Embossed Footprints Illusion

Have you noticed that the footprints appear embossed as though they are rising up above the beach. This is an optical illusion caused by how our brain functions. When this photograph was made, the camera was pointing straight down at the ground. When you view it on the computer monitor, the orientation has changed. You look at pictures knowing that sunlight comes from above, so shadows should appear on the bottom of objects. By flipping this photo 180 degrees, the foot prints now look correct.




Same effect can be acchived if you look at this picture below. Notice how you automatically asume some buttons are embossed and some aren’t?


14 Replies to “Embossed Footprints Illusion”

  1. Nice and direct. I would love to know some of the science about visual perception as it relates to lightsource orientation.

  2. Our brain seems to have a lot of theese ideas of how things are, probably to more quickly and precisely recognise things. And it just falls back on some of theese assumptions when in doubt. It’s like that picture of the man with the upside-down mouth/eyes.

  3. The way we percieve the light is that one of the pictures of feet make the light appear from one way and the second from the other so if you were to take the picture and rotate it they would change and the indented ones would become the protruding ones same with the buttons.

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