Tag Archive: featured photography

Aug 05

SNAPCHAT FILTERS

April Abercrombie

April Abercrombie

I was Case Manager for Denver Paranormal Research Society for nearly 4 years. While on the team, I primarily conducted investigations for clients of their private residences. I have since left Denver Paranormal to pursue my own research and conduct investigations of haunted locations. I now focus mostly on historical places.
April Abercrombie

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SNAPCHAT FILTERS
By: April Abercrombie

Lately people have been submitting photos (screenshots) containing weird faces from their Snapchat apps, which they are concerned may be paranormal in nature.

The Snapchat app has a facial recognition feature built into it that allows the app to map your face, creating a mask. This allows the user to add various silly faces and effects to their image. These masks are completely animated, and will move and react with your facial expressions. It is just for fun, but the technology really is quite remarkable.

How the filters work:

The facial recognition software uses your device’s camera to scan for your face, looking for contrast areas (areas that are lighter or darker in color tone), which tells it where to place a series of points. Once it places these points, it matches them up to its pre-programmed facial features, adjusting them where necessary to match your own unique facial features as closely as possible. It then creates a mask based on this data, which is fully animated and can move, and in some cases, emote with you.

It is not perfect. In all of that mapping and image comparing, it doesn’t always work as expected. You might get a mask that doesn’t fit quite right. Also, it can only find your face straight on front view. If you turn too far to the side or tilt the camera too far, it will lose sight of your face. Lighting is also a factor. Because it is looking for high contrast areas, if your image is too bright or too dark, it will have problems locating your face.

When the software loses track of your face, it tries to relocate it, and then redraws the mask. The problem is, it doesn’t always relocate your face. It can locate another object in view, and be tricked into thinking that is your face.

In other words, just like the human brain, it can experience cases of pareidolia. It may map a face on a ceiling, furniture, a light fixture, etc.

There are a series of different face masks you can choose, one in particular allows you to pick another person’s face out of your existing photos and it will place that face over your own. This can appear very creepy if it manages to map the face where you wouldn’t expect it.

I am including a sample screenshot taken from my phone where the face mask mapped onto a lamp behind me, when I panned the camera too far.

Could this Snapchat filter phenomena ever be considered paranormal?

The reality of it is, most likely not.

Firstly because there have never been any confirmed photos of ghosts. It may not even be possible to catch a ghost in a photo, even if they do exist.

Secondly, there are far too many variables involved with the facial recognition technology employed by Snapchat, not to mention all the variables that go into photography itself, to ever say for certain that your Snapchat filter has found a ghost.

So in closing… even with it being as creepy as it sometimes can be, weird snapchat filter images are completely normal and explainable.

No automatic alt text available.

Jan 26

Dust Is Everywhere

April Abercrombie

April Abercrombie

I was Case Manager for Denver Paranormal Research Society for nearly 4 years. While on the team, I primarily conducted investigations for clients of their private residences. I have since left Denver Paranormal to pursue my own research and conduct investigations of haunted locations. I now focus mostly on historical places.
April Abercrombie

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When people are asked why the orb in their photo is paranormal and not just a dust particle, many answer with “The house was clean. There was no dust.”

The problem with this explanation is that dust is everywhere. If there is an atmosphere, there is dust. It does not matter how clean an environment is, there are always airborne dust particles.

Some scientist and industrial companies spend thousands of dollars on air filtration systems to try and create a dust free environment. While they are able to remove a very high percentage of dust contamination with these systems, they still will not cannot guarantee that there is absolutely no dust particles in the air.

I recorded the video demonstration attached to this article with my iPhone 5s. Immediately prior to this recording, I had vacuumed my entire home. All I do here is pound the carpet, and many dust particles are seen flying around.

In a typical investigation situation, people are walking around the environment, which can stir up dust, even in a clean house.

Jan 22

Cell Phone Pictures – Paranormal Pariahs

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

I am a supervisor for several programs assisting individuals with intellectual and mental challenges. I have 2 Masters Degrees from Penn State in Communication Disorders and Psychology. My first experiences with the paranormal were around age 5. I’ve been fascinated ever since. I have been an investigator for over 10 years (first 5 years with a team, then leaving to form my own more than 5 years ago, and have taught classes on investigation, evidence analysis (especially EVP) and debunking at local community college. I also have abilities, some of which began at age 5 and others around puberty. Therefore my fields of major interest are investigation and psychic and empath. While I am open to considering all aspect and viewpoints, I am dedicated to seeking natural explanations first before anything is considered evidence.
Lisa Shaner-Hilty

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c1So, it’s 2016 and who does NOT have a cell phone with a camera? All 3 of you? That’s what I thought. Now, how many of you have used your cellphone camera when looking for paranormal activity? How many of you have caught something interesting whether on purpose or by accident? Is it paranormal? Sadly, not likely. I know; I know; I already spoiled your “Holy Grail” ghostly picture in the park in the motion blur article! I have to play Debbie Downer yet again…my sincerest apologies (sort of).

