enter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description hereI have a photo, original and unedited with some unexplained lights in the sky. Here’s an explanation on the scenario. My pics were taken March 10, 2021. I took them all using a drone, Mavic Pro with a filter for light reduction on the lens. I sent the drone up and took pics at multiple times, once around 7:30am and also around 10:30ish am and 1130ish am. This was taken in between storms that hit our area, Mission Viejo, CA. When I eventually uploaded the drone pics to my PC to do my editing is when i noticed the lights. I finished my edits on the first photo and zoomed all the way into the sky to see how much noise was there so that I knew how much noise to remove. I happened to zoom into a part of the photo where one of the lights were. I immediately removed all of my edits and went back and looked and found approx 30 of these lights. I believe there are at least 2 lights that are below the tops of the mountains as well.

I have not had the time to look through all of these photos, but i have looked through a few and the lights are in a few of the photos in the same area from different times, around 730am and 1050isham. I am calling them “lights”, however I’m not saying that’s what they are. And that’s why I’m here, to see if anyone can help, or knows anyone that can help. I have for the most part ruled out lens dust, of course i could be wrong though. Im wondering if there could be some type of meteorological explanation? Most of the lights appear in the blue sky, however some appear in some of the very thin clouds where there is also some visible blue sky behind them. Also as i mentioned, on the far left of the photo it looks as if there are also a couple of the lights below the top of the mountain. enter image description here I dont know what this site will let me post, but i should be including the original (unedited except for watermark)enter image description here, as well as a few snapshots taken from the original that are completely zoomed in with magnifier circles placed around some of the lights to zoom in more as well as to show you what you are looking for in the original.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Are the circled areas magnified? The noise and JPEG artifacts within the black circles looks different than the non-circled areas in the rest of the pictures. \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Commented Mar 20, 2021 at 16:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes they are magnifier circles. I’m unable to post even that cropped pic without those circles because this site says the file is then too large. My original purpose of those circles was to zoom a bit more and to point out what I’m seeing so that when someone else looks at the original pic they know what to look for. Unfortunately my pics are too large for this site so it seems the only way for me to go about this on this site is to email these pics to someone. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bbinhb
    Commented Mar 20, 2021 at 20:01

1 Answer 1


It's hard to say for sure without some additional information (things such as what are the pixel x pixel dimensions of the example you've posted, what are the exact specifications of the sensor in your drone's camera, what ISO setting was the camera using, etc., for instance), but to my eye it looks like where "hot" pixels were not quite successfully mapped out by the image's processing.

Update: After seeing the additional examples you've added to the question, I still think the most likely explanation is that these are hot pixels that haven't been mapped out by the camera's processing engine.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Here is a snapshot of the data from the photo. 4.73mm (26.3mm f 2.2). 3992 x 2992 - 24.3 mb. 1/190 sec. iso 100. This drone is the Mavic Pro. It has a 4K camera. I’m not doubting that it could be something within the camera, but some of the lights in the original that are also in some of the misty white clouds with visible blue sky behind do seem somewhat less visible due to the clouds. Doesn’t look like there is a way to add any pics into reply comments. I’d really like to post the original. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bbinhb
    Commented Mar 20, 2021 at 4:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Bbinhb You can edit your original post to include more pictures in it \$\endgroup\$
    – xenoid
    Commented Mar 20, 2021 at 10:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks Xenoid. Ive added all of the zoomed in snapshots with the magnifier circles. The few pics i posted dont represent all of the “lights” in the photo, there are more. Again if someone would like to look at the original I’d be happy to send it to them, just let me know. Also thanks Michael C for your help so far. Hopefully the info i provided helps. I noticed from your profile you have a website which has contact info, if you’d like i can email you the original if it would help, again just let me know. Thanks again guys., \$\endgroup\$
    – Bbinhb
    Commented Mar 20, 2021 at 14:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Michael C, I apologize, I just looked at the meta data on one of the pics i posted and see that the meta data is different than from the original, I’m assuming because it’s zoomed in. Give me an hour or so (i have 2 kids), and i will take the circles off of the original pic i posted and send it again fully zoomed in and will include the meta data for that pic. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bbinhb
    Commented Mar 20, 2021 at 15:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Michael C. At the top of the post are 2 new pics. The original you looked at as well as a snapshot of the meta data of that actual photo. There was actually a 5th “light” in the photo so i used a zoom circle on that one as well. I did try to post the same pic without the zoom circles but it said it was to large. Please also see my above comment about possibly emailing you the actual original photo. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bbinhb
    Commented Mar 20, 2021 at 16:17

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