I'm using a Nikon D3200 - new to photography. Whenever I take photos of the night I always get this yellow mark in the same spot.

I thought it could be a dirty lens so I cleaned it with a microfiber cloth. Checked the mirror and didn't see any dust or dirt.

Zoom up on yellow mark: zoom

Full image: full

Should I try a lens cleaner? Or is the lighting? Any help would be appreciated.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Do you have any filters on the lens? \$\endgroup\$
    – inkista
    Commented Mar 3, 2015 at 0:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Nope! No filters on the lens. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 3, 2015 at 0:17

1 Answer 1


It is a type of flare known as ghosting. The two brightest lights in the lower left quadrant are causing reflections inside your camera/lens and showing up as flipped/reversed in the upper right quadrant.

See also: this answer to is it normal to get significant lens flare with a 50mm f/1.8 prime lens?

Are these ghost light spots and vertical grain indication that my scratched polarizer is ruined?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for that Michael. I've done some reading on ghosting just then and it recommends a Lens Hood and shorter shutter times. Does that sound correct? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 3, 2015 at 1:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ If the strong light source is in the field of view of the lens, then a hood will make no difference. A hood works when it blocks off axis light from striking the front element of the lens and causing internal reflections. Reducing shutter speed will have an equal effect on all of the light in the scene, so it will not change the proportion of the strength of the actual lights to the reflections. There is ghosting in most photos that include strong light sources, but the reflections are usually dim enough that they are lost in the light of the rest of the frame. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Mar 3, 2015 at 1:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ For more on how exposure can influence flare, specifically ghosting, see the example photos in this answer: photo.stackexchange.com/a/41724/15871 \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Mar 3, 2015 at 1:33

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