Do these pictures show spirits or some cheesy photo editing?

There is a woman who claims to have obtained some photographs of teenagers killed in a car accident and these photographs supposedly include their souls. Now, the images don’t look too convincing to me, but to be fair, I’m not sure what a soul is supposed to look like. Seeing the pictures, would you see the work of a third party photo editing software? Could you easily recreate the same thing?


I’m not even a photographer and I know how those photos were created. The long streaks the images give it away. Those are caused by leaving the camera lens open and either moving the camera around or moving the light source (or reflection, or whatever). You don’t even need photo editing software to create this effect.

So, not only a fake, but not even a good fake. Tell your friend to invest in a copy of photoshop if she wants her fakes to be taken more seriously.

If cameras could capture spirits, you would think they would appear more often in photographs.

Well, to be fair, in the second picture, it does show a boy’s face and at the bottom of the car door you see what’s allegedly the soul of a dog. Now, if you were convinced that image, just like the first one, had no photo editing, then that would be quite interesting.

Dang. I’ve been taking pictures of spirits like the ones in the OP for years and I didn’t even know it. (I’ve deleted most of them, unfortunately.)

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would have loved those photos!

I don’t know if this is how she did it, but it’s easy enough to leave the camera lens open, have the guy walk into frame, then flash a light briefly while he’s in frame, then have him walk out again. If he’s wearing dark clothes, that will leave a floating face in the image.

Again, no photo editing required, and if his belt buckle happened to catch a reflection off of something, that would explain the long streaks in the image.

I apologize, as I’m not at all familiar with photography, but I imagine most people would expect that if it’s an image of a guy wearing dark clothes, then wouldn’t we clearly see a guy wearing dark clothes? Even if it supposedly looked exactly like the car and would like the same, then why do we see the car window open? Why would he look orange?


Familiarize yourself with photography and what can be done with film and digital images. Then take another look at these pictures.

Come back if you still have questions. It may take a while to learn, but we’ve been here about 17 years and it doesn’t look like we are moving on anytime soon.

Not only fakes but bad fakes. 15 minutes tops for a sophomore in a high school photography class.

The second image has a smear of light that looks a bit like a face, or a dragon, or Jesus, depending on what tricks your brain’s pattern recognition software is playing today.

There’s a reason for that. There’s no physical evidence that souls even exist, and certainly nothing to indicate what they might look like if they did, as no one has ever seen one (and anyone who claims to can offer no verification). So after millennia of human existence, and well over a century of photography, all of a sudden this gal captures an image of a soul? If you believe that, I’ve got a bridge in
Brooklyn I’d like to sell you.

To be fair, real spirits and fakes are not the only possibilities. It’s possible that the photographer didn’t know what she was doing and accidentally produced these photographic artifacts, and then didn’t know how to interpret them.

It’s an example similar to shutter drag. Essentially the sensor of the camera will capture incoming light. In a typical photo the shutter is only open for a very brief amount of time. As this length of time increases, the same location on the sensor can be exposed to more light. If a moving image is in frame during the time the shutter is open, then it can be captured in multiple parts of the frame. The amount of light reflected off of the object that is in frame will control how much it is visible in the final image.

A cool example of this is light painting.

Often when cameras take pictures in low light using a flash, they will leave the shutter open so as to expose the film or sensor, then wait a while, then flash. Or, flash first then keep the shutter open for a while. My guess for the second image is that the photographer pointed the object at the car and pressed the button while a man with dark clothes was between the car and the camera. The camera left the shutter open while the man walked away. Before he did, some other flashing light illuminated his face somewhat (maybe a police car light or a flashlight?). Then, after he left the frame, the flash went off and we get to see the car lit up. The photographer didn’t move the whole time because he was waiting for the picture to take, not realizing that the shutter was open for a few seconds before the flash went off.

Take a look at this cool picture:

See that dark diagonal streak with a flash at the end of it? Does it look like a meteor hit the lamp post?

Turns out it was a flying insect, close to the camera, lit up at one end of its path by the camera flash.

Sometimes with these photo’s of spirit stuff it is not that the image does not have a explanation, it was the image was not expected to show what it does on a particular memorable shot. Along the lines of what Chronos said, easily not faked and also can be explained in terms of how the photograph was taken but the effect was not intentional and seemed to have a deeper meaning then just a double exposure or bug on the lens or whatever.
I have seen many such photos and know they were created unintentionally but the effect is explainable, but happening on a particular pict or series of photos is not.

But if that were the case, wouldn’t she know the guy & not describe the transparent man as a spirit?

We don’t have that information, if she knew/recognized the person, it says she obtained photos of a killed teen, not that she knew the teen. We can assume the phtot’s are not hers

We have no data about the photos other than what you report. And, I apologize for this, but you have not established yourself as a reliable source of information.

She may be lying, she may not even exist, you could be lying, either you or her could be mistaken, you yourself might not even exist except as a stunt or prank being perpetrated by a bored sophomore.

So we withhold judgement except for what we can see in the photos, and that does not impress.

The spirit is willing but the flash is weak.