During our expeditions in Panama, our team attempted to capture comparable night photos in the same approximate region where Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon took their night photos. We used the same camera model that Kris and Lisanne used during their fateful hike when they disappeared in 2014.
Matt from our team had purchased the Canon Powershot SX270 HS camera online and sent it to Chris prior to our expedition. I charged the camera’s batteries and brought the camera with me on the trail. I used it frequently, day and night, during the expedition. Romain already had his own camera (the same model, Canon Powershot SX270 HS).
The purpose for taking our own photos with the same model camera was to test the camera in similar conditions (as similar as possible given the incomplete case details) in order to understand how their camera could have impacted their behavior. For example, could the pre-flash indicator light have been used as a light source? Was the camera’s grip slippery when held in moist/humid conditions and could that have contributed to the inconsistent photo-angles? Were the camera’s inner-electronics delicate to moisture/humidity along the river?
From our photos, we were able to make various observations. We’ve provided our photos and some brief analysis below.
Other related articles about the case:
- Unsolved: Kris Kremers And Lisanne Froon In Panama (Start here if you’re new to the case)
- Panama Expedition 2021 – A Complete Overview
- A Deep Analysis of the Night Photos
- New Case Data: Night Photo EXIF Temperatures
- View our entire list of case articles here.
All Photos Below Are Our Photos (Not the original case photos!)
In order to avoid confusion, on this page we will not include any of the night photos from Kris and Lisannes photos. None of the photos here are the original night photos. All of the photos below (and in the body of this entire article) are from the Imperfect Plan team, during the 2021 and 2022 Panama Expeditions.
Again, none of the photos below are from Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon.
Two Sets Of Photos (from the Imperfect Plan team)
Our team took two sets of photos, so we’ve separated them below. The first set of photos were taken in July 2021. The second set of photos were taken in March of 2022. Both sets were taken using two different Canon Powershot SX270 HS cameras. Although it was the same model camera, it’s worth mentioning that there were two different camera’s involved.
Both sets of photos have been scaled in size in order to make this page load at a reasonable speed. Large resolution photos usually make web-pages load awfully slow, so we made the images smaller. However, every photo is also available here in it’s full size. In order to view the large size, simply remove the part in the URL that says “-scaled”.
Example to see full-size photos:
If you choose to see the full size photo, they may take a moment to load. They’re often about 10 megabytes in size (which is big!).
Locations Where We Captured The Photos
Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon’s camera was found in their blue backpack on a bank of the Serpent River (Rio Culebre) and the camera photos indicate clear rock formations, which are consistent with the river-beds in northwest Panama. Therefore it’s generally accepted that Kris and Lisanne’s night-photos were taken on the bank of a river.
The location of where Kris and Lisanne’s night photos were taken remains unknown. In fact, there’s no clear indication of whom exactly took the night pictures that were found on their camera, although we’ve determined it was most likely Lisanne whom was the owner of the camera.
It also remains unknown which location of the river (or tributary thereof) was where they took the photos. Given that fact, we were unable to capture photos in the same location.
Our first set of photos were taken at River 3 and our second set at the first monkey bridge.
Photo Set #1: Where River 3 Intersects The Trail
We opted to take our first set of night-photos at River 3, where the trail intersects the river. We previously noted the location on this map. River 3 is a tributary that converges with the Serpent (Culebre) River.
Photo Set #1 Technical Notes:
Time Taken: From 7:30PM to 7:44PM
Date Taken: July 10, 2021
Location: River 3
Air Temperature: 16.4° C (61.52° F)
River Temperature: 16.2° C (61.16° F)
Camera: Canon Powershot SX270 HS
Camera Setting: Automatic, zoom used for some photos.
Number of photos: 45 Photos
Temperature Note: It was fairly chilly that night, especially considering that I was already soaking wet from walking in the river all day. As mentioned in prior articles, staying dry was very difficult during the entire expedition. The air is dense with humidity and everything is covered with a thin film of water.
