Last week I staged a battle of the clever stuff, and put a good T-shirt logo against a nice illusion photograph.  The photograph won by a narrow margin.  So, it stays on, and this week is up against a great optical illusion.  Have  a look at them both….here is the photo….


and here is the illusion (thanks @JediMindTrickso from Twitter).  It simply consists of squares arranged in circles)…..


Which do you think is more impressive?  Vote now and explain your choice in the comments section.  The winner will stay on and fight again.  Feel free to send me stuff that you think could beat it in next week’s battle.


  1. I’m definitely more impressed by the photo – the illusion may have taken greater intellect to create, but I feel the photo required more imagination.

  2. Photo is cool, but most people can photoshop. I could never design an optical illusion like that. Besides, would look great on a t-shirt.

  3. I love 2D optical illusions, but in this case I’m going to award points to those who go out and stage an elaborate illusion in the real world over those who sketch something on paper.

  4. Once you’ve worked the photo out, it’s no longer a trick, it is clever though. The illusion is hard to look at and keep coherent even when you think you know what’s going on. It continues to decieve your brain.

  5. Surely photo is not photoshopped! They are bracing themselves in bizarre positions to achieve those angles. Is v. clever and so gets my vote.

  6. The photo makes me smile, and when I look at it longer it starts to suggest something about how we look at the world and our expectations, so it works on more than one level. The optical illusion is not something I can get any more out of the more I look at it. So I voted for the photo.

  7. The optical illusion can be appreciated at first glance. With the photograph, you have to look for a while before you notice what’s so strange about it (the “sideways” stuff isn’t exactly dominant).

    Also, the illusion is just more visually appealing, whereas the photograph is rather ugly with the graffiti and everything.

    I know I haven’t exactly answered the question “which is more impressive“, but the illusion is the one that I prefer.

  8. Definitely the illusion. The photo is clever, but even when you understand how and why you are being deceived by the illusion your mind still has trouble accepting what it knows to be the truth.

  9. the illusion. It is clever and your eyes are tricking you all the time. The photo is just a nice picture with a good idea, but you see through by the first look. The illusion not

  10. They are both optical illusions. I prefer the black and white optical as I like the movement/confusion created by the squares arranged in circles. A simple concept.
    The photo is a classic photoshop montage. It’s well done but didn’t fool me 🙂

  11. photo. takes a lot of effort to hold yourself up!

    i like the illusion but it just feels like it’s been done before many times. sorry!

  12. They are both optical illusions. I prefer the black and white optical as I like the movement/confusion created by the squares arranged in circles. A simple concept.
    The photo is staged to trick you. It’s a fun idea, the 3 men are propping themselves up to change our perspective. It’s not photoshopped.

  13. I am far more impressed with the clever photo.
    It may be simply because the squares in circles illusion is just too simple to stand against the thought that went into the photo.
    Not sure why… but the photo definitely gets my vote 🙂

  14. Being a photographer myself, I have to go with the photo. It required not only a lot of creativity but also effort to stage it. For those who think it is photoshopped, you didn’t look close enough. There are telltale signs that the guy in the foreground is lying on his back (like the top of the newspaper falling “up”) and the other two are doing one-handed handstands. Note also that their feet are all right up against the curb, their coats and collars are leaning towards the wall and the guy sitting is at an odd crouch angle and not actually sitting on anything as you can see a shadow under his bum.

  15. definitely the optical illusion. i don’t quite get the fascination about the photo. it’s nice but it’s nothing that completely stuns me, and from my point of view it’s quite easy to figure out. the illusion is a lot trickier; it fascinates me how simple objects can confuse your brains just by the way they’re aligned.

  16. The optical illusion. The photo is too easy to see through , too obvious. I suppose for people who do not play games or read science fiction, the photo might be something new or unique though.

  17. It’s easy to work out how the photo was taken (no it’s not photoshopped, but I had the trick worked out in about 3 seconds) – like Hilary says, even when you understand how the optical illusion works, it keeps trying to fool your eyes.

  18. I went for the graphic, the photo is interesting for about 3 seconds, then becomes boring. I really just want to replace it so I don’t have to look at it again. Also, I find that I cannot force myself to reconcile the graphic into concentric circles instead of interlocking spirals.

  19. The photo is lovely, but I’m voting for the optical illusion because I could have come up with the photo myself but I’d never have imagined something as clever as the illusion.

  20. Definitely the optical illusion. The photo was interesting when I first saw it, but after looking at it further, the small details bother me too much. The newspaper falling toward the seated man’s face. The other two in poses which are too similar. The illusion deceives the eye even after you know how it’s achieving the deception. You can’t help but be tricked. Plus, it kinda hurts to look at, and that makes me want to send it to my friends. 😉

  21. The photograph is so clever in idea and execution. Though, once figured out, a certain level of mystery is no longer there.
    The amazing thing about optical illusions like the circles of boxes, is that even when we know what is going on, and how they are created (technically speaking) – the illusions continue to persist! They intrigue our scientific and artistic curiosities, and are wonderful examples of how the sum is greater than the parts.

  22. The photo. Yes the illusion keeps on working after you’ve figured it out, but the photo has many more marks for effort!

  23. For me the most impressive is the optical illusion because i,ve never known how it´s done and I have the impression that you must to think a lot to do it.
    The foto is nice and no too dificult to do, and I´ve seen some picts like that before.

  24. Illusion has much greater staying power – I could look at it for ever. Photo: it’s obvious what’s going on really quickly and it looks really wrong. The second person “leaning” against the “wall” was a mistake. Furthermore – the textures of the “floor” and “wall” and the graffiti are all wrong in the photo – it would irritate me very quickly, whereas I’d have hours of fascination studying the illusion.

  25. The optical illusion is the clear winner in my mind because I don’t fully understand how it works. The mind hack will always win over a clever manipulation of perspective.

  26. Definitely the optical illusion. I agree with ViolaMaths – the 2nd person leaning against the ‘wall’ in the photo was definitely a mistake and, although it has an initial quirkiness, the interest is lost in a few seconds and you just notice the anomalies (the coat flaring in towards the wall, the man not actually sitting down, the odd angles of shoulders etc).
    The optical illusion however is fascinating – you know what you SHOULD be able to see but your mind just won’t let you see it!! I spent ages trying to see circles instead of spirals. Clever – makes you wonder how and why your brain behaves the way it does… (yes, I know there are scientific answers but they don’t take detract from the mystery!)

  27. I admit that the photo is impressive. But as i have said before it has flaws, another one would be the man sitting (supposedly) his but is not even touching the cement.

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