Walk of Your Life Optical Illusion

Kurt found this photo on flickr and thought instantly of our community. He added: “At first I thought it was just a picture of someone’s shadow but it didn’t really make sense once I saw his feet in the picture and realized where the angle of the pic was taken from, and that with the feet in the picture, and where the sun shines and makes the shadow, the cameraman should be in the shot, right? Even if it was shot over his head, we should see it. Please let me know if you know how he took this picture, I’m stumped and it’s starting to bug me. Thanks.” Can we answer Kurt’s question? Let’s try. Today I found out the official date I’m arriving back to my hometown, Zagreb. You should expect daily updates after September the first. In the meantime few more illusions will be posted. Enjoy ;)


198 Replies to “Walk of Your Life Optical Illusion”

  1. ….huh? This is an illusion? It just looks like 3 kids jumping in a pool, the photographer is by the side of the pool and got them just before they hit the water. Whats the illusion? I was straning trying to see what was so special, never mind to solution :S

  2. Does the picture match the description? I don’t understand.
    That’s just a perfectly times picture of kids jumping in the water.

  3. dude, are you serious? THEY JUMPED!! he took the pic at high shutter speed so they appear still. No shadow? not much sun!

    PS- first comment!

  4. Huh? What shadow? What feet?
    Is this the right photo?

    I don’t understand what the illusion is meant to b, I just see 3 kids jumping into a pool. Am I missing something?

  5. I don’t really get why you’re so stumped…
    There usually is no shadows cast on an overcast day, or later in the evening on same kind of day…

    But if you look closely there is a shadow directly beneath the jumpers..
    Am I missing something here that ya’ll can see??

  6. Wow. Nice illusion, but easy to figure out (to me). They just jumped in but they took the picture before they hit the water.

  7. How about a zoom in the camera? Like 10x optical zoom? or just a reflz camera with a 28/280mm lens?

    Should get his shadow bit further of…

  8. I am wondering if the picture matches your description. Looks to me like 3 kids with carefully timed jumps to make it look like levitaiton over water. Camera? Overhead? Shadow? Nope. You got me stumped!

  9. I think you posted either the wrong picture or the wrong submitter’s comment… they don’t match. The comment you posted mentions something about the cameraman’s feet being in the picture and shadows, but neither of these are seen in the posted picture.

  10. Are we looking at the same picture? I don’t see any sunlight or shadows. It simply looks like the three children jumped off and their picture was snapped at the best moment.

  11. dude….although it is nice that they can look like they’re walking by jumping……….well it’s just that great

  12. Um…what shadow? It looks like a picture taken of kids jumping in a pool mid-jump so that it appears that they’re walking on the water. If there’s something here I’m missing I hope this doesn’t make me sound too ignorant.

  13. Huh?

    I don’t see any person’s shadow. The picture of three kids jumping into a pool doesn’t seem to match the description.

    Also, you should give the flickr photo pages of the photographer so we can see their other pictures, if we want to.

  14. Surely they’re just jumping?
    Considering the faint shadow/reflection in the water they are not touching the surface just yet…

  15. those are neat and relatively easy to do. the fact that all three of them got it at once is really cool.
    after skimming the site, how do you have any more things like this?

  16. In my opinion, this was done in photoshop. The people don’t look like they’re jumping in, just posing, and the lighting is off (notice that the color of the shadows on the sides of the pool are a different color than those under the people).

  17. It’s all in the timing. The kids jump, and the picture is snapped at the right moment. Takes good photography skills.

  18. Admittedly, I have had two glasses of wine and I’m generally slow at this sort of thing, but what am I looking at? It’s very well executed but what about it is an optical illusion?

  19. Maybe it was shot from a distance and zoomed in upon? Or by the looks of it, it’s just a cloudy day with no shadows?

  20. Looks to me like the picture was shot as the kids where jumping in, just at the right time. And for the camera man’s reflection not being there, he/she just used zoom.
    Either that or it was ‘shopped.

