Can you spot what is ‘wrong’ in this photo? Better still, can you explain it?

Image credit: Reddit / SupaComputah

Take a look at this pretty normal looking photo of a man playing disc golf that has been doing the rounds on Reddit.

Can you spot anything that seems wrong with it?

Image credit: Reddit / SupaComputah

If you need a hint, look at the disc in the man’s hand. And now take a look at the shadow of the disc on the ground. Freaky, right?

Now, you might be thinking that this is some photoshop trickery, but what if we told you there were no alterations made to the original photo at all. Do you know how this could be possible?

It certainly had us scratching our heads!

The explanation might be obvious to some photographers, but to the rest of us we’ll probably need to sit down and learn something new to understand it.

What we are seeing here is a perfect example of the Rolling Shutter Effect.

Reddit user SupaComputah explains it in a nutshell:

The sensor in the camera doesn’t take picture as a whole. Instead it scans the lens from top to bottom.
So when it was scanning, the frisbee in hand came first and by the time it reached bottom (near the shadow) some time has passed and frisbee has actually left the hand and it’s shadow is captured by the sensor.
It’s like a time gradient from top to bottom.

When you take a photo of something with your phone, it scans the frame of view very quickly, line-by-line, from top to bottom. If you’re photographing an object that is moving very quickly, like a fan or plane’s propeller, the scanning exposure can warp the final image.

Here are a few more examples of photos that seem to depict a warped version of reality due to the Rolling Shutter Effect:

Aeroplane propeller

Image credit: SmarterEveryDay

Coin spinning

Image credit: SmarterEveryDay

Fidget spinner

Image Credit: Jonah / YouTube


Image credit: CraigoTurner / YouTube;

Image credit: Rachelf / YouTube

These are some of the best examples we have found. Now we’re inspired to play around and capture our own!