Sunday, November 21, 2010

Digital Cameras and Ghost Hunting






































So, what's the deal with the advent of digital cameras, ghost hunting and lots of orb-idge? Most of us are sophisticated enough to know that orbs really are accounted for as pollen, moisture, dust and sometimes bugs. The flash on digital cameras is very near the lens. When you take a shot, you light up anything in front of the lens. You should have seen the pictures Julie and I got on the hayride in the dusty AZ desert this fall. When the camera flash went off, you could see every particulate sparkling in the air in front of the camera. We didn't even have to look at the shots to know it was dust being kicked up. As well, digital cameras take a shot so quickly that if you took a picture of a moving ceiling fan, the blades would be crisp and sharp looking as if it weren't moving at all.

Still, I feel compelled to take my camera with me. After all, look at all these shots above that I've accrued over the years. I don't think I have a crapload of evidence up there, but there is one particular gravesite that seems to (as you can see by the pics) cause a lot of issues. I thought perhaps it was the fencing around it, but shots taken inside and outside and with different photographers and cameras get all these insane rainbow-like and mist issues and things spinning and one I call "the portal." I leave it unexplained but I don't use it as proof of activity.

The fact is, I'm not a camera expert. I may never know just what the hell happened while taking those shots. Some interest me more than others. You can tell by the streaking lights and dots in that one picture that it was the highway lights being streaked as the camera moved and dust floated in the air. The orb behind the fence seems to be behind the fence, huh? That was 15 feet away. Almost makes you wonder, huh?

I have an entire chapter in the book I'm writing "Was That a Ghost?" that deals purely with the context in which you witness phenomena. If you get a picture like those above in a supposedly haunted location, the self-explanation for what occurred will be that you just captured a ghost. Lots of people don't move past that assumption. Those are the people I don't want ghost hunting with me. I want the ones who say, "that's probably the last explanation. Now, let's recreate this." This is probably why I'm so giddy about "Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files." Sometimes, even I can't explain stuff I capture with the camera, but more inclined to believe that with a digital camera, I'm getting technical phenomena. It's just so freaking common.

20 comments:

  1. Again... Those minds... Posted this in 2007. (It's a bit rough in spots. I pulled it verbatim from a manuscript of mine.) http://strangestate.blogspot.com/2007/11/dubious-nature-of-orbs.html

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  2. Out of all the orbs I have caught with my cameras, I only had a couple that I would question. One was at the Whaley house, a known haunted location, and the other was a bright bluish orb on my mother's head while she was next to my Dad's grave.

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  3. I've found orbs in the most unhaunted places, but whenever I go on a ghost tour the guides always tell their tour that the orbs are proof positive of ghosts. This drives me a little nuts.

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  4. Those are rearly caught on camera orbs.

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  5. Cullan;
    Yeah, I've actually posted this a few times since I started in 2007, but I like to update the info for the new folks.

    Yeah, the orb thing. Very tough. People also tend to walk through a place and take pics, so they're kicking up even more dust. My ex is a drummer in a band and I got the craziest orbs when people are on the dance floor. When people tell me that an orb is genuine if it's inner illuminated, I want to say "hey, could it be dust closer to the flash, hon?"

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  6. Oh my god! It's orbs! ORBS!!!! I tell you they're PROOF-POSITIVE of ghostly phenomenon. How could you NOT see that! Can't you see their little ghost faces and the way they GLOW?!?! What is wrong with you??? And you call yourself a "ghost hunter"!?!?

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  7. MC;
    You will seriously enjoy my Tuesday's series "Mind Fuck Tuesday." I suspect you spend about 99.9% of your time in that region. Yeah, the faces in orbs, I love that one, but I'm not so good at not giggling when people discuss it. I can't help it. It's like when the preacher says something during sermon that sounds sexual and then you just want to giggle every time he uses the expression again.

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  8. I wasn't kidding about the orbs.

    Mind-Fuck-Land. I used to own property there, you know. Visited it as often as I now breathe. But then I left, invading a new land. Now I am the self-appointed "King of the Assholes"!

    And screwing around in church admittedly is the most fun one can have for free. Making obnoxious noises, passing notes, and just generally fucking with the congregation has gotten me slapped more than detention in school ever had. Why has pissing people off always been some of my fondest memories?

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  9. Yeah, I got thrown out of sermons all the time. I'd start giggling, couldn't stop, tried to cover it up as a cough and that made it even more funny so I had to laugh even more, but I couldn't so I'd hold it in and, like holding in farts, it just comes out twice as loud.

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  10. Yup, I always used to just run to the bathroom to get it out of my system before coming back for seconds. I'd come back with tears in my eyes and everyone would keep looking at me like I'd just had a life-changing catharsis. Oh, fun times.

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  11. On a "serious" note though, have you taken any notice to the difference in taking Polaroid vs. digital pictures? Just asking because my experience with Polaroid in any circumstance is nil.

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  12. MC:
    I still do that at inopportune moments. Once a funny thought is in my head, I could be in the middle of a store and burst out and people look at me stupidly. I wish I had a cell phone, I could blame it on a call I was having. Polaroid is the most fun to fake shit on, but not particularly great at getting phenomena. One time, I got an orb on a 35mm camera using no flash. I'm still baffled by that. We never had orb issues until the advent of digital cameras. Ghost hunters back in the mid to late 90s really thought they were capturing something other cameras couldn't. Yeah, dust and shit.

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  13. An orb without flash? Under what circumstances and environment? And, oh yeah. I've used the fake "cell phone call" more than a number of times just so I could get away with saying stupid shit. Christ, the shit people fall for! It's almost too easy. Kind of like coming up with "evidence" of the paranormal.

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  14. MC;
    I so want to take you on a good hunt and see what you do when you run into something that is so unexplainable you just about shit your pants. I'll pull that picture up and put it on here. We can all debate how the hell I did it. Could have been baseball in mid air. In a cemetery? Hmm...

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  15. I fear a "good" hunt with you would land me in the psych ward for good.

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  16. MC;
    Yeah, then we simply must set a date and a location and do it!

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  17. People have had better luck trying to catch ghosts.

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  18. The digital camera does speed up photography. I've caught orbs with and without flash. Day and Dusk. My 35mm digital won't take pictures well in the dark with or without flash. I've caught bright blue orb lights. That's not dust. I don't care what anyone says. I've taken pictures when it's very obvious it's dust. It's hard to tell. But I'd like to think the solid ones that are of different color and are illuminated are something. Maybe I'm just wishful thinking...but we've got to start somewhere!

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  19. The different colors are common and it really depends on what kind of particulates you're dealing with. I've gotten the blue and peach ones. They're very common and once again another issue with the types of debris in the field. I am completely and utterly unimpressed with orbs, will not use them as proof of anything, except stuff getting stirred up. I also found other things, like one of my friends has an Olympus and her orbs are pentagram shaped and almost always blue. It really depends on many variables, but I'm afraid spirit activity isn't caught with cameras. Now, if we could make a camera that has the same range as a human eye, we might get what people are seeing. It's frustrating trying to capture phenomena. So much of technology misses what we capture. We're still really the best devices for picking it up and I think the reason is the human factor--we're tied to whatever biology this phenomena utilizes, sort of psychically tied to it.

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  20. You make a valid point. Now I get a lot of hexagram type shapes on occasion but those are sun reflection! Pisses me off because it has ruined a lot of my shots of other things! Tee Hee! Stupid filter doesn't always work!

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