Explained: Hampton Court Ghost Photo [iPhone Panorama Glitch]

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
This photo is doing the rounds as a "ghost" photo, largely because it was taken in Hampton Court, a historic English house with a reputation for hauntings.


However it's just the result of taking a panoramic photo in low light on the iPhone. Panoramic photos are done by holding the camera up, and panning from left to right. The camera takes lots of photos and then stitches them together into a single image.



But because it takes a while to take all the images, if something moves while you are taking the panorama, then it will get distorted. This can happen in any situation, but it's worse in low light, as it takes the camera longer to take all the photos, so you end up with fewer photos to stitch together, increasing the likelihood of errors.

Here's a photo of me walking past some paintings:


And here's the same scene with me walking past the paintings while a panorama photo is taken. Compare with the regular photo above, notice I'm super thin and half my face is missing.

I did this several times, to show there are different effects, it's fairly random, depending on:
  • How fast you are moving
  • How fast the camera is moving
  • The relative motions of your arms, legs, head, and body
  • How much light there is
  • Where you are positioned in each individual frame
  • The factors considered in the algorithm used to detect motion of the camera
In some of these I'm highly distorted.




Notice the zig-zag edges, which are clearer on my photo, as it has a mostly white background, but can also be seen in the "ghost" photo:


We can tell the photo is a panorama because of several things things, the aspect ration of the second photo (it's very wide), the curve apparent in the walls and paintings, and the fact that the field of view is over 90 degrees. This is most apparent in the second photo. Look at the doorway on the left, and the small painting and chair off the the right. You can only get them in shot like this in a panoramic photo.


Also notice the figure on the left of this second photo. Likely the first photo was spoilt by this person walking in front of the camera, so they took another photo. Only later they saw the interesting effect of the person walking through the panorama, and decided, perhaps as a joke, to pass it off as a "ghost".

While you can get this effect more in darker settings, it also happens all the time in bright sunlight. The effect is very varied, and it's difficult to duplicate any one effect closely. Here's six shots in a row of the same thing, all very different.


I found a similar glitch in a daytime panorama I took


Notice the hair is very similar. The woman is walking to the left, so you get the same kind of weird tall skinny head of hair, but her arm is swinging back the other way, so is elongated.



There's also the suggestion this must be a ghost because you can see the rope though it, or that the figure is actually behind the rope. However that's just an illusion caused by the use of small low quality images. A closer look reveals that the rope does go behind the figure, and the dark line is something on the coat, like a pocket flap.


It was also suggested (by Joe Nickell of Skeptical Inquirer) that this was someone in period dress. This comes from the misconception that it's a tall figure with a long flowing cape or dress. Really it's just a raincoat, and the figure is only seen from the waist up - it's the distortion that makes it seem tall.

In the image below, move the slider to see what I mean. I've just moved the girl in front back , and scaled here appropriately:


Note the perspective can't be traced like in a normal image, because it's a panorama, the lines towards the vanishing point are curved, and vary across the image.
 
Last edited:

NoParty

Senior Member.
One of my favorite panoramas (D.C., 7/14/12)
Panorama (Wide) WWII Memorial + Lincoln r.jpg

is ruined by such a glitch (half of woman's face missing) :(
Panorama (detail, face) WWII Memorial + Lincoln r.png
 

Mackdog

Senior Member.
Is this why sometimes you see strange pictures on Google street view? I mention this because I was looking at some street view today, and noticed that in some shots, there were people with half their bodies missing..and it wasn't because the image didn't load right. The Google car and Google backpack people have a 360 degree camera that takes like a panoramic view and everything, so it would make sense.
 

Freak

Active Member
Same principal yes. But with street view, you also have the car moving while the pics are being taken, which I'm sure can add to the effect at times.
 