So what’s my problem this time? Well, let’s start with the differences in make-up of cell cameras versus digital cameras. Keep in mind though, that no type of camera has captured a verifiable full body apparition to this date, so don’t feel too badly.

CELL PHONE CAMERA VS DIGITAL:
c2Cell Phone Cameras:
– have a fixed focus lens, inhibiting your ability to control narrow or wide focus in order to take both close up and far pictures with intended clarity and control “fuzzy edges”; also impacts quality in low light settings, such as investigations
– have smaller sensors which hinders quality in low light settings; remember most investigations are conducted in low light settings
– have slow “rolling shutters” which are prone to anomalies due to the shutter being open too long, increasing likelihood of motion blur, and other odd effects on the picture not seen when shooting. You likely have noticed that there is a noticeable lapse between pushing “shoot” button and the actual “click” of the shutter closing. So frequently, your subject has moved during that time period. Rolling shutters act just as the name implies; the exposed area “rolls” from top to bottom, picture rows one at a time, rather than all at once as in digital cameras. [4]
– have LED flash that provides less light over longer period of time [2, 3]
– “use digital zoom to get closer to subjects, which often introduces image noise and visual artifacts into the photo and degrades image quality.” [2]
– have pre-focus abilities; however, are also sufficiently slow to cause you to miss your shot, or capture something that appears mysterious due to the subject having moved much closer or almost out of range [1]
Digital Cameras:
– have a wide variety of focus settings – what you are trying to capture should lead you to change settings. Autofocus, while less accurate, is also available
– have a significantly larger sensor and a variety of settings controlling the amount and length of light exposure to sensor – even when you need to avoid using a flash; again what you are shooting should lead you to adjust accordingly
– have a variety of shutter speeds which control when shutter closes; has a total shutter, meaning the entire sensor is exposed at the same instant [4]
– flash is immediate and quite bright; of short duration
– “include a true optical zoom lens that lets you get closer to your subject without lessening image quality.” [2]
– Briefly reviewing the vital points of the digital camera, as detailed in the motion blur article, ISO settings work with aperture and shutter speed to determine how much light is allowed in and for how long. Issues such as shaky hands or movement of either photographer or subject, slow shutter speed, or incorrect ISO settings for your environment can all cause motion blur.

SO WHAT’S MY POINT?
c3Glad you asked! Cell phone camera issues are generally associated with slow, rolling shutters, such as motion blur, distortions and image aliasing. The effects of a rolling shutter become especially apparent when either you or your subject are in motion. The image appears with significant distortions, the appearance of pieces being disjointed from the whole. Also odd blotches may be seen. A well-known example of image aliasing is that of a propeller which resembles a series of boomerangs falling from the sky near the airplane (screenshot attached to article). [4] One could easily mistake this for a UFO. This anomaly occurs because, as stated earlier, the rolling shutter exposes small rows of pixels at a time.

It is these anomalies that prompt those utilizing scientific method in investigating or in analyzing photographic evidence to dismiss pictures taken with cell phone cameras with little consideration. Cell phones also may interfere with other equipment, and are not permitted on site by many paranormal research teams. In short, cell phones are simply not reliable sources of potential evidence of the fringe sciences, despite their convenience.

Sources:
121Clicks.com [1]
ConsumerReports.org [2]
Wikipedia.com [3]
Diyphotography.net [4]

Jan 16

Motion Blur versus the Holy Grail

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

Lisa Shaner-Hilty

I am a supervisor for several programs assisting individuals with intellectual and mental challenges. I have 2 Masters Degrees from Penn State in Communication Disorders and Psychology. My first experiences with the paranormal were around age 5. I’ve been fascinated ever since. I have been an investigator for over 10 years (first 5 years with a team, then leaving to form my own more than 5 years ago, and have taught classes on investigation, evidence analysis (especially EVP) and debunking at local community college. I also have abilities, some of which began at age 5 and others around puberty. Therefore my fields of major interest are investigation and psychic and empath. While I am open to considering all aspect and viewpoints, I am dedicated to seeking natural explanations first before anything is considered evidence.
Lisa Shaner-Hilty

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1You snap a picture of a peaceful park, or if you are like me, a quaint old cemetery. You notice nothing when you are aiming your digital camera and taking the photo. Imagine your initial response when you look at your photos on the computer screen and see a translucent image in the background…did you capture the spirit from the past?

The simple answer is, not likely. If you are like most people, it is not likely that you pay much attention to the settings in your camera. Most of us are not quite sure what the symbols mean, let alone what function they serve, and after all, who needs instructions? Am I right?

