A woman was photographed standing in front of two mirrors with an iPhone camera, but the actual photo shows three completely different arm positions. The arms are found in different locations in mirror number one, mirror number two, and in real life. Is it Photoshop? Is this a bug in Matrix? Did the woman take a 25 year journey inside Twin Peaks a black lodge? No, it’s just a computer photography error, but it still makes for a hell of an image.
It all depends on how modern smartphone cameras handle photography. When you click the camera button, billions of computer operations happen in an instant, resulting in a photo you can post online in the hopes of getting a few kudos. In this case, Apple’s software didn’t realize there was a mirror in the photo, so it treated each version of the subject as three different people. She was moving at the time the photo was taken, so the algorithm stitched the photo together from multiple images. The final result ? Well, you can see it above.
The smartphone’s camera software always extracts multiple images at once, combining them as desired and adjusting contrast, saturation, detail and lack of blur. In the vast majority of cases, this does not pose a problem. Occasionally, however, the software gets a little confusing. If it were three different people, instead of one with a mirror, each subject would have been correctly depicted.
It’s something that can be recreated by anyone with an iPhone and mirrors. In fact, there’s a TikTok trend where people are doing just that, creating all sorts of silly photos and videos by exploiting the algorithm’s difficulties in separating mirror images from real people.