Ghost in iphone photo, some sort of glitch?

Hawkeye

New Member
In an article from The Atlantic ( https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/09/why-do-people-believe-in-ghosts/379072/ ) the author includes a photo that she took on her iPhone of a man with a dog in a living room. However she notes that there appears to be a man in the upper left corner of the photo. The author makes it clear that there was nobody else with them when the photo was taken.

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What possible explanations could there be for the man in white appearing? Are there any known glitches that are known to have caused these types of effects in iPhone photos, especially back around 2014? I'm not really well versed in digital photography so I'm having trouble coming up with good explanations for this photo.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
it looks like her boyfriend holding a pair of scissors

Article:
Can you do double exposure on iPhone?
You can absolutely create stunning overlay pictures on your iPhone. All you need to do is download a photo editing app and start experimenting. We’ll go over the process using three different apps for creating your double exposure, but there are dozens of iPhone photo editors to choose from. The one you choose for your double exposure shots will largely depend on your budget and personal preferences, as the procedure differs slightly depending on the app you’re using.


1657341702143.png
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
In an article from The Atlantic ( https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/09/why-do-people-believe-in-ghosts/379072/ ) the author includes a photo that she took on her iPhone of a man with a dog in a living room. However she notes that there appears to be a man in the upper left corner of the photo. The author makes it clear that there was nobody else with them when the photo was taken
Then a few weeks later I discovered an image of a man in the background of a photo I took with my own iPhone. The picture was taken in my apartment and the man, whom I can’t identify, was not actually in the apartment at the time. I’ve been using the photo to scare my friends, and myself, ever since.
Content from External Source
The easiest way to do that is to clip a picture of a person from a magazine page with a mostly white background, pin it to the white wall, and turn a lamp on the wall (or have that portion be sunlit)—signs of this bright light can also be seen on the table. The bright part is overexposed, the man is not in the apartment, and she does not know who it is.

If the picture is not a hoax, a (timely!) investigation would look at the circumstances, i.e. what you would normally see there: is there a window, or some kind of reflective surface? Is there a way for an image to be projected on that surface? If you notice right away, what does the HDR version of this shot look like? is this the HDR version (which is merged from seperate exposures using the same camera)?
 

Hawkeye

New Member
Then a few weeks later I discovered an image of a man in the background of a photo I took with my own iPhone. The picture was taken in my apartment and the man, whom I can’t identify, was not actually in the apartment at the time. I’ve been using the photo to scare my friends, and myself, ever since.
Content from External Source
The easiest way to do that is to clip a picture of a person from a magazine page with a mostly white background, pin it to the white wall, and turn a lamp on the wall (or have that portion be sunlit)—signs of this bright light can also be seen on the table. The bright part is overexposed, the man is not in the apartment, and she does not know who it is.

If the picture is not a hoax, a (timely!) investigation would look at the circumstances, i.e. what you would normally see there: is there a window, or some kind of reflective surface? Is there a way for an image to be projected on that surface? If you notice right away, what does the HDR version of this shot look like? is this the HDR version (which is merged from seperate exposures using the same camera)?
is this the HDR version (which is merged from separate exposures using the same camera)?
So you're saying that, if the photo really hasn't been tampered with, it's possible that the photo can be a result of multiple exposures merging for some reason? Like for example, an older photo of the guy with the dog being partially imposed on the above photo due to some software malfunction?
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
signs of this bright light can also be seen on the table. The bright part is overexposed, the man is not in the apartment, and she does not know who it is.
it could be added light but she does also have some over exposed white areas of pics of her dog (cutie) on Instagram around that time period. my guess is her phone settings ??

the "ghosts" head is abnoramlly elongated ..just pointing that out. whether a double exposure app or a pic on the wall at some point the ghost was photoshopped i'd say.
 

tinkertailor

Senior Member.
It seems pretty possibly to me that it could just be a guy in her apartment walking by, which the photographer either forgot about or lied about. It's a pretty blown out, poor quality photo, but I think the ghost's noggin is reflecting light from the same direction as the rest of the photo, but with something this overexposed it is hard to determine.
Edit: clarified statement on photographer
 

tinkertailor

Senior Member.
the "ghosts" head is abnoramlly elongated ..just pointing that out. whether a double exposure app or a pic on the wall at some point the ghost was photoshopped i'd
The head is pretty standard proportions actually, his eyes are about halfway up the height of his skull.
 

