Extraordinary claims. Ordinary investigations.

Long Exposure Ghost


“Photo taken in 2006, at night in a beach. There was no one there except for the five friends. A woman appeared behind one of the girls. The photo has been in my PC, no one had access to them, I’m the girl in white. The photo was taken ‘in the automatic’ (10 seconds), I positioned the camera over a table at a distance of approximately three meters.”, Jamile Moura wrote us when she sent the photo.

I found it very interesting, and upon looking at the EXIF information in the image, quickly found that the exposure time was very long: 2 seconds. That means anything in front of the camera over at those two seconds would be captured, and if it was moving, if would appear blurred, with a phantasmagoric effect. Just like the lady back there. The clearly defined parts of the image were captured when the flash fired.

So I wrote Jamile and suggested this, that a woman may have passed behind them and they didn’t notice. This is actually very common (I could even suggest our good old invisible gorillas idea), but she kindly insisted there could be no one else there. “Your explanation didn’t convince me, but I thank you [for the suggestion]”.

Upon a closer look and further thought, and mainly realizing the ghost woman blur appear in front of the girl, another idea came up. It was long exposure, but the ghost is actually the girl at Jamile’s left side. She was initially standing for a few moments, then just before the flash fired, she inclined herself. The blur and distortion makes her look different, perhaps older, but her dress and hair is still recognizable.

The guy with a cap was also standing and bent when the flash fired, so there’s a “ghost” over his head too.

“Your new explanation makes more sense than the one before, thanks!”, Jamile replied. Well, thank you Jamile for sending a nice example of a long exposure ghost and not accepting our first quick and dirty idea. The second one is better, we all agree.

We will follow with several other examples of long exposure ghosts in the next posts. Some of them do feature people that went unnoticed in the background (and there’s one of the lamest photos ever received that features such invisible gorilla).

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Posted in Ghosts,Skepticism | 9 comments

9 Comments so far

  1. MCG November 21st, 2008 10:04 am

    I was reminded of some school class photos I’ve seen, featuring a doppelganger of one of the kids… the photos were taken with a motorised panoramic camera, which moved just slowly enough for a fleet-footed prankster to race from his original position at one end of the group to the opposite end…

  2. Magli November 23rd, 2008 2:16 pm

    I just want to point out that the flash would probably have gone off at the beginning of the exposure. The two people in question were therefor captured after the flash went off.

    This makes sense, as you can see that they are both bent over in what is probably an uncomfortable position (which they most likely held for the whole ten seconds of the auto-timer).

  3. Lalo Marquez December 11th, 2008 4:22 pm

    Very good explaination of the “ghostly” image. I agree with Magli, there are very few cameras that have the option of capturing pre-flash. Thank you for sharing.

  4. Another Long Exposure Ghost | forgetomori December 12th, 2008 12:28 am

    […] our series of long exposure ghosts, we post here the image kindly sent by our fellow Brazilian reader, Paulo […]

  5. BlackRaiser January 7th, 2009 11:19 pm

    The shadow behind the guy with the hat is… the guy with the hat. He moved slowly for about a second to stoop down, leaving the blur behind him. The ghost behind the woman is the very same woman, who also slowly moved to get into position for the shot and left a double image. I’m a photographer and have experienced such double-exposures (although not so spooky).

  6. raetsel January 9th, 2009 6:46 pm

    looks like the same girl that is bending over to me. both with striped tank tops… come on :p this is stupid, like all other “ghost” crap.

  7. Jason February 5th, 2009 11:02 pm

    Before I even read the article I noticed on how the “ghost” looks like the young women underneath. It don’t take a photographer or a paranormal expert to figure this out. Use common sense people.

  8. Emily February 6th, 2009 9:55 pm

    I would have to agree with you, that and I was was going to say the blur behind the guy in the white hat was the guy in the white hat. It looks as though he was originally standing too, but other people said that too.

  9. Madison October 30th, 2010 4:46 pm

    The “ghost” behind the girl, is totally the girl. She probably just moved last minute. It happens all the time with photo’s taken in a dark scene. They’re making the same face, wearing the same clothes. It’s not that hard to tell 😉

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