Simply by being involved
with ghost hunting, from time to time you may find people coming up to
you and asking you if you think a certain anomalous shot they took is
Of course, they see you as a ‘believer’ and expect you to
get excited which is fine when it’s just between friends. But if
it’s someone that you don’t know personally then you could
very well be being set up deliberately – or worse, you will end
up being referred to as having ‘authenticated’ the shot as
paranormal in nature… only to be ridiculed by people who
actually have expertise in the area and who can and will happily supply
a perfectly serviceable mundane explanation… and so your name
quickly becomes mud, and the reputation of the whole community suffers.
This obviously is not
good for any of us, so I’ve thrown together some of the more
obvious and simper errors that can be made when taking a shot that can
result in a ‘spooky’ look from completely innocent causes.
I have worked briefly as
a photographer in the past, but I am certainly no ‘expert’
in the field. This is simply a list of simple flaws that I have
experimented with, not an exhaustive dissertation by any means.
If you feel this may be helpful to you then read on.
Photo 1: The Demon Dog Photo
(click for large image)
Photo 2: The Loungeroom Phantom
(click for large image)
Ghosts are commonly
described as having a misty-like quality or appearance to them –
particularly in Hollywood. When actually encountered they often are
not, but that’s another subject entirely. Unfortunately, this
common belief has the effect that some people cry ‘ghost’
whenever they see a misty something in a photograph.
The two shots above are FAKE. Totally and unashamedly fake.
The Demon Dog (I LOVE that shot. Can't believe how good it looks) is
nothing more than my breath swirling in front of the camera lens on a
cold night. What you (and I) see in it is nothing more significant than
finding shapes in clouds overhead. I took a load of other pics that
night and I’ll be happy to include them if anyone is particularly
interested, but what I would recommend is for you to take your own.
Experiment with a digital camera where you can take as many shots as
you want for free. Then post YOUR shots up – but always be honest
and label fake shots clearly.
The Loungeroom Phantom
shot was actually made by some burning incense (cigarette/cigar smoke
works as well). The path the smoke has taken simply illustrates
currents in the air. What I was trying to highlight here is that any
time a flash is involved with the shot be VERY careful about how you
A flash is reflected back by tiny particles in the air which may or may not be visible when
you take the shot. So, if you are ever asked to look at a (night or
indoor) photo to determine if it is showing anything spooky I would
recommend you be extremely sceptical.
Ask lots of questions - Weather conditions on the night (esp
temperature), was a flash used, was anyone smoking, were you with a
group (more people = more hot air (LOL)), and compare the shot against
others that you know are fake to see if there are similarities.
Remember, just because
you can explain what the person has snapped, does not mean that they
were deliberately trying to fake the shot - so be nice ;-) If you are
the one taking the shot, - stand away from any group you are with - be
very conscious of where you direct your breathing when you are shooting
- try to use time exposure (with a tripod) instead of a flash if you
can - don't smoke when shooting, and keep away from others who are
smoking - keep notes on the conditions (weather, etc) when the shots
were taken Also keep these in mind when you are looking at 'ghost' pics
on other sites around the net.
[Part 2: Orbs will be coming soon…ish]