  21. i know how they did it. you can kinda tel from the girl on the right that they are both jumping in at the same time with their foot out, and the pic was taken at just the right moment.

  22. I don’t see the illusion here…. A person stood off to the side and snapped a picture as they jumped into the water.

  23. This is not an edited photo. All it takes is correct timing. In reality all three children are jumping into the pool. Only they jump in positions that resemble walking, stepping, leaping. The third guy (farthest) actually leaps into the pool backwards. Any more questions?

  24. 1st

    easy they are all jumping in at this point nobody has toeched the water yet so it apears that they are waking on water they are all in air

  25. this is a cool picture but the kids are just jumping into the pool

    the camera man just happened to take it right before they hit the water

  26. Aren’t these children not just jumping into the water? If you take a poto right before they hit the water you’ll get the same effect, don’t you? The only problem is they have to jump at the same time and get the right poses for the photograph. With a little practice this won’t be a problem.

    Isn’t that a good explanation, or am I missing something?

    Thanks for this fantastic site! :)

  27. Well, from what I see. I think these children were jumping in the pool and the cameraman just simply managed to capture this at the right time. If you see clearly, some parts of their bodies are a bit shakey. Look closely at the first boy’s left foot.. the toes on the foot are less clear than the girl’s even though the girl is further away. Also, the fact the day was cloudy hides a lot of the shadows. Anyway, cool illusion, I also recommend that you see Criss Angel walk over the swimming pool. That’s a really cool illusion.

  28. what the crap are you talking about? the caption and the picture dont match. there are no shadows, no feet but the jumper’s, no sun, and no, the camera man should not be in the shot.

  29. Hm, does the text belong to this picture? I just see three people jumping into a pool- no strange shadows or illusions… ?

  30. Omfg, really hard.. hmm lets see, they’re in the air, the shot is a still, taken with a high quality digital-video camera.

  31. are you sure you gave us the right picture? i dont really think that the description matches what we see on the picture…

  32. Did you put the right description for this illusion? It doesn’t seem to be about shadows at all.
    It also doesn’t seem to be that hard to figure out; they’re just jumping in all at the same time, and the picture was taken right before they hit the water….
    I’m confused

  33. Look at the background. It’s an overcast day. That’s why there are no shadows in the photo. Therefore no cameraman shadow. I believe that answers your question.

  34. Well, I’m assuming that it could have been photoshoped so that it looked like the kids were walking on the water, or the person took the picture while they were jumping and is just wicked sick

  35. it looks like, the person took 2 different pic’s then photo shopped them together, slightly moving all the kids, so they were over the pool, instead of on the deck…. you think?

  36. I think that the text doesn’t match the picture. The picture is a fix, just the kids pasted onto the pool. Great site normally though.

  37. i think that as they were jumping in, the camera man was behind the camera taking the shot. The sky seems to be a little overclouded, so he may not have a shadow right then. kool pic, though!

  38. I don’t get it. The text says the photo has something to do with shadow and photog’s feet and taking the picture over his head.

    The photo is 3 kids jumping into a swimming pool, with a gray sky (no shadows).

    This is too obscure. The photo has nothing to do with the text. Methinks the blogger boo-boo’d.

  39. Shadows? feet? sun? Do I have the right pic? I see kids that appear to be walking on water. Definitely not just a pic of someone’s shadow. I must have the wrong illusion or I am illusioned!

  40. Is it just me or this post doesn’t make much sense?

    The photo doesn’t look like an illusion to me. And there’s no obvious reference to Kurt’s description.

  41. There’s a hidden illusion in this pic. If you turn your head to the left you can see a woman’s profile in the trees! How neat is that ??!

  42. thats really cool!!!!
    i like it
    even tho u can tell that there jumping off at a straight angle, it still looks very interesting

    nice job.

  43. thats so easy. the camaraman is just behind the kids. all the kids are just jumping into the pool, and the camaraman just timed it right. good pic.

  44. Are we looking at the same picture? I think these kids were all jumping in the pool and he got the shot at the exact right second.

