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Ghost Photo

  1. Aug 7, 2010 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    I was sent this photo of an alleged ghost. The story is that this is the first photo taken with a new cell phone. Is this some kind of inside joke or something? I don't suppose someone with the cell phone company is having a little fun? Could it be an error of some kind that allowed a preprogrammed photo to get mixed with a live shot?

    The person swears this is real and he still has the original photo in memory. He is willing to turn the phone over for testing. My understanding is that it is possible to show that the data has not been manipulated. Is this correct?

    I was sent a high-resolution bmp file. Below is the jpg. I was going to attach the bmp file but it appears to be too large. Do we see any evidence of fraud? My understanding is that this person has no specific knowledge of electronics or photo imaging techniques, so unless this is a pretty easy trick to pull, I tend to doubt this was faked by him. More likely someone has pulled a trick on him, I would think.

    http://img832.imageshack.us/img832/5179/ghostt.jpg [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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  3. Aug 7, 2010 #2

    Evo

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    Remember the news a couple of years ago of the brand new iphone that had a picture of a chinese factory worker on it?

    This looks like a reflection of a person standing in a doorway, or standing in front of a window. Notice the rectangle they're standing in? Would a "ghost" come along with a fixture behind them?

    I get some very bizarre shots from my digital camera, the demonic rabbit, the mysterious "fog", snowflakes in my living room, ghostly apparitions (which turned out to be my reflection in a window) which made it look like someone was floating on my patio.
     
  4. Aug 7, 2010 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    I am highly confident that there is no one around who looks like that - I know the source of this one through a family member. So it would have to be something already in the camera, or a photo superimposed on a real image, or simple trick photography.
     
  5. Aug 7, 2010 #4

    Evo

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    Considering that the image is of an Asian and I'll bet my fruit bat that the phone was made in an asian country, the image was already in the camera.
     
  6. Aug 7, 2010 #5

    Ivan Seeking

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    Yes, my first impression was Native American, but after a closer look, she looks more Chinese than anything.

    What seems to be a door frame in the lower part of the photo, seems to follow her outline as you approach her head, so I wasn't sure what to think about that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2010
  7. Aug 7, 2010 #6

    Evo

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    Don't ask me how it happened though. Of course, the camera coming from China, it's a chinese ghost.

    Why would a ghost be standing in a rectangle? And why is part of the face blocking out the wheel, and part is not?
     
  8. Aug 7, 2010 #7

    Ivan Seeking

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    I don't think it is actually a rectangle... it just looks that way in the lower part of the photo.

    Usually there is a dead giveaway in photos like this. I didn't see anything familiar here.
     
  9. Aug 7, 2010 #8

    DavidSnider

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    Is this the full image? Could it just have been a double exposure from what was on the TV screen?
     
  10. Aug 7, 2010 #9

    Ivan Seeking

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    You are seeing the entire image. It was resized for the forum. The bitmap is 1600 x 1200.
     
  11. Aug 7, 2010 #10

    Ivan Seeking

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  12. Aug 7, 2010 #11

    Ivan Seeking

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    I called to ask what was on the television. Allegedly the child seen in the photo was watching a cartoon - Sprout.

    Someone had already thought to ask about that.
     
  13. Aug 7, 2010 #12

    Ivan Seeking

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  14. Aug 7, 2010 #13

    Evo

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    If you want to see weird, I was video conferencing with Kurdt when all of a sudden black wisps started circling around his head. This continued for a couple of minutes then stopped.

    I snapped a still photo of the wisps.

    Sorry, this might detract from your thread, i was just showing that digital cameras capture some weird stuff. You can delete it if you want.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Aug 7, 2010 #14
    did anyone look real close at the face on the "ghost" image? It does not look happy to me. It looks ...... anyone else with thoughts on that?
     
  16. Aug 7, 2010 #15

    Evo

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    It looks faked, see how the wheel frames the face? The "face" blots out the wheel then suddenly is transparent again. Amazing how the facial features conveniently blot out the wheel, but no other part of her picture does.
     
  17. Aug 7, 2010 #16

    alt

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    Yes, it looks strange and disconcerting - the eyes more than anything.
     
  18. Aug 7, 2010 #17

    Evo

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    She has bags under her eyes, she looks tired.

    Ivan, ask your friend to e-mail the actual photo to you directly from their phone, then post it here. It's called picture mail, their phone can do it. That way we can see what is on the phone and not an uploaded picture.
     
  19. Aug 7, 2010 #18

    alt

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    You could also say it looks as though she (?) is emerging from the wheel - coming foward through it, and that the part of her face visible has emerged while the rest hasn't. That is of course, if you believed in ghosts.

