Weird phone-generated dotted selection boxes on photos; never seen before??

PaulQ

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I am asking this for a friend. I don't have the photos. I don't have the EXIF data. He showed me over lunch the other day and I have never seen anything like it in all my Pixel/Samsung years. I said I would ask here for him.

These photos were taken at a concert but before it began, so the lighting was pretty decent. Two people in the photos. You don't have to look too close before you notice rectangular dotted boxes in front of them, like selection boxes you might use for editing. They aren't over their faces. They are just in two random spots - I think one was a thin rectangle coming down from my friend's chin to roughly the top of his chest. The other was a little lower and kind of to the person's side. He had two photos and the boxes were a little different in each photo.

And... MANY other photos taken right around the same time that do not have these anomalies.

My friend is not slick with his phone, not a power user. He wasn't using camera settings. He was doing point-and-shoot.

Clearly, the phone put them there. I thought maybe they were remnants of where the camera does light balancing or something. I don't know.

Anyone experience this? Could it be an age thing? (the phone, not my friend)

Thanks!
 

PaulQ

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Any way you could post those photos here? It almost sounds like they were screenshots of a photo editor app or feature.
That's a good guess but doesn't match his typical behavior and I think he would have told me. Also, they are slim boxes that appear to have no "target." See below and note that there are two boxes, only have one in the photo.

Here's all I got. Ring a bell? Sorry, my initial description of the location was a bit off.

signal-2023-05-24-18-04-38-070.png
 

B. Diddy

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Boy, that's weird. 🤔 The way the dotted line kind of fades in and out makes it look like it isn't something intentional -- I'd expect that too look more precise. But it's also too regular to be some kind of artifact (like glare from some weird light source nearby). I guess I'd chalk it up to a glitch with the camera for that photo only.

The filename for that image includes the word "signal" -- do you know if your friend took the picture from within the Signal app and then sent it to you? Or did he take the picture with the Camera app and then share the resulting photo using Signal?
 
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Mooncatt

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The way the dotted line kind of fades in and out makes it look like it isn't something intentional -- I'd expect that too look more precise. But it's also too regular to be some kind of artifact (like glare from some weird light source nearby).

I think you are right, this may be a form of lens flaring. Not only does the line fade in and out, but it fades away completely at the bottom. My guess is there was some rectangular light fixtures, probably LED (indicated by the dashes), and they shined into the lens in such a way that the light reflected inside the lens and was picked up by the sensor.

Lens flares are highly dependent on the angle a light source hits the lens. A large fixture would easily only flare part of it, which could explain the complete fade out at the bottom. To the naked eye, an array of LED's can look like a solid line. Lens flares reduce the exposure of the light (so to speak) add it's reflected inside the lens, which can make the individual LED's stand out.
 

PaulQ

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The filename for that image includes the word "signal" -- do you know if your friend took the picture from within the Signal app and then sent it to you? Or did he take the picture with the Camera app and then share the resulting photo using Signal?
Excellent question and sharp eye! I was pretty sure that would be way out of his norm and I was right. He was using the Pixel camera software. The share was through Signal.
 
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PaulQ

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I think you are right, this may be a form of lens flaring. Not only does the line fade in and out, but it fades away completely at the bottom. My guess is there was some rectangular light fixtures, probably LED (indicated by the dashes), and they shined into the lens in such a way that the light reflected inside the lens and was picked up by the sensor.

Lens flares are highly dependent on the angle a light source hits the lens. A large fixture would easily only flare part of it, which could explain the complete fade out at the bottom. To the naked eye, an array of LED's can look like a solid line. Lens flares reduce the exposure of the light (so to speak) add it's reflected inside the lens, which can make the individual LED's stand out.
As I read the start of this, I thought no way is that lens flare (as far as I know). But, reading more, it actually sounds like the best explanation I have heard. I will share that with him.

I didn't expect such an "old" phone's forum to get any attention. Thanks @B. Diddy and @Mooncatt !!