  45. i think the photographer just took the picture on the high speed shuter setting on his camera. I have a camera and this setting let’s u take photos of anything moving and still get a clear photo. so these kids are jumping in and he took the photo. I think…

  46. just by running the risk of commenting just the same that others write about 10 seconds before me…

    i only wanna say that there is a talented photographer that captured 3 people by jumping into a pool at accurately the same time.

    and by the way; everybody that could make his cracked photoshop-version just partial to run… is able to add the shaddow into/onto the water!

    ciaso, Alpha103

    PS. first post … not really

  47. What on earth are you talking about? These are kids jumping into a pool.

    I’m really tempted to remove you guys from my google homepage because I never get any real insight into an illusion – half the time you’re talking about something entirely different and all the links in the description go to other pages which is really annoying. If you’re going to hot-link words, hot-link to things like wikipedia where people can actually learn something. Jeez.

  48. they all have shadows in the water, which (for me) proves it’s not a photo edit.

    they’re all already wet, which means they’ve already been in the pool

    they all have thier arms out

    basically, they’ve tried and tried and tried jumping in and finaly got this one where it looks like they’re all walking on the water, or floating in the air. none of them, if you were to take them onto dry land, look ballanced enough to stand up like that. the girl is leaning considerably backwards…

    basically, they’ve all jumped lots of tims and this just happens to be the one where they get it right.

  49. Hi. Love the illusion! Thanks for posting it. I do not understand the cameraman question though. No offence but I think you´re overthinking it a bit. It helps *a lot* that it´s an overcast day. No hard tell-tale shadows to destroy the illusion. One can see that they´re “flying” by observing the reflection of their bodies on the water, and can even calculate from it about 20cm before …SPLASH! Cameraman just stood there and took the great shot. . .but no big engineering behind it. Regards.

  50. shadow? on a cloudy day? ..lucky shot and good pose… not much of an illusion tough..

    …btw thanks for this stuff, its mostly good ;D

  51. Is that even real water? ‘Cause recently there was an entry on i-am-bored.com that talked about adding gelatin or something to the water in a swimming pool so that you could walk on it…

  52. I think the answer is very simple. The sky is pretty cloudy, right? I think that the sun is somewhere above the shot, but still in front of the photographer. So because of the clouds, the shot is not ruined by the light.

    I could be wrong, of course.

  53. well… no illusion here really,
    just a bunch of kids jumping in a pool and some good timing taking this picture make it look like walking on water.

  54. What shadows? All I see are vague reflections of the kid’s legs on the water as they are almost touching it. Nice shot at jus tthe right time, though.

  55. I don’t see any shadows or the sun for that matter. It looks cloudy. The kid’s position is weird though. Shouldn’t his back be facing us? The edge behind him is too far back and he would have landed in the water if he jumped from the other edge.

  56. For the real picture:

    The camera was held at chest height and the photographer kept his arms tucked in tight. There was someone stood behind him that gave the shadow it’s arms.

    Simple.

  57. READ NUMBER 35!!!!!! — HE POSTED THE LINK TO THE PICTURE WE’RE SUPPOSED TO BE LOOKING AT. I MISSED IT WITHIN ALL THE COMMENTS BUT IT MAKES SENSE NOW. THE DESCRIPTION GOES WITH THE LINK THE GUY PROVIDES IN NUMBER 35 ABOVE. Sorry for the caps, just want it to stand out.

  58. uhm i dont get this. wht part is confusing? theres nothing wrong with this pic, its just a picha of kids jumpin into tha water. im so confused as to why you are stumped. i dont see any shadows either. so uhm like.. what are you tlkn bout? send me a msg at myspace.com/always_in_love336 to explain btr, or mayb u jst hav tha wrong pic??

  59. …There’s so many pictures like this already on the site. The pool doesn’t really exist – it’s painted or something on, and the kids are just standing on it in positions that make it look like they’re jumping into the pool.

  60. … What illusion, exactly?
    I think that the photographer just took the picture as soon as they were about to hit the water.
    If you’re stumped you could always say it’s photo-shopped.