Time Taken Note: It got very dark immediately after the sun went down. I could have opted to wait until late night to take the photos, but waiting was not necessary. It was essentially pitch-black when I took the photos, which was all that was needed to match the lighting circumstances of Kris and Lisanne’s night photos. Furthermore, the risk of injury would have increased later at night with colder temperatures and a higher chance of predators (nocturnal snakes, arachnids, etc) present.
The Photos We Captured (Set #1)
Below you’ll find the first series of photos we captured during July 2021.
You’ll notice that our photos differ from Kris and Lisanne’s photos. Some differences were caused by various factors: the location is different, the season is different and the atmospheric conditions were different. However, there are some differences that we cannot explain. Our photos came out remarkably clear, providing significant detail, even when reduced in size. The photos from Kris and Lisanne appeared to lack resolution, even when viewed in their full original size.
Note: I gave each photo of a caption, for the sake of identifying each photo during the following discussion portion of this article.
Most of the photos were taken lower to the ground, in a crouching-position, to mimic the original night photos of Lisanne photos. I didn’t walk far, all of the photos were taken at the same approximate location, perhaps moving a maximum of 2 meters in the same area. The goal wasn’t to photograph different locations, but rather to capture the various impacts of the surroundings on the camera in the same location.
Here are some note-worth details on some of the photos:
|Caption/Number||Camera Angle||Unique Characteristics|
|IP425||Across the river||Last photo in series.|
|IP424||Downward, towards the ground||Up-close photo of the ground, brightly lit|
|IP423||Across the river|
|IP422||Upward towards the sky|
|IP420||Black, little visibility.|
|IP419||Leaves, little visibility.|
|IP418||Likely towards the ground.||Unfocused, slightly blurry view of rocks.|
|IP416||Across the river||Water droplets, large orbs visible (appearing to have more detail than orbs in other photos).|
|IP415||Black, little visibility.|
|IP414||Black, little visibility.|
|IP410||Toward the bank of the river.||Bank of the river (many boulders).|
|IP406||Across the river||Reflection of light on rocks/boulder.|
|IP405||Across the river||Reflection of light on rocks/boulder.|
|IP404||Across the river||Reflection of light on rocks/boulder.|
|IP403||Across the river|
|IP402||Across the river|
|IP401||Across the river||Small waterfall|
|IP400||Upward towards the sky||Displays the underside of tree/bush leaves.|
|IP399||Upward towards the sky|
|IP398||Strong reflection off rocks shows heavy suspended water droplets/orbs|
|IP397||Water droplets, orbs visible|
|IP396||Water droplets, orbs visible|
|IP393||Upward towards the sky||Displays the underside of tree/bush leaves|
|IP392||Water droplets, orbs visible|
|IP391||Across river.||Water droplets, orbs visible|
|IP390||Boulder with vegetation.|
|IP389||Boulder with vegetation.|
|IP388||Boulder with vegetation.|
|IP387||Water droplets, orbs visible. Boulder(s) with vegetation.|
|IP386||Boulder with vegetation.|
|IP385||Boulder with vegetation.|
|IP384||Across the river, facing downstream (to the left).||Water droplets, orbs visible|
|IP383||Across the river, facing upstream (to the right).|
|IP382||Upward towards the sky||Shows underside of plants, leaves and trees|
|IP381||Across the river|
|IP380||Camera facing downward, pointed at the river below.||First photo in series. Taken from high on the ledge above the river bank.|
Photo Set #2: Where The Stream Intersects The First Monkey Bridge
Romain opted to take our other night-photos on another smaller stream. This time, he took pictures of the stream that merges with the first monkey bridge.
Photo Set #2 Technical Notes:
Time Taken: From 7:26PM to 7:59PM
Date Taken: March 25, 2022
Location: First Monkey Bridge
Camera: Canon Powershot SX270 HS
Camera Setting: Automatic, zoom not used.
