One thing that I don't talk a lot about is the paranormal side of my writing. I had thought to do a weekly post on some part of the paranormal, but with the influx of birthdays over the last couple of months I haven't made good on my promise. Mainly, when I talk about paranormal I'm not referring to werewolves or vampires. My interests are in ghosts and ghost hunting. It's an interest that my daughter and I share. This is a knowledge that we have been slowly accumulating over the years and using a technological background to prove or disprove. One of the things that my daughter has an interest in is photography and using it in many forms, including proving and disproving ghosts. This brings me to my topic. On our way to Florida last summer we stopped at a rest area and I picked up a brochure for Ghost & Haunt Tour. I won't tell you where they were... and with good reason. The flyer for their tours drives me nuts. You see... they PROMISE that you'll get paranormal pictures. Now before someone gets mad at me let me say that this is completely my opinion. Am I an paranormal expert? No, but then how many of them out there can legally claim that they are. I also know darn well that I'm flying in the face of some of those people out there who think that there is nothing wrong with this, but frankly I seriously doubt that anyone can guarantee this. Think about it. The spirits are not at our command. We can't schedule for them to show up on cue.
Do I think that it is possible to photograph spirits? Yes, I think that they can manifest enough energy at times to form a figure that could be captured on film, but the chances of this happening are very rare and susceptible to certain conditions.
Are orbs spirits? There is no conclusive evidence that orbs are spirits. There are so many factors that figure into it that a picture alone is not enough to constitute the capturing of a spirit on film. Orbs are usually generated by environmental factors such as dirt, dust, bugs. Think about it. You're walking through a room during the day and you notice a trail of dust motes in the sunshine. These will reflect on camera at night with a minimal light source. I myself have seen orbs in my photos. Are they alone evidence of a spirit or haunting? Never on their own and never without first taking into account all of the environmental factors.
Can you catch a spirit on film? My answer would be yes. But again, it would depend on the factors leading up to and after the pictures are taken. My daughter just got a Nikon Coolpic for Christmas (frankly, I'm a little jealous since it's a sweet camera) and it has the option of taking continual pictures by holding down the button. She took one of her brother that would have been a fantastic spirit shot... had he not been very much alive. The movement and speed of the camera caused the pictures to come across as blurred. This can happen if the user is shaking or if the subject is moving at any speed. The movement on the film needs to be separate from the actual subject of the film. Also, in the day and age of photoshop it's always best to go in with a mind to disprove and take it from there. I've seen shots of graveyards that show fluctuating movements of light that trail off as if in motion. The problem with graveyard or outdoor photos is that you can't control the environment.
I've covered a lot here and most of it is common sense. It's my belief and one that is shared with many, but I think anyone who wants to investigate paranormal activities must go with a mind to disprove what you can... and then, give a skeptical eye to what is left.
My .02 for the day.
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