  61. What illusion, what sun, what shadows? There are no shadows in the picture – clearly it is a cloudy or overcast day (colour of the sky backs this up too). The kids jumped, the guy snapped at just the right moment… c’mon, let’s see some analytical skills – posting this kind of stuff devalues the site, which i was beginning to like.

  62. I totally know how this was taken! They all were jumping into the water at the same time and the picture got caught right when their feet were touching the water.

  63. To Kurt, just saw the real pic you posted and I can say that the answer is simple, the camera is hanging from the guys neck, maybe it was intentional or maybe an accident but it still looks great.

    And to all the other people leaving idiotic comments, you would think that after the first post pointing out it was not the intended picture you would get a hint. But 120 pictures down and you can still see morons pointing out the obvious. The internet is not smart…

  64. I don’t think the caption goes with the picture, but the illusion is the fact that it looks like the 3rd kid (farthest from the camera) had to make a huge leap to get where he is. All he did was jump backwards or “twist” while in the air, but it appears he jumped from the far side of the pool, beyond the ladder.

  65. Kurt, as to the picture you intended to post, the camera could be set on timer, hanging around the person’s neck. Cool picture!

  66. Apologies if I’m posting twice; I tried once and didn’t see any sign the comment was sent. Kurt, regarding the picture you intended to post: The camera could be hanging around his neck, with a delayed shutter release so he can get his hands posed. Cool picture!

  67. OK…You people need to read the comments. Kurt commented and gave the address to the actual image he was talking about. His comment is almost in the middle. Maybe you guys should start readin the comments before bitching, it might help a little. Yeah, I went there, I stayed there and sent post cards.

  68. THIS IS CLEARLY PHOTOSHOPPED!
    note that one of each of the kid’s feet are flat as if they are standing on solid ground, it was pretty clear to me, theres no optical illusion

  69. There is a smaller person standing in front of the person taking the picture. the arm on the right belongs to the short person while the arm on the left the taller person. The feet belong to the smaller person. The taller person took the picture over top of the smaller person.

  70. I think in regards to the picture that the caption is talking about is that you can see one arm out. I think the camera is in that hand. It is a tricky shot and much cooler then three kids jumping into a pool.

  71. Okay… for the kid jumping in the pool, obviously the last one jumped in backwards…. but I’m pretty sure the illusion is the reflection in the pool. The water makes a face under the first boy jumping looks like scrooge with a bald head and bent nose? You can see his right eye much better than the left…. Anyone else see that? or is it just me?

  72. announcement for everyone:

    RELAX. WE KNOW THEY’RE JUST JUMPING INTO THE POOL, IT JUST LOOKS LIKE THEY’RE WALKING. THE POINT OF THE PICTURE IS TO AMUSE YOU. NO ONE WANTS TO HEAR YOU PEOPLE WHINE. SO SHUT UP.

    come on…im 13! you people should know better.

  73. OK, regarding the intended picture:

    I think two people are in the picture, and what seems to be the sidewalk is actually the wall of a building.

    The person who’s feet are shown, is the one with the camera, and he’s actually lying on his back on the ground with his feet against the wall.

    Another person is standing behind him (possibly on a platform to deal with sun angle). So the shadow of the standing person is actually being cast over the feet of the photographer lying down.

    Notice the size of the pants at the cuff and how the pants “fall” back from the shoe tips. Also notice the size of the pants cuffs relative to the size of the cuffs’ shadows.

  74. i don’t think a hanging camera would still take that shot, would it? seems like the perspective would be different. it seems like it could be a hanging camera until i look at the feet again, the angle throws me off every time.

  75. I agree with liwenna, judging from the angle of the shot with reference to the feet it appears as if the proper location of the lense is around the lower chest area of the person taking the picture. Very easy with a self timer. Might take a couple of tries to shoot the camera with the proper angle but taking a wide shot and clipping it down should do the trick. Not that impressive really.

  76. I found the picture the text refers too, click on the blue link “photo on flickr” a list of blue links will pop up, click on the one named, “walking on water, part II” that will get you to the picture that goes with the text, it a good optical illusion,so go through the steps i told you, it worth it.