Thread starter Related Articles Forum Replies Date
jarlrmai Explained: Reddit UFO Los Angeles lights in the sky [Light on Pole] Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 17
flarkey EXPLAINED: Weird Object on /r/aviation [Artbreeder GAN images] Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 30
jhunsley Explained: Panama UFO "Disc" [Cessna Taking Off] UFOs and Aliens 27
Mick West Explained: Mysterior Tower of Light in Shenyang, China General Discussion 3
N Explained: "Jellyfish object" video in Russia [Rocket Launch] Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 11
Oystein Debunked: Claim that Bobby McIlvaine's injuries ("lacerations") are best explained as result of glass shards and debris from bombs 9/11 22
W What exactly does “Explained:” mean in a thread title? Site Feedback & News 2
Mick West Explained: Birdwatcher's "Amazing UFO", Burwell Fen, UK. [C-130 Landing Lights] UFOs and Aliens 2
Mick West Explained: Tic-Tac UFO San Jacinto, Highway 62, California [Blimp] UFOs and Aliens 0
DavidB66 Explained: UFOs viewed from the ISS - Squid Boats UFOs and Aliens 17
A Explained: UFO Filmed from a Helicopter in Kamchatka, Russia. May 31, 2021 [Fake] UFOs and Aliens 2
R Explained: Video of Vandenberg UFO shooting down ICBM [reenactment] UFOs and Aliens 8
DavidB66 Explained: Student in Teignmouth, Devon sees UFO [Moon Obscured by Clouds] UFOs and Aliens 35
Q Explained: HomeSteadHow "UFO" Photos [Helicopter] UFOs and Aliens 54
Mick West Explained: Why Magnets Stick To Vaccination Sites (Or Your Nose) Conspiracy Theories 18
Mick West Explained: Odd Looking Bidens/Carters Photo - Not Fake, Just Perspective General Discussion 77
Mick West Explained: UFO Filmed With Telescope [Loon Balloon] Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 2
Mick West Explained: Sky Mapping at the Seattle Space Needle [Virtual, Not "Blue Beam] Conspiracy Theories 0
Patrick Gonzalez Explained: Why Biden is boarding C-32 instead of VC-25 Election 2020 35
TEEJ Explained: Inaguration Photos from Different Angles Show Different Backgrounds. Election 2020 9
P Explained: Exactly 5.55555556% (1/18) of votes for Trump across multiple precincts [Cherry Picked, Expected Ratios] Election 2020 20
DavidB66 Explained: Boris Johnson Photo With Confusing Reflection of Phone Cord Election 2020 12
Mick West Explained: Wingless Tic-Tac UFOs Moving Erratically Behind Trees UFO Videos and Reports from the US Navy 2
Mick West Explained: 9:33 AM ET Time on NPR Story about Storming the Capitol Election 2020 0
A.G. Explained: Covid-19 research with pre-2020 dates in Google search results Coronavirus COVID-19 4
Mick West Explained: "Disappearing needles" in Covid Vaccinations Coronavirus COVID-19 1
Mick West Explained: 82nd Airborne: "A Storm Is Coming" - Operation Devil Storm Conspiracy Theories 12
Mick West Explained: Fulton County, Georgia, "Suitcases" of Ballots being Scanned Election 2020 1
Z.W. Wolf Explained: Red Mirages, Blue Shifts, and Data Dumps in the 2020 Election Election 2020 21
Mick West Explained: Trump's Claim of Suspicious Early Morning Michigan Bump [It's Detroit] Election 2020 1
Mick West Explained: New Navy UFO Videos UFO Videos and Reports from the US Navy 210
Eleora Explained: "Quantum Dots" - Storing medical information below the skin’s surface Coronavirus COVID-19 13
Cassi O Polaris Height Perspective Explained (No math required) Flat Earth 1
Mick West Explained: RARE Video Footage of "Alien Space Craft" WATCHING ISS Astronaut! UFOs and Aliens 1
A Explained: astronaut's movement causes lunar flag to wave in Apollo 15 footage Conspiracy Theories 0
Mick West Explained: The "Many Faces" of Patrick Crusius, the El Paso Shooter Conspiracy Theories 22
Mick West Explained: "Beam of Light" in To The Stars Academy header images UFOs and Aliens 0
Mick West Explained: "UFOS" in Donald Trump's Crowd Photo on 4th of July UFOs and Aliens 3
D Explained: Photo of 747 with Contrails Only on One Side [Fake, April Fool] Contrails and Chemtrails 21
Qulaey Explained: 17.61 Mile Mirror Flash Supposedly Proves Flat Earth [Refraction] Flat Earth 5
Mick West Explained: The Navy's New "UFO" Reporting Guidelines UFO Videos and Reports from the US Navy 32
Mick West Explained: "It's photoshopped because it has to be" Flat Earth 3
Mick West Explained: Jet Chasing UFO: X-45A and F/A-18B Formation Flight Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 6
Trailblazer Explained: video of concentric circular "chemtrails" (E-3 Sentry AWACS plane, Feb 1 2019) Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 3
Rory Explained: How Mount Rainier helps demonstrate the shape of the globe Flat Earth 38
creatonez Explained: Why the Earth does not look oblate in photos from space Flat Earth 5
MikeG Explained: EU Army Deployed to Paris Conspiracy Theories 1
Mick West Explained: Unexplained Green Light During Thunderstorm [Water on Lens, Caustics] Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 7
Mick West Explained: Flashes of Light During the World Trade Center Collapse 9/11 5
Mick West Explained: House "Cut in Half", Tubbs Fire, Santa Rosa, Coffey Park Wildfires 0
Related Articles


















































Related Articles

Top