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By on November 25, 2010, with 55 Comments

Update 3: I have removed the author’s name and link due to his request.

Update 2: Unfortunately, original author asked us if we can remove his photo of the site, which we are obligated to do, so instead I’ve added this magnificent installation by Fred Eerdekens.

Lydia Roe found this peculiar photo of some band I never had the opportunity to learn of. The illusion is more fun orientated than being puzzling. Still, it turned out fine. What you see here is a singer and guitarist Laura Marling casting an unlikely shadow. Any clue how this happened? More similar fine illusions can be found via #shadow tag!

  • Blaise Pascal

    Looking over her shoulders, you can see the mic, horn, and head of the horn-player behind her. The shadow on the wall is not of her, but of the horn-player.

    Where her shadow is, I’m uncertain

    • Anonomous

      I can’t believe I didn’t see that…

    • Froscas

      light focus is behind her (on the ceiling), as the singer is a step near to the audience than the horn-player there is no shadow for her

  • ali

    You can see the horn over the guitarist’s right shoulder so it’s not too tricky to figure out. The bend in the wall means the guitarist’s shadow is probably along the floor instead of up the wall.

    • will

      yes the hrn player is behind her. but the light you can see is coming from the right side of the frame. so her shadow would be casted out of veiw to the left on the wall.

  • darthnix

    are you kidding me? there is a guy behindp him i can even see his hair on the back of her’s which means he is right behind her

  • Casandra

    you can see a little bit of the guy and his instrument behind her, that’s the shadow you see is the guy not hers

  • Enrique

    you can see the horn-player behind her, he is casting the shadow…
    but still… where’s her sahdow anyway?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mitchell-Taco-Nash/540775439 Mitchell Taco Nash

    I agree with Blaise. I similarly have no idea where her shadow would be. :/

  • lucy

    ummm did u not see the person behind her… its not very visible but their is a guy behind her who is the shadow!!<3

    • Chriss

      Lucy is right! Look closely at the top of the guitar player’s shoulder and you will see the end of the horn!! Great image though!

  • Chelse

    The “cyborg cello player” … Another optical illusion isn’t it? It’s another microphone. But, ja, first glance makes me think Star Trek:-)

    • mike hawk


  • Debbie

    I think she is far enough toward the front of the stage that her shadow falls on the floor not the wall

  • me

    there is a saxophone player behind the singer if you look closely we are seeing his shadow not the singers

  • Care Bear

    A flugal horn!!?? Really!

  • Jonn

    It is the musician behind her… obvious..NEXT!

  • Chriss

    The shadow behind the bass player does not match the bass player either… look at the arm on the bass player extended down, but the shadow is cut off at the elbow indicating possibly holding something up… perhaps that shadow is the one which belongs to the singer with the guitar, and judging by the angle in relation to the singer, maybe the horn player is off-picture to the left and the light is off-picture to the left casting the shadow onto the picture alone. Whatever/however, it’s a great illusion!

  • breandan

    Anybody who has worked with stage lighting will see this kind of thing a lot. The horn player is lit by the second row of lights. You don’t see the shadow of the gutarist be cause the light is almost on top of her. Her shadow is on the floor. You can know this by where the shadow of her left(stage right) arm goes.

  • Dr.T

    My guess is her shadow is overruled by the horn players shadow as he is more or less directly behind her in the spotlight.

  • Elliot

    The horn player is behind the guitarist, this is a real shadow, I don’t think it’s accidental.

    I see what you are getting at though, it’s a bit like the John Lewis christmas advert from a couple of years ago:


  • tvb

    easy ,guitar shadow set by front lights and horn player in “contrejour” (backlight) right place for the photo,and good lights
    is the musique as good?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Timothy-Biscombe/100001081651161 Timothy Biscombe

    easy ,guitar shadow set by front lights and horn player in “contrejour” (backlight) right place for the photo,and good lights
    is the musique as good?

  • Andrew

    …that is cool and interesting illusion…but the cake (shadow) is a lie!

