Tuesday, April 15, 2014

20 Tips for Using a Camera During a Ghost Hunt


One of the most important items you can take with you on an investigation is a camera.  Even the camera on your cell phone will work trying to capture some evidence.  There are several theories out there that say that film is better than digital, but you can find about the same amount of theories that say digital is better than film.  Either way you look at it, having a camera with you is better than not having one at all.

  1. If you are using a film camera such as a 35mm, open and load your film after walking around the location for about 20 minutes first.  This is to be sure that you expose it to plenty of light and the atmosphere of your location before loading it, to "prime" the film.
  2. If you are using a film camera, use at least 400 speed 35mm film.  400 and 800 speeds work the best.  Black and White film also work well.
  3. If you are an experienced photographer, you may want to try infrared film which also has had excellent results in the past.
  4. When taking pictures, make sure you note any other lights in the area so when you view your developed pictures, you will not think a street light or car tail light is an orb. 
  5. Make sure you clean your camera's lens regularly.
  6. No smoking at the location, this can appear like mist on the photos, and you don't want to contaminate your evidence.
  7. Watch for dust or dirt being stirred up in the area you are photographing. They can give false positive pictures. Unless they're pictures of dirt or dust, in which case they would be true positives.
  8. All long hair should be tied back or under a hat, again this is to eliminate any false positive pictures and to give the skeptics less ammunition. Nobody believes hippies or women.
  9. Remove or tie up any camera straps so you don't take a picture of that, it looks like a vortex when photographed.
  10. Don't bother with your camera's viewfinder. Hold the camera out in front of you and aim at the area you want to take a picture of. Many newer digital cameras do not even come with view finders. This also helps in cold weather by keeping your camera away from your breath.
  11. Watch for reflective surfaces and make notes of them. The flash reflected off shiny surfaces such as windows, polished tombstones, mirrors, eyeglasses, discarded beer bottles, etc. can look like an orb or other anomaly. Make note of street lights and any other light source that may appear on the film. Take pictures of them for comparison purposes.
  12. Let fellow investigators know when you are taking a photo so that you don't get double flashes and the night scope operators can look away. If you think you have a double flash photo or any other false positive, log the picture number so you can exclude that photo from the batch when they are developed. Night scope operators can get eye damage if they are looking at a flash through the scope so this is important.
  13. In cold weather be conscious of your breath so you don't photograph that, it'll look like ectoplasm mist. If you think you may have, log that picture number and discard it when you develop the pictures.
  14. Many people like to ask the spirit if they can take their picture, it can't hurt.
  15. Take pictures anywhere and everywhere. If you feel some thing or someone else does, take a picture. Do you think you saw something? Take a picture. Take photos whenever you get positive readings on any piece of equipment.
  16. Sometimes you will see an orb, mist or sparkles in your flash or others flashes. Take more pictures right there, you may be near a spirit.
  17. You may only get about one or two pictures for every 50 you take. That's about the average, so don't get discouraged.
  18. When taking photographs (especially with a digital camera), try to get 3 shots with the same position without moving and at least 8-10 seconds between each shot.  This way, if you are picking up lenses flair or flashes off of objects it should be in all three pictures.  Also, if there is something that is moving, it should be recorded as moving in the photographs.
  19. Don't pay for fancy developing. You can get photos developed anywhere. Just let them developers know to process and print every photo.  Use the local discount store's photo service.
  20. Even with other devices, it is a good idea to document and record information in a notebook while you are investigating.  This way, when you go back later for the analysis, you can go right to your evidence and remember the situation in which you collected the data.  This is good practice with photography as well, document such things as the photo number, what time you took the picture, who was with you in the room, and any other visible lights that where around.

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