Number of photos: 129 Photos
The Photos Romain Captured (Set #2)
Below you’ll find the next set of photos we captured.
The camera was carried in Romain’s backpack for 5 days before the following night-photos were taken.
You’ll notice that our photos differ from Kris and Lisanne’s photos. Even though the season is the same, it rained quit a lot during the days prior to taking these photos. This effort provided some helpful insights which we’ll discuss below the photos.
Photos of the Same Location During The Day
The following photos were taken by Romain at the same location, during the daytime. Seeing the same day-time photos as our night-time photos is beneficial to illustrate how different things look from the daytime to the nighttime. It’s very difficult to identify the same rocks and boulders when comparing photos.
Camera Usability Notes
The camera was easy to use and it was relatively quick to navigate the camera features, including in the dark of night. The buttons and navigation tools are easy to use, although changes to the camera’s settings are rarely needed. During both expeditions, we had been using the camera for the few days that lead up to taking these night-photos, so we were accustomed to using it, similar to how Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon would have been accustomed to use their camera.
Using the flash was beneficial in seeing objects in the distance. Although it was a rather fast flash, it still lit up the entire area, which granted us the opportunity to see the trees and rocks surrounding me. From the light of the flash, we could easily see twenty meters away, perhaps more in some cases.
The pre-flash (indicator) light was also somewhat helpful, for a general sense of what’s immediately nearby. However, this light was rather weak and wouldn’t be helpful to see anything more than three meters away.
The LCD screen provided some light, although minimally. The LCD screen wouldn’t illuminate anything more than about 8 to 10 inches away. In a pinch, the LCD screen light could be used to illuminate the ground (when held closely) to see where we were stepping, although that would be rather inconvenient.
The camera was not difficult to grip, nor was slippery in the humid conditions.
Even during moist and human conditions, the camera functioned as expected. Even when the battery died earlier in the daytime, during the first expedition, we were still able to re-power the camera on briefly to snap a couple more photos before the battery died again.
Photo Comparison Considerations
Comparing our night-photos with the night-photos taken by Kris and Lisanne, could provide some insights into understanding a handful of observations:
- The difference of the general clarity between the photo sets.
- The reflection of wet rocks.
- The effect of floating water droplets (orbs).
- The clarity of nearby objects and objects at a distance.
- The effect the flash had on objects at various distances.
- The moss and vegetation found on the rocks.
Upon comparing our night photos with the photos of Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon, my immediate thought was that there was a lot more vegetation visible in our photos:
- In the boulders and rocks of Lisanne’s photos, the rocks appear much more clear of vegetation. Very little vegetation is found on the rocks immediately in front of them, whereas nearly all of the rocks in our photos had some form of plant-life growing.
- There were more bushes and small-scale plants immediately overhead in our photos. Therefore Kris and Lisanne’s photos must have been in a more widely-open area, with less vegetation, because the tall trees are more easily seen in their photos.
- Our photos appear to be more clear, with more detail and maybe a higher resolution, even though our camera setting matched the settings of the camera of Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon. Comparing the vegetation in our photos with the vegetation in the official photos illustrates that our camera offered clearer photos, for reasons we do not know.
In the future we might do a deeper comparative analysis of the various sets of photos. There’s a host of opportunities of items we could compare, but we’re still deciding if it’s worthwhile to dig deeper here. For now, our goal is publishing these photos so that our followers have the opportunity to evaluate the photos, do their own comparisons and draw their own conclusion.
Please feel free to post your comments below, we’re always interested to see what our followers consider to be note-worthy.
Another Thank You (!)
As always, we appreciate the support of those that assisted us in funding our Expedition to Panama and the general community that has followed our work. This project has been an enormous task, especially through the pandemic and post-pandemic timelines.
Sometimes the disappearance case of Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon can feel overwhelming, especially when we find ourselves with more questions than answers. However, we believe that more answers do exist and it’s possible for more light to be shed on the tragic loss of Kris and Lisanne.
We hope to bring more light to the case.