PetaPixel

Four Eyes and One Reflection of a Boy Making Pancakes

Put your detective hats on — there’s a photo mystery going on over at Boing Boing. Luke Mandle sent in the above photograph of his little boy, Boing Boing published it asking readers to explain it, and how there’s a fine and informative debate in the comments.

The question is why the boy’s eyes are different in the reflection. Notice how he’s blinking on the left, and has his eyes open on the right (kinda creepy, I know). The different explanations suggested in the comments include:

What do you think it is? Here’s a poll:

[poll id="54"]

Let us know your explanation in the comments!


 
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  • http://kverke.com/ Josh Gunderson

    I say Photoshop (or other image-altering app). The straight edge of the TV is a nice place to slice; or even the edge of TV screen itself. Bracketing composite maybe.

  • http://twitter.com/Grrbrrr Grrbrr

    I’d say that it’s the result of the darkened reflection and long-enough exposure time. The blink was instantly captured by the camera while the reflection had a longer time to develop while the boy had his eyes open after the blink.

    It probably even has some remains from the exact time they were closed, but were painted over by longer exposure to the open eyes.

  • Eddiesmithphoto

    rolling shutter it’s a cell phone pic they work like a scanner, i have a cat pic with 2 sets of eyes same issue

  • http://www.tyleringram.com Anonymous

    I’d say rolling shutter too, he blinked while the shutter was doing it’s thing. Silly camera phones!

  • Mogreen90

    The reflection is a video feed

  • http://twitter.com/darkfoxprime Johnson Earls

    My guess – The “reflection” is not a reflection, but a photo – as Mongreen90 said.

  • http://twitter.com/psoucy9 Pascal Soucy

    Yeah, I like the idea of the reflection being a video feedback

  • Tom

    Forget the eyes, he can make pancakes! Now that’s cool!

    /jk ;)

  • http://twitter.com/chrisbtoo Chris Berry

    I was going to say video feedback, but the angle is wrong. Going to go with Rolling shutter.

  • http://www.andynicholas.com Andy

    There’s always the possibility that it was Photoshop, there’s no way to rule it out. But assuming no funny business then it’s got to be rolling shutter. The picture was taken on it’s side so when rotated back the right hand side would have been “exposed” first before he blinked.

  • http://www.andynicholas.com Andy

    There’s always the possibility that it was Photoshop, there’s no way to rule it out. But assuming no funny business then it’s got to be rolling shutter. The picture was taken on it’s side so when rotated back the right hand side would have been “exposed” first before he blinked.

  • http://www.andynicholas.com Andy

    There’s always the possibility that it was Photoshop, there’s no way to rule it out. But assuming no funny business then it’s got to be rolling shutter. The picture was taken on it’s side so when rotated back the right hand side would have been “exposed” first before he blinked.

  • Alexandre Strube

    look at the window.

  • http://blog.emredjan.com Emre Can

    Error Level Analysis results, not definitive, but looks like not shopped: http://www.errorlevelanalysis.com/permalink/86627a3/
    I vote for rolling shutter also

  • Ken Wilson

    Definitely rolling shutter (or more accurately know as a vertical plane shutter). The ‘shutter’ was traveling left to right (or the other way) ‘exposing’ one vertical row of pixels at a time. The boys eyes had begun to open (or close) in the time it took the ‘shutter’ to traverse the width of the imager. The same ‘mechanism’ creates shearing of vertical lines and objects (causing them to appear to lean to one side or the other) when the camera is moving during a photograph.

    Nothing untoward or spooky. Just the mechanics of photography.

  • Atiratha

    I’d say, the picture with open eyes was taken, then put on TV by cable or some other means and then the picture with closed eyes and the other photo on the screen was taken. Notice the angles not being quite right for a reflection.

  • Collin

    cant be a reflection, he is not directly infront of the TV to cast a reflection in it from that angle. Has to be photoshop.

  • Rats

    How is this even a question? Do you people really not understand how that reflection is impossible at that angle? Really? Wow.

  • Fastactingrelief

    It is obvious that he subscribes to Schrodinger’s theories on quantum superposition.

  • http://twitter.com/YJawhar Yousif Jawhar

    I was just about to say that, but I guess you guys said it first! :P

  • Doobs

    Obviously rolling shutter from the phone camera, although extremely easy to do in Photoshop if the camera is on the table (no movement) and two quick photos to use.

    Reflection not possible?! Have you people never seen glass or a mirror? Go grab your own shiny surface and hold it close to your eye at the same angle….

  • EricaB

    It has to be a photo-shopped image. I don’t see how the angle the television is facing in relation to the camera, could possibly make that image with such a little amount of distortion, even with a ”rolling shutter”.

    The angles just dont match up.

  • Jon

    i also vote rolling shutter. you can see his eyes aren’t all the way open* in the reflection, so it “rolled” past the TV as he was opening his eyes.

    (*at least, they don’t look all the way open to me)

  • Jon

    i also vote rolling shutter. you can see his eyes aren’t all the way open* in the reflection, so it “rolled” past the TV as he was opening his eyes.

    (*at least, they don’t look all the way open to me)

  • Jon

    i also vote rolling shutter. you can see his eyes aren’t all the way open* in the reflection, so it “rolled” past the TV as he was opening his eyes.

    (*at least, they don’t look all the way open to me)

  • Mike

    I say it’s just a video running on the television. They just staged it to look like a reflection.

  • lightcaptor

    He is an alien who has lots of super powers!!!!!!111

  • Vee8

    the screen is too far away for it to be a reflection and looks to be at an incorrect angle to the child being photographed. I have to say it is two photos and the one is photoshopped onto the screen as a reflection.

