Many people wonder at the “whiteness” of the foot bottoms when the Patterson film subject lifts the foot bottoms toward the camera view. There seems to be different levels of coverage as well. What I have found, through enhancement, is that the “whiteness” is sand from the creek bed. Once again, as has been discussed on this blog before, the sand is crushed shale. Shale sand in that area is blue gray when dry, and dark blue to almost black when moistened. The Patterson film subject walks across an area of darker sand just before the foot bottom is seen. After stepping past the moist sand onto dry sand, it appears that there was significant dryer sand stuck to the moist foot bottom. I was able to use filtering to reduce the amount of chromatic aberration in the image. Chromatic aberration is when the lens of the camera does not bring “all” colors of the spectrum to the same sharp focus. The colors that remain unsharp contribute to the overall “unsharpness” of the image, and when filtered from the image, the sharpness increases significantly. This is a technique that has worked well for for a century or more, and is not new. Here’s the foot bottom using this type of enhancement. Click on the image to animate.
In this clip, many detractors of the film note that the foot is “squareish” and therefore must be some kind of foot platform or fake shoe. When enhancement is applied to the image, it becomes apparent the the toes are being held in a nearly perpendicular angle to the foot bottom. This is not that unusual. Many people can do this. Click on the image to animate.
Overexposure is also another reason for things that are not white to the eye, to turn out white on film. In this next clip you will see the subject stroll in and out of light beams that are filtering through the trees on the canyon walls. Watch the “white” travel up the leg as the leg passes through the beam of light. Click on the image to animate.