Sunday, January 14, 2007

A random ghost photo.

In Dorset, UK, is a boys’ club building with no history of any haunting. However, after one child’s mysterious chat with someone invisible to the others, an adult took a number of photos of the hall, including this one.

First impression is that it’s simply someone moving within the frame. The colour cast makes clear that this was taken with indoor lighting, no flash, no sunlight. So the camera (a digital) would automatically operate with a slow shutter speed. Anyone moving during the photo would form a blurred image.

On the other hand, the figure gives the impression of not moving, but of standing upright and being blown by wind. So it is possible that this is a ghost photo.

It’s not good, reliable evidence though. The image is in the corner of the frame. The photographer’s attention would have been directed forward, so it’s entirely possible that someone entered the frame without the photographer’s knowledge. Since most non-professional cameras come with a wide-angle lens, this possibility is increased. The lens covers more than you can see through the viewfinder.

Do the clothes worn in this image match anyone who was present? The article doesn’t say. It does say the photos were taken ‘when everyone had left’. It doesn’t specify whether this means everyone, or simply the children who had been present and their parents. Was the photographer alone? And why were they standing on a chair or table?

This is where it becomes invaluable to have a video camera running, covering the area you’re photographing. The video will tell you if someone entered the area you were shooting. If someone appears on the camera film, check the video. If it shows the same semi-transparent image, great. If it shows nothing, even better. What the camera saw, in that case, would have no physical explanation.

If you’re working in a pair, photograph the same thing, at the same time, from different angles. If you’re working alone you can use tripods with cable-release to do the same thing, or cover the area with a video camera.

The photo mentioned above was taken on the spur of the moment. It wasn’t an investigation, it was a case of ‘What if?’ Nothing wrong with that. Some of the best images are captured by pure chance.

However, as long as the photographer is certain the image could not possibly have been caused by anyone present, that hall is certainly worth an investigation.

So if you live near Lyme Regis, in Dorset, and you have some experience in setting up an investigation, go for it.

If I’m ever in the area, I’ll call in myself.


Southern Writer said...

Interesting picture. At least it's a relatively new one, as ghost photos go. I can see your point about video taping the same area at the same time. It looks very much like some kid walked into the shot by accident. I always wonder, though, why they don't continue on through the frame? I suppose if this is a living child, he may have been told to stop. I also wonder why the photographer stood on something to take the picture. Maybe he / she was trying to get something on the other side of the curtain into the view? Why not just pull back the curtain, though? It appears (s)he deliberatly intended to shoot something small of stature.

Another thing that bugs me about a lot of these pictures (although not this one) is that the person with the picture says, "I was taking a picture of my baby when this image appeared in the TV," or "I was taking a picture of my dog, when this image appeared, standing in the doorway behind him," and they add, "I didn't see it until the film was developed." But if you look at those pictures, they seem to be focused on the image, not the original subject. It's like the one of the elderly woman whose husband is standing behind her and shows up just behind her head, but the family claims not to have noticed it for twenty years. I noticed it first thing. You really couldn't miss it. Or the one of the baby in the car, while ghosts dressed in monk-like clothes are outside the car window. The camera is focused on the window, not the baby. That always makes me suspicious. And the ones that look like someone shot randomly into an empty room (why?) and yet the ghost is perfectly centered.

You know I totally believe in ghosts, but I'm just saying ...

I'm skeptical, too. I want to see the real thing - like that video you directed us to on YouTube. It was the best I've ever seen.

heyjude said...

Looking at the floor in the photo, it appears to be a gym. Perhaps the photo was shot from the scorekeeper's box. That's somewhere I would shoot from if trying to get overall shots which I assume could be the case since the photo is said to have been taken after the kids left - except maybe one that was dashing in for something and thus got caught in motion of the side of the scene.

Southern Writer said...

Or the bleachers. I didn't think of that. I can't make out the clothing. At first, because of the stripes on the floor, I thought it was a girl in a dress, but on closer examination, I see it's not. Still can't tell what the kid is wearing, though.

ver: pizsyya

Southern Writer said...

Anyone have a magnifying glass? Back there by the only tent we can see most of, there are some numbers on the wall. What is that in front of it? Is that a big frog? LOL And an inch to the right of it - what is that?

Southern Writer said...

Knock Knock. Anyone home?

Romulus Crowe said...

I've been busy - you know, going to and fro in the world, and moving up and down in it ;)

I've been working up another post though. Soon, soon...

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