  • http://twitter.com/Brutalsleeper Ryan Clarke

    The TV isn’t a TV at all but a window into an exact replica kitchen where a twin is also making pancakes.

  • Shari8180

    Hellllooo! There is NO way it’s a reflection, the TV is in the WRONG place on the counter to be able to capture the reflection of the boy!

  • http://twitter.com/Brutalsleeper Ryan Clarke

    Angles and mirrors are complex things it is entirely possible it’s a reflection, although it is unlikely it can’t be dismissed.

  • http://twitter.com/_ashess Ashley Gries

    I agree. I think people underestimate angles and perspectives. Hasn’t anyone taking an art course before? Definitely possible it can be an angle.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1483599242 Jacque Turner

    It’s the rolling shutter. If you look at his eyes in the tv reflection, he’s in the process of the blink already.

  • tkphotography

    I think photoshop he took 2 pics.. one eyes open.. other eyes closed and used mirror image on the one and darked it into the tv screen… I have several photos where i have done this!!!!

  • joe e bear

    This is created with the use of Photoshop. Three years ago i saw the same thing created by a young lady in Shawsville, VA. She changed her image in a large oval shaped mirror. She is on MySpace.

  • http://twitter.com/deltaflux Tom Gaulton

    I’m going with rolling shutter, if it’s done in photoshop then it’s surely just been done to see how easily people jump to the photoshop conclusion (which judging by the votes is quite easily).

  • Derek

    If it is photoshop, and the whole reflection has been added, then it is excessively detailed – notice the curved bottom of the cupboard in the reflection because the glass in the monitor is not completely flat.

  • John

    its a photoshop… you did another shot for a blink and flipping it and fit it to the TV.. something like a scripted thing that why you should put the remote control… to indicate that mirror is a TV?

  • Jluidhardt

    Hmmmmm, I say the rolling shutter is the highest possibility due to ease of (accidental) creation.
    The feed to the TV idea isn’t as likely cause it would involve somewhere reversing the image displayed on the TV screen to get the reflected aspect and the linear refresh of a TV or computer monitor isn’t exactly the best for photographic purposes. Possible, but not likely.
    It is possible to do in Photoshop, but would have been more difficult to do than worthwhile. Take a look at the angle of the image displayed on the TV screen, it’s not just a “mirror, skew and blend” job like most retail advertising reflections. The kid’s shoulder covers more of the window in the reflection from the TV screen as if it were being viewed at a different angle. Now there’s the possibility that he took two shots to get that difference in angles to later edit together, but I have two nephews and two nieces, so I know how slim the possibility is of getting even a sleepy child to keep the exact same pose for two exposures while you’re getting to a different angle to take a secondary shot, especially while he’s cooking. Unless the pause button on that remote control actually controls the kid, not much of a chance. :P
    If it is a Photoshop job, then only the eyes were altered as opposed to the entire reflection faked, which I can state from experience is not as easy as it sounds to get correct. Any alteration to facial features typically stands out like a sore thumb unless it is done exceptionally well. I personally wouldn’t go through the effort necessary to create this and get it done well enough that people can’t immediately tell it’s fake for something that is, in the grand scheme of things, not a photo that would be much beyond an internet curiosity.
    This whole photo has more of a feel to it of “Wow, look what happened!” than something planned, set up, and then exectued. Sure, it *could* be planned, set up, and then executed; but why? Why do it with a semi-awake kid making pancakes in his PJ’s through a TV set? Doesn’t tell much of a story, does it?

  • QuBe

    “Who’s pickin’ a banjo here?”

  • Pingback: Rolling Shutter Causes Plane to Drop Boomerang Bombs

  • laddie

    i think he is Chinese in descries and that how he does the trick- chinese people are magic— ha ha ha

  • mr goose

    READ THIS, THIS IS THE REAL ANSWER      !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     he is chinese in disguise, that is how he does it, chinese people are magic- ha ha ha

  • http://www.facebook.com/cris.vaninwegen Cris Van Inwegen

    I know this forum is way old, but I wanted to add in that if you view the EXIF data, it shows that the images was, at the very least, opened and saved as a new image from PhotoShop CS4 (Macintosh). That doesn’t mean it was edited, but it does add a little weight to the “doctored photo” theory. I personally am voting for the “rolling shutter” idea, but having edited the eyes wouldn’t be difficult at all and I could probably do it in about 5 minutes or less.

    The fact that the shutter opens and closes from one side to the next seems very plausible, but also that there’s slightly more distance for the reflected image’s path to follow vs. that of the boy could possibly play a part, as well. I’m well aware of how fast light travels, so I doubt it had a great deal to do with it, but I did say “possibility”. When you’re dealing with the 1/100th of a second or less shutter speed, rolling shutter plus the greater distance traveled seems more likely than someone posting a picture after having edited the thing. If the phenomenon didn’t happen at all then I doubt we’d have ever seen the picture. I don’t know, maybe that’s precisely what the author counted on us to think.

    I would love to know the real answer, though.

  • Corey_Faure

    Why does it HAVE to be a Photoshop and not a rolling shutter?

  • Corey_Faure

    Gotta be a rolling shutter.

  • Waxil Davidson

    Demon.

  • Todd C

    Shutter speed is faster than the speed of light. The Chinese have the technology, they are just waiting to find a way to bulk manufacture it with kids about the age of the one shown. Should be out for retain at Wal-mart my summer!

  • Todd C

    Shutter speed is faster than the speed of light. The Chinese have the technology, they are just waiting to find a way to bulk manufacture it with kids about the age of the one shown. Should be out for retail at Wal-mart by summer!