    I find the wheel / face interphase, one of the most interesting things.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2010
  20. Aug 7, 2010 #19

    alt

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    Her eyes to me, looked puffed up both under and over. And such effects can be caused from things different to mere tiredness.

    I do not believe in ghosts. OTOH, this is one of the more interesting photos I've seen, and it's worthwhile deconstructing it point by point - if possible.
     
  21. Aug 7, 2010 #20
    I downloaded and looked at this in Photoshop. The image I got is 1600 x 1200 pixels. Do cell phone cameras have resolutions that high? Maybe they do. I haven't been keeping up with cell phone technology. There is a very well defined line just above the woman's head that separates the image of the woman from the background. You have to zoom in to see it. This could have been a result of one image being cropped out of another.

    As for the likeness of the woman, I think she looks native American or native Alaskan. Her right eye appears to be bruised and her face just under her left eye appears to be swollen.
     
  22. Aug 8, 2010 #21

    Ivan Seeking

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    Okay, I contacted the young man directly and had him email the photo from his phone. It came in as a 251 KB jpg. Below is a link to the unmodified upload.
    http://yfrog.com/5mghostcamera100728175542j

    The original bmp was 5.49 MB [uploaded from his camera to a pc].

    One correction: This was about the 20th photo taken with the phone, not the first. Also, the zoom feature was being tested.

    If you look closely, even the face does not completely obscure the wheel.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2010
  23. Aug 8, 2010 #22

    Math Is Hard

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    That's pretty weird, Ivan. I was googling around trying to see if I could find something that explained how double exposures could occur on a digital photograph. I found nothing except instructions for how to create the effect with image editing software. The only similar thing I have seen to that was when a batch of my digital image files got corrupted and had bright green lines running through them. (nothing interesting, just boring horizontal lines).
     
  24. Aug 8, 2010 #23

    Ivan Seeking

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    Could the photo be downloaded, modified, and uploaded again from a pc to the phone? If so, would it be possible to show that happened?

    I found out that the bright spot above her head is a reflection from the sun. The weird art thing on the wall has a chromed backplate. The sun can also be seen reflecting off baby's bald little head. :biggrin: I am going to drop by tomorrow to see the living space and cell phone.

    Note that the reflection from the sun would seem to rule out any possibility that the image is also a reflection; say from a sheet of glass positioned at the proper angle to reflect the image of someone behind the photographer.

    This kid is such an unlikely candidate for a hoaxer [assuming that this isn't now an easy trick!] that this has caught interest - that and some oddities about the photo. He and his wife are very young and live in a very small house, maybe 800 sq feet, tucked away in a lower-middle-class neighborhood. He loves buying nice toys but isn't a tech guru by any means. He works in a completely non-technical trade.

    Btw, he doesn't believe in ghosts. He is an agnostic on that point. At a glance, the only reasonable explanation seems to be a software glitch, but that doesn't look like something that would be preloaded on a cell phone. So again I have to wonder about a hoax at the factory level, but that doesn't seem possible. Any residual data should have been lost when the new data replaced it, right? That seems to leave a software trick as the best explanation.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2010
  25. Aug 8, 2010 #24

    Borek

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    I doubt jpg is the original one. Every jpg picture has some information saved in the header, at least it contains information about the camera used. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EXIF. That's from the picture taken with my Nokia 6300:

    Code (Text):
    Make - Nokia
    Model - 6300
    Orientation - Top left
    XResolution - 72
    YResolution - 72
    ResolutionUnit - Inch
    Software - V 07.21
    YCbCrPositioning - Centered
    ExifOffset - 157
    ExifVersion - 0220
    ComponentsConfiguration - YCbCr
    FlashPixVersion - 0100
    ColorSpace - sRGB
    ExifImageWidth - 1200
    ExifImageHeight - 1600

    Thumbnail: -
    Compression - 6 (JPG)
    XResolution - 72
    YResolution - 72
    ResolutionUnit - Inch
    JpegIFOffset - 329
    JpegIFByteCount - 5281
    Nothing like that in the picture you linked to, which MAY suggest that it was modified.

    Could be EXIF was stripped by the imageshack. Could be its a practical joke.
     
  26. Aug 8, 2010 #25
    Yeah, that is indeed a weird art thing. About as weird as the ghost image.
    Sometimes reflections can occur in the camera lens, especially with bright points of light. Would it be possible for the image to be on the art thing, projected to the camera by the sunlight, and then reflected/refracted internally by the camera lens?

    If it is not a hoax you could also try and reproduce the effect by taking the same picture using the same camera at the same time of day (position of the sun).
     
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