Monday, January 2, 2017

The Weird, Weird Features of the Oval Oddity

Photo date: December 30, 2016. Photographer: Mark Mahin.

I took the photo below while photographing nothing but ordinary drops of pure, clean water falling against a dark background. We see a strange object that had an apparent size of about six inches. There are numerous strange features: a big stripe; a smaller stripe that rather looks as if it is nibbling on the larger stripe; various little circular features inside the oval shape, looking like concentric rings; a membrane-like feature on the outer perimeter of the oval; and a big hole near the top.



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. The light passes through a tiny but often distorted focal point as it passes through the droplet. A perfectly shaped droplet would produce a circular shaped light patch on your retina (or camera sensor), but as droplets are not perfectly shaped, the light patch is distorted and sometimes even folded. Any tiny particle (whether in your eye on on a camera lens) will cast a shadow which will be hugely magnified in the spreading spreading rays from this tiny point. The wave nature of the light also causes tiny interference patterns (the fringe patterns) which are also hugely magnified. Small microscope lenses and telescope eye pieces tend to produce this effect to a certain degree too.