Anyone Can Capture Phenomenon - Photos

The advent of digital cameras not only made it possible for people to take photos who were reluctant to sit and wait at the drugstore for the prints, but also changed the field of ghost hunting. However, now it's easier than ever to get phenomena in photos.

For years, there was a huge debate about orbs. Eventually, it became quite apparent how easy orbs were to get in photos and to conversely note that on dusty or rainy nights, we got more orbs, as well as inside of dusty old mansions and museums. The flash being so close to the lens, it makes it possible to illuminate particles and create truly gorgeous orbs. Admittedly, I dismiss all orbs, but I do collect some photos of them for examples of windy nights or spring pollen conditions or drizzle or snow. However, upon occasion I get one that is so amazing because it is perhaps obscured by something in the distance or has a clear tail to it, that I keep it to ponder how it occurred.

I've put in some photos here taken by various people with various cameras capturing some phenomenon and how they went about debunking what it was and was not. You don't need to necessarily go to a famously haunted location. Begin to let your instincts tell you when and where to take shots and by now you probably know me well enough to suggest waiting for a night of geomagnetic storm (if we ever get one again!)

The first picture shows something shooting in the distance beyond the bars. The problem is, absolutely zero light in the cemetery. Nothing at all. It gets even weird because at a completey different time, the blue spinning thing (similar) in the second picture showed up in the same place. Still, no source of light. Nothing to reflect off of. Completely baffling.

The next photo intrigues me. It was taken by a skeptic of the strongest kind (you know the type, so adamant nothing unexplained exists in the world that it's nearly reaching religious zealotry--I'm not going to budge--mode). The same place the blue things were found in a cemetery. Years apart. This strange light is intriguing because if for some reason there was a light (there is no light in the cemetery whatsoever), then the light from the ground bouncing to the sky or sky bouncing to the ground should have illuminated the bars of the fencing, but did not. They appear like two separate unrelated lights.

There's a light "squiggle" in this one that doesn't belong. Having tried my hand at shooting a light in the dark with a slow shutter speed while moving the camera, I know how they turn out. The problem with this one was that it was utterly completely and totally dark--not a light, not a particle of light in the entire place. How this squiggle came to be, I don't know, but earlier before it got dark, we did see someone who disappeared within seconds in that same spot.

This pool one is particularly interesting to me. I got a shot of my swimming pool because I wanted to show someone the vines I was going to start growing on the walls. When I looked at it on the screen, I was shocked to see an orb overhead (well, not shocked, this is the desert), but if you look closer, you can see what appears to be the orb reflecting in the pool--now how is that possible???

See these perfect orbs? Not so perfect, actually. My son took this one in the dark and came inside and excitedly showed me the picture for me to only say, "Those are my fake orbs." He didn't know I'd taken styrofoam balls, painted them, put florist pins in them with fishing wire and hung them from the tree. I enjoyed swimming in the pool at night and seeing the glowing looking orbs hovering. It was a nod to my ghost hunting hobby.

"Don't ever give up your wonder, but always be practical"

That is my credo as a hunter. I want people to be amazed and excited about the things they capture in photos, but I also want them to be critical, noting the conditions and factors that might make things appear they hadn't expected. The only photos I truly get excited about are the ones that I know I can't even come up with a practical explanation for. I don't like to have a nagging doubt when saying a photo is genuinely phenomenon captured. I will always be vigilent so that when something is the real deal, I can smile and know I've covered all the explanations.

You can and you probably will capture photographic evidence. Did you get a new digital camera for Christmas? Be sure and get used to its qualities. Go outside and do shots in the dark while the sprinklers are on, in cold weather when you're breathing hard, and in a dusty house when you shake out a curtain or blow dust off a window blind. Once you have a good example of how your camera shoots these natural explanations, you'll be able to proudly debunk what you find on pic's.

Be sure and let me know if you find anything. I just love seeing new stuff I haven't seen before.


  1. Cool pics. The one's with the lit up hazy look are interesting...especially if you can rule out smoke or cold breath. The squiggly line one is pretty awesome too considering you said you saw an apparition disappear there.

    The big orb above the pool looks kind of like the moon at first glance, but if you know the moon wasn't there when you took the picture, then that is a bit of a mystery indeed. The reflection on the pool adds to the mystique about it too. Too bad that tree limb doesn't extend a little bit further, it would have given it a little more depth perception. As it is, you can't tell if the limb just ends where the orb is or if the orb is partially obscuring the end of it.

  2. cool photos! i too thought that was the moon in the pool photo, but if that's not the moon, that is weird.
    i've yet to catch any phenomenon in my photos. i'll keep trying.

  3. Hi Autumn,

    I thought the orb over the pool was the moon, too. I wouldn't have known different if you didn't mention it. How odd.

    The paranormal board that I CL'ed with my mentor for a couple of years has a lot of paranormal photography fans. The topic comes up there a lot, but like you, I can't get too excited about it.

    A couple of the most interesting comments I've heard in regards to paranormal photography were ...

