A bride-to-be discovers a reality-bending mistake in Apple's computational photography

Posted:
in iPhone edited December 2023

A U.K. woman was photographed standing in a mirror where her reflections didn't match, but not because of a glitch in the Matrix. Instead, it's a simple iPhone computational photography mistake.




Thanks to technological advancements, photography has come a long way from flash bulbs and film. Every time the iPhone shutter button is clicked, billions of operations occur in an instant that results in a photo.

A U.K. comedian and actor named Tessa Coates was trying on wedding dresses when a shocking photo of her was taken, according to her Instagram post shared by PetaPixel. The photo shows Coates in a dress in front of two mirrors, but each of the three versions of her had a different pose.

One mirror showed her with her arms down, the other mirror showed her hands joined at her waist, and her real self was standing with her left arm at her side. To anyone who doesn't know better, this could prove to be quite a shocking image.

What's actually occurred here is a mistake in Apple's computational photography pipeline. The camera wouldn't realize it was taking a photo of a mirror, so it treated the three versions of Coates as different people.

Coates was moving when the photo was taken, so when the shutter was pressed, many differing images were captured in that instant as the camera swept over the scene, since it was a panoramic photo capture. Apple's algorithm stitches the photos together, choosing the best versions for saturation, contrast, detail, and lack of blur.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Tessa Coates (@wheatpraylove)



The final composite image should be the best, most realistic interpretation of that moment. However, since there was a mirror present, the algorithm determined that different moments shown in each mirror were the best for that reflection. That's what resulted in three different Tessas.

This result can be recreated on any recent iPhone and many kinds of smartphone due to the limitations of computational photography dealing with mirrors. Younger generations have figured this phenomenon out and used it to generate silly images for social media.

Update December 2, 11:05 Updated with details about the photo being shot in Panoramic mode, which is why the bride-to-be had time to change position between the shots found in the mirror.

Read on AppleInsider

darbus69
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 46

    This result can be recreated on any recent iPhone and many kinds of smartphone due to the limitations of computational photography dealing with mirrors. Younger generations have figured this phenomenon out and used it to generate silly images for social media.

    Do you have any examples of younger gratins figuring this out with silly images? I can’t say that I’ve seen this before.
    edited November 2023 watto_cobraroundaboutnowAlex1Npscooter63
  • Reply 2 of 46
    My opinion: Attention seeker / subscriber boosting technique.
    SL356watto_cobraAlex1Nralphie
  • Reply 3 of 46
    Sorry folks. This is totally fake. No way 'computational photography' produced this. 
    eriamjhwatto_cobrawdowelljdgarvin50
  • Reply 4 of 46
    Alex_VAlex_V Posts: 211member
    SL356 said:
    Sorry folks. This is totally fake. No way 'computational photography' produced this. 
    I know what you mean. It doesn't need computational photography to occur. This effect can happen on a 35mm film SRL with a horizontal focal plane shutter: if the subject moves as the shutter is travelling horizontally across to expose the film. I believe the iPhone has a rolling shutter — same thing.
    byronljas99SL356watto_cobraAlex1Nargonaut
  • Reply 5 of 46
    I wish Apple could give us the option to turn computational photography off.
    baconstangralphie
  • Reply 6 of 46
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,084member
    Alex_V said:
    SL356 said:
    Sorry folks. This is totally fake. No way 'computational photography' produced this. 
    I know what you mean. It doesn't need computational photography to occur. This effect can happen on a 35mm film SRL with a horizontal focal plane shutter: if the subject moves as the shutter is travelling horizontally across to expose the film. I believe the iPhone has a rolling shutter — same thing.
    While it does have a rolling shutter, you could not slow the shutter speed enough and still avoid blurring and distortion to produce such disparate images in a single photo. IMO this is purely due to computational photography combining the best parts of several images captured from a single shutter press. Typical rolling shutter from an SLR or ILC does not produce this effect in a single photo. 

    Sidenote: A reminder that what we see from our smartphone cameras may not always accurately present the scene. Sony and Leica, along with the other camera manufacturers following soon, specifically include markers to authenticate photos as being unadulterated, and for very good reasons. 
    anonymousebaconstangroundaboutnowAlex1N
  • Reply 7 of 46
    Actually this is a very common trick you can do in photography, this isn’t possible when taking a picture on the iPhone unless you know how to do it. You’re either using an app or photoshop to stitch the 3 images together. I’ve done images like this for years. Nothing new and it’s an intentional trick not something the iPhone did by mistake. It says she’s a comedian and her instagram is wheatpraylove. Yeah this was an intentional joke not something the iPhone mistakenly did.
    edited December 2023 jas99watto_cobrabaconstang
  • Reply 8 of 46
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,084member
    Actually this is a very common trick you can do in photography, this isn’t possible when taking a picture on the iPhone unless you know how to do it. You’re either using an app or photoshop to stitch the 3 images together. I’ve done images like this for years. Nothing new and it’s an intentional trick not something the iPhone did by mistake. It says she’s a comedian and her instagram is wheatpraylove. Yeah this was an intentional joke not something the iPhone mistakenly did.
    Huh. According to an Apple Genius that's not how this photo was captured. He explains it is as a result of Apple's computational photography combining parts of different captured images in camera in order to produce the most pleasing photo. 