  77. I FOUND THE PICTURE THE TEXT GOES WITH

    lick on the first blue link inside the text “photo on flickr”
    then find the blue like in the list of them called, “walking on water part II” that will get you to the right picture.

    it a good picture too

  78. At first i was confused. But now i just think it is 3 kids jumping into the pool. the first two kids just happen to be at the same height and the third kid went in backwards.

  79. photographer is holding his camera in his left hand in front of a pole or building corner. He has most likely a 14mm lens and poits down at his shadow and got lucky with his aim (or he’s persistant) cool shot.

  80. first of all
    this is the stupidist illusion iv seen all day. you can see there shadows, and if nobody else can then you should get your eyes checked. there just jumping into the pool and posing as if they were walking on the water. its as simple as that :]

  81. I think you’re all a bit dumb with this one. I first thought it was just a quick shutter pic, but look at the feet they are badly cropped. Its a very amature attempt at making it look like they are walking on water. It is two pics, the first of the pool and the second of kids messing about. The one of the kids has had its bkg removed… nice try… but try harder

  82. Intruiging. It was taken at a VERY good angle at a VERY good time. But the guy with the back of his head facing us, his hand is slightly blurry so you can see the action.

  83. Umm the point is they LOOK LIKE they are walking/running ON the water surface :P Clear now?

    That’s what makes the illusion. Kinda like that picture where someone appears to be “holding the sun” or “pushing the leaning tower of pisa”. They were not actually holding the sun or the tower — that’s why it’s called an “illusion”. They took the picture at the proper angle and hence made an illusion. Lrn2ReadTheDictionary!

    In this one, the photographer took the picture at a certain angle and time and so he got the illusion -> kids walking/running on the water surface.

  84. Nathan, if it was in his left hand, it wouldn’t appear at that angle. The camera is centered on the shot.

    I really don’t think this is photoshopped (like AgainstMe said), the angles all do match up fine, the bumps and such are all normal looking as clothes or something in a pocket would make. Also, the cement and shadow color all match perfectly whereas with photoshop, there would probably be some change.

  85. there r either 3 kids jumping in a pool or they just used Photoshop to paste the kids into the picture. it doesn’t look very real to me

  86. To Kurt, on the intended pic: I think the photographer is actually standing at the “top” of the picture, a few feet in front of the subject. It looks intriguing from the current angle, but when I turn my laptop upside down, it looks very straightforward to me.

  87. “i submitted this. right description, wrong picture. this is the shadow picture i can’t figure out.

    http://flickr.com/photos/imaginemichael/466444861

    In case no one read this comment, thats the wrong pic, the actual picture is on that link.

    And i think that the person stood right behind the other person and took the image maybe. The right arm doesnt fit with the shadow…

    Very weird picture though

  88. if you guys look down through the comments, you will see the poster said wrong pic and left a link to find the correct pic, and the description matches with the link he left….

  89. This photo and commentary was posted by Miss Teen North Carolina.

    The photo that was meant to be there was of a guy photographing his shadow, without the apparent shadow of camera, because the road surface hides the camera shadow in his left hand (The shadows right).

    Hee, see his shadow is holding up a wall! Where is the camera? Oh! what! An! Illusion!

    The links added to the comment seem to be playing on a walking on water theme, perhaps due to a shot of kids jumping into a pool being attached. I assume the commentary was originally posted by the submitter of the photo, who happened to submit the wrong photo, and the links were added by the person blogging on it here.

    The picture that is being described is at

    http://flickr.com/photos/imaginemichael/466444861

  90. this is a simple one if you look the kid on the far will eventually get hurt at the velocity he is moving and wont land in any water. the girl is leaning backwards with the other boy to make it look like they jumped off the ledge. the shadow is obvious too its in the water for all of you dumb over lookers but the neat thing is that the shadow doesnt match the girls feet. someone else was jumping from this side of the pool wile the kids pictures were taken with a pool behind them. the last thing that happened to this photo was photoshop, the only way to do such a thing. i congratulate the way he photoshopped it because it looks real but is not by my thoery.