  • John Tunnicliffe

    I’d be more wary of the cyborg cello player on the left….note her right eye!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Eddie-Bolden/100000483504711 Eddie Bolden

      Lol @ John Tunnicliffe

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Haviland/100000657164709 Richard Haviland

    There are two separate light sources, one on the girl(spot light) and another light on the man in back of her……..

  • Svensti

    they are all right!!…it’s the Horn players shadow behind the guitarist. Her shadow is on the floor, you can tell by the shadow of her left arm and coat..

  • Sheetal

    its the horn player behind her,her shadow is along the floor

  • sherin

    i guess, even if there wud be a guy behind her, then the shadow must face towards the right direction and not to the left…so there must be some other reason for that shadow

  • oscar mabanta

    the horn player is at the back of the singer or lady guitarist he is hidden at the back of the guitarist.

  • Joe Simeone

    Laura Beatrice Marling the band is Noah and the Whale but she left in 2008 and has gone on to do some fine solo gigs.
    great indy sounds and check out the web site
    oh the shadow has a name Jack Hamson

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Terry-Foss/572647761 Terry Foss

    On the far right you can see the bottom of the microphone, the horn player is out of the pic on the very right and the light casting the shadow must be behind him yet..I am not seeing a person behind the guitarist.

  • kimbo

    there is a horn-playing dude standing directly behide her, it’s his shadow that is cast on the wall.
    her shadow is the one in the right-hand corner, left of the bass-playing man. and his shadow is on the right of him, you can only see a bit of it though

  • JW

    Maybe she doesn’t háve a shadow? (spooky)

  • http://www.moillusions.com/2010/11/an-unlikely-shadow.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+OpticalIllusions+%28Optical+Illusions%29&utm_content=Google+Internatio Natasha

    This wasnt really a good illusion.

  • Vole

    How about you credit Dave Gorman (yes, that one) for his photo?


  • erick

    how can you not see the person behind her!! … thats not an unlikely shadow .. thats an unlikely illusion! ….

  • Meeee:)

    Behind the sinqers shoulder. yup everyone is riqht

  • fred

    I guess her shadow is the one to the right, next to the guy with the big bass. The shadow left to her is the shadow from the guy behind her. As both are lighted by different spotlights, the shadows are not at the same place.

  • Shriya

    Good attempt on an “illusion” LOL joking! That’s pretty cool but it’s obvious there’s someone behind her!

  • Old fart

    Any one who has been in a band knows there is more than one flood light on a band. You don’t see the singers shadow because of the lighting. In the band I was in I was always under a blue flood Light and know one else’s shadow came of the light I was under Only mine

  • smartopolistherism

    the trumpet player is behind her! It super obious.

  • galloots

    clearly the guy is behind her. but no one realises, where the fuck her shadow is!

    i think its two lights from two sides
    idk its retarded

  • Emma

    Well as stated previously the horn player is standing behind her…
    And if you follow the mikestand’s shadow down you’ll see the headstock of a guitar. Though I like the singing shadow beside the cello player.

  • Rick

    C’mon, the light is horizontal. That’s the key to this illusion. You are used to mostly front & down lighting. So you interpret the shadows incorrectly.

    The guitar players shadow is out of the frame past the cellist.

  • Fold

    Yeah good job stealing other peoples photos guys…

  • Hi

    What are you guys talking about with the lady and the trumpet and everything… All i see is a bunch of clouds, a gray room behind them, and “NEO DEO” spelt out in the clouds.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Scott-Kovacik/100001613840580 Scott Kovacik

      You’ll have to troll through the comments to understand what happened, along with reading the UPDATES at the top of the article. Was a nice picture, though. : )

    • jan

      there used to be a picture of a woman playing guitar and her shadow looked like a person playing trumpet.

    • hello

      read the update. it says the original photo was removed requested by the original author

    • ZL123

      Lol read the updates?

      BTW that was a trumpet, not horn.

    • ZL123

      And those are sheep too, lol!

  • pia

    tis z awsme …

  • amelia

    i dont get it