    I think Katherine Ramsland wrote about it one of her books. The expert that she followed for a while had great success, especially around Gettysburg. And she theorized that people who get good photo evidence are themselves a part of the equation. In other words, two people, same camera ... one may capture evidence more reliably than the other. In the same way that a medium might encourage/attract interaction with the paranormal more reliably than someone who doesn't have that gift.

    The other comment ... I have no idea what to make of this because I am not a technical expert. But I recall reading something to the effect that 35mm cameras were better for ghost hunting than digital. Because digital cameras filter out certain kinds of light for quality purposes and that's counterproductive in ghost hunting. And the way to test this involved pushing the buttons on your tv remote and photographing the (otherwise invisible) stream that comes from it.

    Like a lot of paranormal topics out there, there are lots of opinions about the techinical details. And I find it hard to discriminate sometimes.

    Like that quote about wonder and practicality very much.


  4. I meant to say, Like you, I can't get too excited about ~orbs~. Ooops.


  5. Oh no! My captcha for this is "linorm", harking back to our colleague & friend Devin Allred's blogticle some weeks ago on the Lindorm Dragon, The Bride of the Lindorm King: A Dragon "Tale". LOL! Hang with me long enough, as I said to another Magical Realist friend today, Var∂lokkur, & the synchronicities start poppin' all over the place!

    Nice piece, Autumn. I, too, have got some weird images, esp. with my NIKON Coolpix™, that only goes for a buck fifty retail ($150.oo) mostly of orbs that sometimes have faces in 'em.

    I like the flying tambourine one here. The hanging styrofoam was too obvious, yet cleverly executed. But what happens when physical objects take off, as they have with you & your investigative co-workers; will some force or entity be seen nearby if quick enough to be photographed?

    Some high weirdness that I personally shared with immediate family members and/or friends (I think) was telekinetic, not necessarily from an outside 'agency' other than that of our own minds, although there was a definite physical impact & visual manifestation.

    Ever capture so-called flying rods? To me they're clearly an unknown life form, either from our own or another dimension. The fact that they're photo-documented all over the world underscores the fact that they need more careful study.

    Best to you in 2010, Autumn. Yours is, as always, one of the more consistently enjoyable & higher-minded blog sites in its genre anywhere in cyberspace.

    From a fog-enshrouded Virginnie,
    Anadæ Effro (•8-D

  6. Hey Jeff; Yeah, it was summertime in the desert--no cold breath. The orb wasn't the moon--I took dozens of pictures that evening with nothing there at all except that one shot. What makes no sense is that an orb shouldn't reflect in a pool if it was dust near the lens. Very cool. I admit to shooting in my yard and other outdoor places on moonless nights for the very reason that it's darker.

    I'm thinking PV probably isn't great for getting action on film, but in the east--yeah. Lots of history, lots of geology, lots of energy. You will probably be able to pick up things you never imagined if you go shooting around historic sites and cemeteries.

    Katherine Ramsland book "Ghost" was fantastic--the one where she's got the ring from the dead vampire? That was one of my favorite of all time. She really is great with tension and pacing. I have to admit Gettysburg has a certain alchemy between the geology and the history of so many men dying at one time on the land--it's truly a unique place for phenomenon. I have caught phenomenon only twice on 35mm, but around the time digital cameras took off in popularity, I got hooked on using them instead for instant gratification. I can't tell you how hard it is to find the right speed film to get anything on 35mm that comes out well without being all washed out. I wasted a lot of money developing whole rolls of awful grainy messy nighttime shots. The intriguing thing about the digital camera is, you take a shot of a ceiling fan and it can take such a quick shot that the blades are still. I think that's helpful in shooting phenomenon. One amazing night in a cemetery, I chased and tripped over headstones trying to follow this energy that was rushing back and forth. It felt like something was chasing something else. It was insane. I felt the aggression and the terror. I clicked of pictures nonstop until I was so breathless I just collapsed. When I put them on my laptop later that evening in the hotel, all the shots showed a white light with a tail chasing another white light with a tail. All of them! For something to leave a streaking trail on a digital camera shot was truly amazing. Mind you, I don't take shots while moving because I don't want to blur things out. The scenes were perfectly clear, but these two white lights with tails. Something was chasing something around! I looked it up on and there was an electron flux that evening--yet another example of the importance of hunting on a geomagnetically active night. I just love this stuff. Theories are one of my favorite hobbies. No wonder I have this blog! Having smart folks like yourself add to the mix is a real dream--like a think tank of smarties.

    Anadae (sorry,on my laptop, I continue to not know how to do your diphthong). Telekinesis is something I wanted to cover soon. I have a title page in my folder to remind me to do it at some point. I'm very intrigued by it because I know I've affected things before and I would love to learn what is different on days I can do that and days I cannot. So far as rods are concerned, I have gotten them on shots, but went back later to realize they had to be bugs near the lens. I'm up in the air about that still. Enjoy the foggy Ginnie. Miss the place this time of year the most!


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