looks the way to go.

    Oh, and the nuclear explosion bit - I'll leave that as an exercise for the reader.

    Cheers

    David

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    Re: Nuclear Explosions, Your Camera as a Thermometer, Exif Data, and Exiftool

    Quote Originally Posted by David View Post

    Clearly an EXIF editor is needed. Is one to be found? Well you can pay Opando or you can look further. Enter a super tool called ExifTool from one Phil Harvey.

    . . .

    Anyway, the key point is that if you want a powerful, free Exif data display and editor, then Phil Harvey's ExifTool looks the way to go.
    Hi, David;

    Tim also found that ExifTool has nice support for processing all the images in a directory and sub-directories. It's written up in the second comment in this thread.

    Cheers,
    Rick

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    Re: Nuclear Explosions, Your Camera as a Thermometer, Exif Data, and Exiftool

    I have and use PhotoMe, also free, for examining and editting EXIF data.

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    Re: Nuclear Explosions, Your Camera as a Thermometer, Exif Data, and Exiftool

    If anyone has any good EXIF tools, please add them to the How to get EXIF data thread. I referenced ExifTool and ExifToolGUI. Steaphany, if you have any specific comments about PhotoMe, maybe you could add them in the other thread. Otherwise, I'll be glad to put in the link.

    Cheers;
    Rick

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    Re: Nuclear Explosions, Your Camera as a Thermometer, Exif Data, and Exiftool

    And...

    for Nuclear Explosions, just look on the official US Department of Energy Nevada Test Site

    Don't worry, this is a public web site, click Ok. Then, on the column of buttons on the left, click "Nevada Test Site", and then click "NTS Photos" on the page that follows.

    As these pages show, you can have a tour of the facility, BUT, they don't allow cameras.

    More photos can be found here:

    Gallery of U.S. Nuclear Tests

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    Re: Nuclear Explosions, Your Camera as a Thermometer, Exif Data, and Exiftool

    Hi Guys - Rick and Steaphany - I've just read Rick's major new thread and fully support the points he makes. Thus, most of my further comments re EXIF data are likely to be posted under Rick's thread. One point, however, worth mentioning here is that the camera temperature seems to be given only for RAW files. TIFF and JPG files do not have that parameter included.

    Steaphany - I checked out the site for the Gallery of U.S Nuclear Tests - very interesting. I remember from being a young boy that dozens of tests were carried out in those days, the BBC and cinemas always showed B/W footage. I picked the "Tumbler-Snapper" series at random from the list to look at the images taken at the time - again fascinating, especially when I realised that two of them ostensibly from different tests are the same - check out Tscharlie1.jpg and TSDog758c25.jpg. Although they are different prints (I think), they do look to be the same image. Ah, those were the days when Mickey Rooney survived a nuclear explosion in the (Nevada) desert through eating peanut butter (an engaging film that caused peanut butter sales to rise), and submarines surfaced in clear water at the North Pole (true as far as I know - the UK had one there called HMS Splendid I think).

    Cheers

    David

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    Re: Nuclear Explosions, Your Camera as a Thermometer, Exif Data, and Exiftool

    David,

    I don't view the atomic test photos with the emotional dread that so many impart to them, probably in part to the level of understanding I have. I know the Nevada Test site photo collection includes photos of Mustang that successfully live and thrive out on the test range, even with the fall out from the years of testing. I feel it's a shame that photography is prohibited on the tours that they conduct.

    A part that also fascinates me is the photography. The scenes of mushroom clouds in natural light are slow events, pretty much like a billowing thunder storm climbing into the sky. Where as the actual detonation event occurs on a scale of nanoseconds. Later, the ball of plasma is sculpted into a torus that convection rapidly pushes up. The photos that show this ring of plasma had to be shot microseconds after the triggering with the camera surviving the initial burst of light. Imagine the pressure that the photographers had to be under when tasked to document a test for the atomic scientists to later perform data analysis. Just determining what filters, exposure setting, and film had to push the photographic limits of the day.

    UPDATE: If you have any interest in history and atomic testing, or the photography of such, I have and recommend the DVD Trinity and Beyond - The Atomic Bomb Movie and it's companion DVD Atomic Journeys- Welcome To Ground Zero. Trinity and Beyond was possible due to filmmaker Peter Kuran's development of a pre-digital film restoration technology, both are narrated by William Shatner with music score by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra. Most people think atomic testing was limited to the US South West, the Pacific, Russia, and China, but Atomic Journeys documents sites where few realize what was going on across the US.
    Last edited by Steaphany; 24th June 2010 at 12:44 PM. Reason: Added more & typo

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    Re: Nuclear Explosions, Your Camera as a Thermometer, Exif Data, and Exiftool

    I was born in Las Vegas, Nevada and grew up in Boulder City, Nevada. I was there for the first testing, not leaving until 1955. Dad owned the newspaper in Boulder City, so we were privy to some knowledge which was not commonly known.

    The explosions wee awesome to watch, but soon became a repetition to the point of boredom. Familiarity breeds, etc. We soon would rather sleep in than get up in the dark to trek out to the mountain to see the flash.

    Pops

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    Re: Nuclear Explosions, Your Camera as a Thermometer, Exif Data, and Exiftool

    Steaphany - I agree that the technical aspects of the photography must have presented formidable challenges, especially as cameras were not electronic in the sense we now mean. Filmstock must have been vulnerable to radiation. I would hazard a guess that none of the original negatives remain.

    I shall follow up on the DVDs if I can get hold of them.

    Cheers

    David

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    Re: Nuclear Explosions, Your Camera as a Thermometer, Exif Data, and Exiftool

    Quote Originally Posted by PopsPhotos View Post
    The explosions wee awesome to watch, but soon became a repetition to the point of boredom.
    Pops,

    By any chance, does your family's photo collection include snaps of these family picnics out to watch a Bang ? Plus, I would expect personal photos of a test would be awsome.

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    Re: Nuclear Explosions, Your Camera as a Thermometer, Exif Data, and Exiftool

    No pictures. The shots took place before sunup in most cases. We had advance notice of times and dates, as Dad ran a newspaper, but the information was not to be disimnated, so we didn't make an issue of it. I lost all my pictures taken when I was young when the first wife left. She took most of the furniture, the good car, the family keepsakes and the bank accounts. She left me the 4 kids. I got the better end of that deal.

    I seem to remember that Bill Belknap got some pictures of the tests, but I'm not sure of that. I'll have to go wander through his archives to see if I can find any. There might be some in the National Geographic DVDs I have, also. I'll look.

    Pops

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    Re: Nuclear Explosions, Your Camera as a Thermometer, Exif Data, and Exiftool

    Don't go out of your way.

    My point was an interest in civilian, as opposed to government test photos.

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    Re: Nuclear Explosions, Your Camera as a Thermometer, Exif Data, and Exiftool

    Bill Belknap was a civilian by that time. He was White House photographer all during the war, but took his discharge as soon as he could after the war ended. Mr. Truman didn't want him to go, but kept him only a few months after he was originally scheduled to be discharged.

    I did get to run around the proving grounds a bit, as Dad was invited to attend parts of the survival training with the Air Force at Nellis AFB a couple of times. The clothes on your back, a canteen of water and a knife. Dropped in after dark and find your way out. You were allowed 3 days to find the exit post.

    Pops

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