Matt33

Member
There is a mirror image of him on the TV when you crank up brightness. His posture seems similar to the flipped ghost image.
Bildschirmfoto 2022-07-09 um 20.00.15.png
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
The easiest way to do that is to clip a picture of a person from a magazine page with a mostly white background, pin it to the white wall, and turn a lamp on the wall (or have that portion be sunlit)—signs of this bright light can also be seen on the table. The bright part is overexposed, the man is not in the apartment, and she does not know who it is.
The image is cut off in a straight line at the right, (lending credence to the "magazine picture" idea), and underneath it is what appears to be a common icon on line, a mirror image of an empty box with an arrow symbol: ( > ). "Swipe right/left"? Does that help to explain it?
 

tinkertailor

Senior Member.
The way I see it, some of the pinkish tones above his head are shadows making him look more alienesque than the actually is. I also think a wall or something else white is blocking part of his forehead, because there's a straight vertical cutoff above his brow at the right that isn't natural if you look at the shadows. I (roughly) outlined his approximate true forehead profile in blue.
Considering these, I marked approximate eye level, approximate chin level (difficult because he's looking down and has a little bit of fat there) and the true top of his skull. His head isn't elongated, his proportions are within normal standards.
If the image was manipulated, it wasn't stretched.
bighead-revised.jpg
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
So you're saying that, if the photo really hasn't been tampered with, it's possible that the photo can be a result of multiple exposures merging for some reason? Like for example, an older photo of the guy with the dog being partially imposed on the above photo due to some software malfunction?
I don't know if that is a glitch that is technically possible, but HDR does merge multiple exposures such that e.g. quick motion may be noticeable.
 

Hawkeye

New Member
The image is cut off in a straight line at the right, (lending credence to the "magazine picture" idea), and underneath it is what appears to be a common icon on line, a mirror image of an empty box with an arrow symbol: ( > ). "Swipe right/left"? Does that help to explain it?
I can’t find the empty box with the arrow, where exactly is it? That would definitely help with determining if it’s actually just photoshopped after all
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
I (roughly) outlined his approximate true forehead profile in blue.
so like if i play with my blending tools and wipe out the light and shadow that lets our brains grasp the real 3dness, it would appear his head top is part of his forehead. i can see that.

1657396424730.png
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
I can’t find the empty box with the arrow, where exactly is it? That would definitely help with determining if it’s actually just photoshopped after all
You're probably right, it was just the "swipe" symbol alone. Mea culpa.
 

Ann K

Senior Member.
Where exactly do you see such a symbol?
< bottom left. Or does it look more like ( to you? It is more open than the < available on my keyboard, but resembles the "back arrow" used in my browser to go to a previous screen.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
i assumed that was his other hand. thats why i see it as an [avant garde] art piece, because people dont usually walk around an apartment in that pose. I mean "technically" that is how "they" say you are supposed to hold scissors when traveling*, IF they are indeed scissors. hard to tell.


*unless you're a ghost. if a ghost trips with scissors and gets run-through, it likely wouldn't matter much. :)

edit add: UNLESS that is how the ghost died. hhmmm...
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
If you rotate the image of the ghost 90deg to the left, it starts to look like a guy lying on a pillow, holding the duvet?
 

Ravi

Senior Member.
The ghost is rather more in focus than the guy+dog. Not sure if it is blur or focus though. But in any case, should not happen. I am opting for "double exposure doctoring with app", using some other image.
 

Mendel

Senior Member.
The ghost is rather more in focus than the guy+dog. Not sure if it is blur or focus though. But in any case, should not happen.
That's what made me think of HDR initially, the darker foreground would come from the long exposure (=blurry) shot while the brighter background would come from the shorter exposure shot.
 
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