One of the things that I’m always on the lookout for are quirks that I can exploit for a magic trick. Ideally small things that people don’t notice, or things that they accept and don’t think about. In this month’s Genii Magazine I have a magic trick and it’s based on something small that I noticed and turned into a magic trick!
What happened was a long time ago I noticed that when you take a picture with your phone’s front facing camera, Instagram takes is as a mirror image. That means that any text will appear backwards in the picture. This is a small thing and everyone accepts it and no one thinks about it.
I love tricks that involve manipulating an image on someone else’s cellphone, and this quirk in Instagram is a great thing to exploit. I learned a long time ago that people don’t really look at specific things (other than themselves) in selfie style pictures. If you have something that looks right before the picture and is the same basic shape in the camera’s screen, their brain doesn’t really process it and fills it in with what they expect to see.
The basic principle for using someone else’s camera has three parts. First you show them the object and then switch it for a similar one. Second you take a picture of the switched object. Finally you switch the object back to the original one. To them, nothing has changed, you simply then do your magic and alter the picture. Now go out and do some phone magic!