There's a strange ghosting effect in this photo (actually quite a few of my recent photos), when I used built-in camera flash.

sample photo

EXIF: f/5.6, ISO 400 and 1/60 sec.

Is it caused just by a slow shutter speed? How can I remove it?


2 Answers 2


For me this is motion blur. And because is the same on all the objects edges it is caused by slow shutter speed. Try to use 1/100, 1/160.

Also you should know internal flash usually have very limited power and range. So the other advice I can give you (if you often take photos in low light) is to invest in external flashlight.

  • \$\begingroup\$ 1/100 of a second on what grounds? No focal length is provided, that might not be nearly enough. @120mm for example... \$\endgroup\$
    – AthomSfere
    Commented Oct 16, 2018 at 22:24
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ On the grounds that the motion blur isn't absolutely obscene and almost halving the time the shutter is open is likely to get at least the right ballpark without unduly limiting the light captured. \$\endgroup\$
    – William
    Commented Oct 16, 2018 at 23:06
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @AthomSfere Max flash sync speed is often in the neighborhood of 1/250. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 16, 2018 at 23:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ However, 1/250 in the dark (so only flash provides relevant illumination) isn't likely to give you motion blur even if you used it with a 1000mm lens... \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 21:35

To be a bit more specific, this is the superposition of

  • a very short exposure with flash, the clear sharp part
  • overlaid by an underexposed long exposure shot (the blurry part)

However, the amount of motion blur for a 1/60 shot is unusually large, so you likely took the picture from far away. This would also explain why the blurred part is so visible, your flash was too far from the subject and didn't make much difference with the ambient light.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ It is also possible that the lens's IS mechanism hit the limit of its range and subsequently found a new center when the lens started moving back the other direction. This would explain the two fairly strong images with little in between. \$\endgroup\$
    – dgatwood
    Commented Oct 16, 2018 at 23:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ @dgatwood the lens in question was a Canon 50mm prime, without IS. \$\endgroup\$
    – bearmohawk
    Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 16:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ Then I guess not. :-D \$\endgroup\$
    – dgatwood
    Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 17:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you recreate the effect in the dark? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 21:36

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