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Japanese nature photographer Kenichi Ohno frequently goes to a nearby marsh to hone his skills. However, one picture in particular—of an egret wading through the shallow water—is making waves. Ohno's photo gained popularity after receiving an honourable mention in the Nature in Japan photo contest run by the All-Japan Association of Photographic Societies (AJAPS). Individuals couldn't decide if what they were looking at was Photoshopped or actual.

The authenticity of the picture, titled Gap, has been verified. It can take a minute to figure out what's going on, but once it's explained, everything makes sense. A powerful illusion is produced by the peculiar division in the frame, where one half is pale orange and the other half is blue. Actually, the jury chose this particular picture from among the 5,600 entries because of this illusion.

According to the jury members, this is indeed, “A strange photo with a strong impact,” said members of the jury. “It is interesting that we cannot immediately understand how it was taken. It is one that was taken because of the windless conditions. It shows us that the slightest difference can make a big difference in a photograph. It is difficult to photograph nature when man-made objects enter the picture, but in this case, they play a good supporting role and enhance the picture.” 

What then is the cause of the illusion behind the egret?

The wall in the upper right corner is painted cream in colour. The photographer's placement allowed for a perfectly straight "cut" in the composition, so one side is entirely made up of water and the other is the wall and its reflection. What we see below the wall is its reflection in the water. If it's still unclear, AJAPS has also supplied a picture of the scene that has been pulled back to show the wall clearly, sans the bird.

Check out the useful diagram we've created below if you're still having trouble understanding what's happening in the scene. In any case, the fact that the image caused a stir online simply serves to demonstrate that an astounding image can be created without the use of Photoshop. All you need is a scene-sensitive, experienced photographer. 

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