Spot the difference: Two photographers who never met took exactly the same photograph, only to be alerted by the public

These identical images have left people playing spot the difference, but the story becomes even more fascinating when it’s revealed that the pair NEVER ACTUALLY MET.


Photographers Ron Risman and Eric Gendron opened the shutters on their cameras at practically the same time, creating shots of a lighthouse that are nigh on identical.

Even after closer inspection, there is no distinguishing between where the light is striking the structure, or the shape of the spray from the wave smashing its side.


The images of Whaleback Lighthouse, in New Castle, New Hampshire, USA, were taken on March 3rd – but it wasn’t until after Ron, 54, returned home and posted his image on social media that he would be made aware of Eric’s work.

A local TV station shared Ron’s image on their Facebook page, which led a sharp-eyed commentor to accuse Ron of stealing Eric’s image.

Having informed the commentor that he had, in fact, taken the image, Ron headed over to Eric’s page and was stunned by the image he saw.

Ron, who runs Timelapse Workshops, said: “I was taken back at first, but thought it would have been impossible for him to steal my image.


“At that point, I thought I had only shared a version that was a tighter crop. I couldn’t figure out how he would have gotten hold of a wider view from that.

“Up to that point I had never seen such similarities in a photo from two different photographers, much less one with the power of water movement as the main subject.

With a number of mutual friends on Facebook, Ron did not want to call out Eric, 30, for theft, either – so he downloaded the fellow photographer’s image and carried out some analysis.

The images were carbon copies, “almost to the pixels,” Ron said.

The differences that give each away, however, are extremely minor: Because of where Eric was standing, the white caps of the foreground waves are slightly different in each, and the iron bars of the lighthouse have slightly different spacing – but these are barely noticable.


Ron, from North Hampton, would then reach out to Eric to discussed further, and the pair have since liaised about the attention their images have been getting, especially in their local photography community.

Eric, 30, from Lee, New Hampshire, said: “Before this event, Ron and I had never met.

“After exchanging some messages, we quickly developed a friendship and a shared amazement at what we had managed to accomplish.


“I was amazed how similar they both appeared.

“With some slight differences in processing technique, the compositions were identical.

“We have a fairly tight-knit photo community in New England, so I was fairly sure Ron would not have stolen my image, and after a brief exchange of messages on Facebook, we were able to determine we each had a unique image and nobody had stolen each others work.

“That was a big relief.”