The lens sees what the eye doesn’t

I made a panoramic collage of the countryside near Biel in Switzerland. Only upon review at home did I notice an interesting detail.

(Click on the preview to load the full panorama. The area of interest is marked on it.)

Due to the extreme distance, it’s hard to tell the range size, but it’s most likely the standard 300m practice range for the reservists. Typical of the Swiss approach to gun safety, the road to the range comes very near the lane of live fire. I’ve seen ranges where the approaches are in a depression between the shooting position and the targets, too — not shielded from the shooters by any kind of physical barrier. At the same time, at least one range near Lucerne prohibits scoped hunting rifles because they are “probably unsafe and definitely not permitted by the insurance contract” while Sig 550 rifles are permitted.

PS: The other item I should not have left at home — a polarizing filter for the lens.

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14 Responses to The lens sees what the eye doesn’t

  1. PubliusII says:

    It’s long out of date in some respects — published in 1984 — but do read John McPhee’s La Place de la Concorde Suisse.

  2. Matt says:

    What you don’t see, in the 2 o’clock position about 300m from the target zone, is a private residence.

  3. pano_ramo says:

    i’d like to take this opportunity to tout hugin / panotools, and specifically enblend, for seamlessly blending picture edges together when suitably aligned.

    • Y. says:

      Does Oleg use it?

      No doubt there are commercial alternatives.

      Hugin with enblend does work pretty well though. On the other hand, these days there are cameras that can do it …

  4. Paul Koning says:

    I’ve only done this once or twice. Photoshop was the tool I used. Perhaps more work but you have all the control you might want.

  5. JK says:

    Indeed we don’t need barriers to not shot unwanted bystanders. We just need to aim on the target.
    Shooting over roads and villages is quite common in our small country. In the army its common in large excercices to have the MG’s shooting cloosely over the heads, as the mortars and sometimes the artillerie while mooving under fire. Therfore we are used to it and see no big problem with it.

    Here a small film, its old but shows what we were used to do with live ammunition and the people here are milicians. It’s old fashioned but effectiv as a counter attack.

    Actually here an exercise with milicians, the storyboard is some terrorists where identified…… 2012

    • Oleg Volk says:

      Thank you for posting these — extremely interesting. I appreciate the time you take to provide detailed explanations of things you know and I am just guessing at.

  6. JK says:

    For the second youtube video the correct link is:

  7. Paul Koning says:

    In that second movie, around 8:07, there appears to be a single shot sniper rifle. Interesting.

    • TE says:

      It’s not single shot, it has 5-round magazines actually. But you can reload like this if you don’t have time to change magazines.

    • JK says:

      It is not a single shot sniper rifle, its a Sako TRG42 in .338 lapua Magnum. He just shoot his last bullet from the magazine and its quicker to throw a bullet in the chamber than to change magazine. For this reason every sniper has a few bullets laying close to the weapon.

  8. Windy Wilson says:

    Reason number 4 for getting back there soon (after relatives, touring a beautiful place, and taking a break).

  9. Tobias P says:

    Regarding the road being close to the range: The first thing our Swiss friends taught me was the “2 thumbs rule” – for long range shooting, if you can fit more than two thumbs (from your extended arm) between the target and the civilians, you are safe to shoot. Becomes two fists for short range.

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