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Why do these reflections appear in some photos and how can I stop it from happening? This is not the first time this has happened. Wondering if a hood would fix the problem

  • 1
    In addition to the suggested duplicate, we have several other questions with the ghosting tag.
    – Michael C
    Sep 14, 2017 at 4:52
  • 1
    Since the light source for the reflection is in the frame (the blown out light fixture in top of the frame slightly right of center) a hood would be of no use. Your lens' anti-reflective coatings have reduced the intensity of the light source to the point that you can see the details in the reflection that are not visible in the primary image of the light fixture.
    – Michael C
    Sep 14, 2017 at 4:58
  • For suggestions on how to deal with ghosting, please see this answer to Night pictures lights superimposed to a second location?
    – Michael C
    Sep 14, 2017 at 5:06
  • 1
    Are you using a screw in filter on the front of the lens?
    – Mike Dixon
    Sep 14, 2017 at 11:28

3 Answers 3


When light rays coming from a bright source(s) of light (such as the sun or artificial light) directly reach the front element of a camera lens, they can reflect and bounce off different lens elements, diaphragm and even off the sensor, potentially degrading image quality and creating unwanted objects in images. Better known as lens “flare”, the effect can impact images in a number of ways: it can drastically reduce image contrast by introducing haze in different colors, it can add circular or semi-circular halos or “ghosts” and even odd-shaped semi-transparent objects of various color intensities. Flare is not always undesirable in photography though – sometimes in is used creatively to add artistic elements to images. In fact, lens flare is often deliberately added to movies and computer games to add a sense of realism and boost the visual experience of the viewer.

You are asking about flare and ghost images: The camera lens consists of numerous polished glass lenses. Each can act like a mirror in that they reflect away some of the light that otherwise might pass though. Moreover, some of this light hits other surfaces within the lens array. The result is ghost images and flare. The lens maker does his best to mitigate these unwanted reflections. Each lens surface is coated with a a transparent mineral coat. The thickness of the coat is adjusted so that reflections from the underling polished glass are alleviated. This coating scheme is not perfect, some residual reflections occur. Ghost images such as the image of lamp and spiral bulb are likely when a bright light source is within the view of the lens. You can moderate ghost image and flare by trying not to aim the camera in the direction of bright lights. A lens shade can help. Bottom line is, flare and ghost images keep popping up in our pictures. Sometimes they contribute an a arty atmosphere, sometimes they impede what we wish to accomplish.


As Alan Marcus pointed out this is flare/ghosting and it is very hard or impossible to avoid. As it happens your photo has a huge very bright light source in frame so even a hood won't help here.

However what you can do in these scenes is to use flash.

You would use flash to balance the very bright light in the background and illuminate the foreground. That might not completely eliminate the flare/ghosting, but it would diminish it's impact enormously.

In case you're not familiar with flashes, you'd ideally use a flash with bounce capability to indirectly illuminate the subject and avoid the harsh effect of direct flash.


You might using UV filter, on lens which is exetrnal accessory to avoid UV rays. But when you work in dark , this filter reflects from inside. Which can be caught by shutter.

Try to use hood or avoid using UV filter for indoor shoots.

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