Spirit Photography    


Perhaps the most sought after evidence by all investigators of paranormal phenomena is the visual evidence. A picture speaks a thousand words as the saying goes. Images can take the form of still pictures from both film and more recently digital cameras and also video footage from both analogue and digital camcorders.

This article is not an in depth technical description of the various means of producing still and moving images there are many resources available to those interesting in such things. It is instead a discussion of the relative advantages and disadvantages the various methods offer to those who wish to make use of them in support of their own paranormal investigation requirements. Some technical information is necessary and will be provided when it is relevant to the general topic. In all cases where the paranormal investigator seeks to use image recording as a tool they are advised to fully explore all the various options, their relative advantages and disadvantages and decide for themselves what best suits their specific requirements. This article may help them with that task.

Over the past 150 years there have been many images that claim to show definitive proof of ghosts, anomalous moving objects and other such paranormal phenomena. Some have been quite compelling, whilst others have had many criticisms levelled against them. As a paranormal investigator it is important to make the most of every opportunity to capture useful evidence that may support the investigation findings or demonstrate the true nature of the phenomenon.

Choosing and using the right type of imaging device is an important first step.
Selecting the best position for the camera will also maximise the chance of capturing something useful.
Interpreting the subsequent images is the final stage of the process and is perhaps the one that is most likely to cause problems for the investigator.

Choosing the Right Camera

Many investigators use a camera of some type during an investigation - often the choice is made on the basis of whatever is available. Most people have access to a camera or perhaps a video camera-recorder (camcorder). In the majority of cases these will have been bought previously on the basis of the needs of the family for the recording of holidays and other family occasions. Sometimes an investigator may decide to purchase a camera or camcorder to support their investigations, although the choice is usually made with little regard to the features and abilities that the camera possesses and that may be helpful when conducting the investigation.
Usually, paranormal investigations are conducted after dark where the use of flash is needed to give sufficient light for a properly exposed and focussed image. It is for this set of conditions we will consider the key abilities of the various types of camera camcorder and media we'll be discussing.

In so many cases the instruction manual is briefly read then put away and forgotten - after all how difficult is it to take a photograph? Modern cameras have a wealth of additional features some of them such as manual control of exposure and focus can be a real help. In every case the user should dig out that instruction manual and fully familiarise themselves with the capabilities of the camera or camcorder. Take some shots in all the different modes and test out the features. With camcorders and digital still cameras this is made even easier by the fact that the media is re-usable and therefore the only costs are in time. That time is a wise investment and this stage should not be overlooked even if you consider that you can take a pretty decent photograph.


Still Cameras

Without doubt the most likely item of equipment the paranormal investigator is likely to either own or have access to. They are available in two forms. The familiar film camera that takes either 35mm or one of the less common film formats. In recent years digital stills cameras have overtaken film models in sales and are increasingly found in the investigators kit bag. Within recent years we have seen an increase in mobile phones that provide a basic digital camera built-in to them.