Bending Blades (Rolling Shutter)

OK, photography experts – I’m trying to understand the effect that’s happening here. A friend took this shot from the window of a prop plane, using Hipstamatic. What causes the blades to look like they’re bending forwards?

Beautiful, no?

Update – Thanks to comments on G+ and on Twitter, I’ve learned a lot about this in a short amount of time. The phenom is called “rolling shutter” and happens with cameras (such as phone cameras) which move the shutter across the frame in time rather than exposing the whole frame at once (Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolling_shutter )

Here’s the video version of the same effect:

And another with guitar strings doing similar:

Hopefully M. Squire won’t mind if I quote from his email:

The shutter opens, and as the prop spins for that, say 1/250th of a second, the part of the blade that is reflecting the sun the best (therefor its image is being recorded by the sensor) describes an arc–when the shutter closes the path the reflection of that bright bit has traced is an arc not a line.

Amazing.

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