    By the way, you can intentionally combine captured iPhone images using your iPhone alone, no 3rd party app or Photoshop needed. 
    roundaboutnowAlex1N
  • Reply 9 of 46
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,854member
    Actually this is a very common trick you can do in photography, this isn’t possible when taking a picture on the iPhone unless you know how to do it. You’re either using an app or photoshop to stitch the 3 images together. I’ve done images like this for years. Nothing new and it’s an intentional trick not something the iPhone did by mistake. It says she’s a comedian and her instagram is wheatpraylove. Yeah this was an intentional joke not something the iPhone mistakenly did.
    I don't see how you could possibly know that. This is one of the rare instances where I agree with Gatorguy
    gatorguyroundaboutnowAlex1N
  • Reply 10 of 46
    HonkersHonkers Posts: 156member
    Lol, some saying this can happen by accident even with film photos, others saying it must be computational photography, others saying that's impossible and must be faked using photoshop.  And everyone so insistent that their conclusion must be the correct one.  I'm sure you're all experts in possession of all the facts.
    jas99Graeme000jellybelly
  • Reply 11 of 46
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,084member
    Honkers said:
    Lol, some saying this can happen by accident even with film photos, others saying it must be computational photography, others saying that's impossible and must be faked using photoshop.  And everyone so insistent that their conclusion must be the correct one.  I'm sure you're all experts in possession of all the facts.
    The Apple Genius who explained it would be considered an expert, would he not? 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 12 of 46
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 2,212member
    Wooooooo! Looking at this photo gives me the shivers! Spooky!

    It's either a computational processing glitch, or this was deliberately staged.

    I didn't realize the computational photography feature would stitch portions of multiple photos together. I thought it just picked the best of the bunch.
    watto_cobraAlex1N
  • Reply 13 of 46
    Actually this is a very common trick you can do in photography, this isn’t possible when taking a picture on the iPhone unless you know how to do it. You’re either using an app or photoshop to stitch the 3 images together. I’ve done images like this for years. Nothing new and it’s an intentional trick not something the iPhone did by mistake. It says she’s a comedian and her instagram is wheatpraylove. Yeah this was an intentional joke not something the iPhone mistakenly did.
    I don't see how you could possibly know that. This is one of the rare instances where I agree with Gatorguy
    Because with a computational error the motion of her hands would be blurred.
    baconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 46
    So… Apple has AI creating images of our photos instead of…taking actual photos?

    worse than Samsungs fake moons. 

    On the other hand - and more likely, this is a hoax. 
    edited December 2023 watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 46
    This effect is old use iPhone pano when you change pose twice as it’s panning across. It’s not a computational error. Such a fuss out of nothing TikTok is full of this shite.  What an attention sealing bride guess wants a sponsor to pay for her dress. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 46
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,084member
    This effect is old use iPhone pano when you change pose twice as it’s panning across. It’s not a computational error. Such a fuss out of nothing TikTok is full of this shite.  What an attention sealing bride guess wants a sponsor to pay for her dress. 
    Your iPhone absolutely does take a multi-photo exposure, then analyzes those multiple captured images to determine the best portion of each and fuse them into one superior image. Fact. 
    chasmmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 17 of 46
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,084member
    So… Apple has AI creating images of our photos instead of…taking actual photos?

    worse than Samsungs fake moons. 

    On the other hand - and more likely, this is a hoax. 
    Especially in low light your iPhone does take a multi-photo exposure, then analyzes those multiple images to determine the best portion of each and fuse them into one "best photo"  It is not a single frame image capture so odd images could happen as a result.  Google and Samsung do the same, as do most others with varying levels of success.

    I don't know how this particular photo happened, but at least according to an Apple Genius who was consulted on the photo, it was a result of different image captures with the best parts of each combined. He could be wrong. 
    edited December 2023 JFC_PA
  • Reply 18 of 46
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,123member
    FTL shutter speeds!
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 46
    gatorguy said:
    So… Apple has AI creating images of our photos instead of…taking actual photos?

    worse than Samsungs fake moons. 

    On the other hand - and more likely, this is a hoax. 
    Especially in low light your iPhone does take a multi-photo exposure, then analyzes those multiple images to determine the best portion of each and fuse them into one "best photo"  It is not a single frame image capture so odd images could happen as a result.  Google and Samsung do the same, as do most others with varying levels of success.

    I don't know how this particular photo happened, but at least according to an Apple Genius who was consulted on the photo, it was a result of different image captures with the best parts of each combined. He could be wrong. 
    No disagreement from me. 

    Except I don’t give much cred to apple geniuses. It’s not that hard to become one. They say what they were taught. Confronted with this photo, they fell back on what they knew. Like most everyone. It’s not some inside knowledge. 

    My point is that this woman didn’t innocently snap a photo and end up with this. It was either done on purpose or is faked. 

    Being that you can get your iPhone to do this, it’s not something that happens just from snapping a photo. If it was the iPhone, there is an element of experimentation to get this effect at play. Not anything like “oh my gosh! I just clocked the button and now I can see the multiverse!” LOL

    She knows what she’s doing - or her photographer does. Yet it’s entirely still possible that it’s a low rent fake. Not like there aren’t enough of those out there. 
    edited December 2023 watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 46
    JFC_PAJFC_PA Posts: 929member
    Low available light? The iPhone takes a lot of images off the sensor and runs them through the graphic processor. 

    This result? Okay. 
    edited December 2023 watto_cobra
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