  91. does nobody know anything about angles here? you can clearly see that the photo is taken from the center of the shot and from where he is standing. if it was taken with his left hand, it would he skewed and if it was taken from the other side and flipped, it would not have his feet and shadow in the location it does and that angle. it had to be close to his body and centered. take a friend out and stand across from them when you take the pic of their shadow, you’ll see what i mean. and you can see that his left hand is flat against the “edge” so he’s not holding a camera and there would still be some shadow on the darker part of the walkway or lot or whatever. and there’s not two people — you can see his feet so there’s nobody in front of him and anyone behind him would have to be skinnier and shorter in order not to have their shadow interfere with his a little. i say it’s around his neck, but it’d have to be with a wide angle lens to get all the shot scope that it contains.

  92. the illusion is supposed to be that the kids are walking about the water…but really it’s three kids jumping into the water and the camera man used a high-speed shutter and got them just before they hit the water and the way they happened to be posed makes it look like they are walking

  93. YOU GUYS ARE SOOOOOO RUDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!YOU GIVE AWAY EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!START YOUR OWN WEBSITE AND GIVE AWAY THE ANSWERES THERE!!!!!!!

  94. um its kids jumping in a pool. duh! the discritpion is rong and so is my spelling but overlook that please. i serouisly li9ve nnear this pool!

  95. you guys, are you dumb or what!
    the person who took the picture took two pictures, one of the kids walking and one of the swimming pool, then he put one picture on the other and it looks like kids walking on water!!!!
    :-D

  96. I'm think that he did take the picture from above, you can tell by the feet, since you can't see much of the underside of them. Also, since I don't see his/her shadow reflected on the water, I think it's possible he took the picture from far off, zoomed, and had a quick click camera.
    You get anymore good illusions, get me at http://www.myspace.com/chimoshiki
    I love these things <3

  97. its just 3 kids jumping in a pool.

    hey Vurdlak, how did you make this site? i’ve always wanted to make a site but the closest ive got is bebo!! help

  98. well from what i see the picture appears there walking on water but i only see it like that because the one kid is jumping in from a different angel from the other two and facing toward the camera were as the other two are facing Away from the camera. and the right timing along with that adds the illusions of water walking. but photoshop neh, shadows are there but the lighting from the 3rd kid is to far to notice the shadow

  99. They used plexiglass which is invisible and cannot be seen in water.So they just stepped on it.Try it for yourself and post it in photobucket.I Just found out when I watched a magic show and revealed it.

  100. because the kiddo in the background has clearly his legs wide open. The girl seems to slip and fall back and bobby is like a walking mummy.

  101. Ok, here is the solution to both pictures:
    First the shadow picture, this really isnt a illusion at all but the photographer used a high position making a shadow just outside the frame and/ or cuts his/hers own shadow off!!! Made many pictures like this one, you only need to cut it down to the right frame.
    Secondly the walking on water pic: This really is an illusion, since it is made out of two pictures one off 3 kids playing on a flat surface (maybe near the same pool).
    The second picture is of the pool itself with perhaps some other kids or something else jumping into the pool hence the faint shadows. Or it could be there real shadows if they were playing on a wet surface (like a large puddle after heavy rain).
    Lastly it is cleverly constructed together!
    You can tell by the way their feet are all exactly in line, something that surely would be a chance of one in a million or more!!
    And some small blurry parts at the edges!!

    1. Wim, that only makes sense if the framing cut off the shadow right at the edge. but you can see the end of both arms and there is more picture beyond it which means that this isn’t just a cropping job like you suggest. I would say it was around his neck too but with his feet in the shot the way they are, it doesn’t seem to fit right.

  102. Found the Flickr pic, and I think I’ve sussed it:

    Maybe what appears to be his right arm is something else, supposed to look like his arms shadow, and his real arm is in front of him, taking the picture and thus hidden in the shadow of his body.

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