In reality, however, those symbols and the functions their buttons serve make all the difference in the world – literally between this world and the next! OK, so I could not resist having a little fun with that one! One of the most common causes of these ghostly figures or oddly “dancing” lights we catch is motion blur. Motion blur is defined as the apparent streaking of rapidly moving objects in a still image or a sequence of images such as a movie or animation. It results when the image being recorded changes during the recording of a single exposure, either due to rapid movement or long exposure. [5]

2But it really looks like a ghost…how can this be my error? Among we non-photographers, some will be unfamiliar with the terminology. For those of us who investigate and actively debunk our own potential evidence in that endless quest for the Holy Grail of paranormal research – the full body apparition – these terms have become second nature. They are inter-related and have dramatic effect on your shots.

TERMS YOU NEED TO KNOW AND USE:
ISO – International Standards Organization: ISO involves the standards for many areas other than camera settings. For the purposes of this article, the ISO settings determine sensitivity to light. These settings can be changed before each photo you take in order to allow the perfect amount of light in for the shot you want. Since most investigating occurs in the dark, a higher ISO would be used, so that the shutter speed will increase. Shooting in daylight, a lower ISO may be more appropriate. [4]

APERTURE: aperture in any context simply means a hole. For our purposes, it is the opening in the lens through which light shines. Go ahead, look at your lens, you know you want to, and you can see it!
DEPTH OF FIELD: a narrow depth of field is ideal for taking a photo clearly focused on a small area; the rest of the photo will be fuzzy. This can be accomplished using a small aperture. A wider depth of field will leave your photo with the same crispness throughout. [4]

FOCUS: finally, a word we all know!! Or do we? Focus is controlling your depth of field by manipulating your aperture. Most of us probably use autofocus features on our digital camera. Easier is better, right? Not necessarily. Your detail will vary if you take pictures of things close and far, or in rapid succession. Taking pictures in rapid succession is common in investigating. Should you get your Holy Grail, you’d better have pictures from before and after for the debunk process!

3Many cameras use a ring around the lens to adjust focus for each shot. Some advanced cameras have continuous autofocus, which “tracks” your subject in motion, maintaining focus all along. These, however, are quite pricey. [4]
SHUTTER SPEED: this one can really be a trouble maker for avoiding those false alarm spirit photos we talked about. The definition is fairly simple; shutter speed is the time that the shutter is open, or how long your camera “sees” your subject. [6]

OK, great, now you know the big words. So what does this have to do with my spirit pic? Everything!
Remembering that all of our camera’s parts and settings work together to get that great shot, let’s look at what can go wrong and cause that “spirit” or those weird lights, and how to fix it.

OK, anyone willing to admit that their hands are not steady as steel holding a camera? Come on, be honest! No one can hold perfectly still with no hand shake for as long as they think, especially when they know they are anticipating pushing that button at just…the…right…second. Our whole body will tend to move ever so slightly as well. If that hand shakes ever so slightly, or you shift your balance…ugh, motion blur! Solution: try using a tri-pod if possible. [2]

We discussed the joys and sorrows of autofocus earlier. In some circumstances, it is fine. In taking multiple pictures with little “recovery” time, not so much. “A slight miscalculation in the focus can throw the subject completely out of (focus), or give you a portrait with a perfectly sharp earlobe and blurry eyes.” [2] Again, motion blur is quite likely.

Now to the likely culprit, shutter speed. Remember that shutter speed is related to ISO and aperture, as all work together I determining how much light gets in. Should your shutter speed be too slow, more light gets through for a longer period of time. So should a jogger accidentally enter the area where you are shooting your park/cemetery pictures – even if they notice this, turn and attempt to get out of the way, they show as your ghostly figure. Headlights or other lights will show as your dancing streaks of light. Sometimes we get motion blur even when we are aimed right where we want to shoot, but your subject moves. Perhaps you are trying to catch a child dancing, but your shutter speed is too slow. You may end up with a distorted image of the child or even a disturbing black mass due to movement combined with slow shutter speed.

I would be remiss if I did not mention that professional photographers master the use of motion blur to take some stunning shots quite purposefully for the sake of art. Conversely, we know all too well how easy and common fakery has become in the paranormal world. There are sadly those who would attempt to pass off a known case of motion blur as a spirit photo. This is why we who work so hard to push the fringe sciences forward are continuously honing out debunking skills and always, always look for the natural explanation first. Alas, no Holy Grail has been captured as of yet…

THE MORAL OF THE STORY?
Short and sweet, the moral of the story is that instructions are our friends – read them; be aware of your camera settings, your surroundings and who is in the area, and without fail, do your due diligence.

“Camera Shutter Speed” CambridgeinColor.com [1]
Digital-Photography-School.com [2]
121clicks.com [3]
Howstuffworks.com [4]
Wikipedia [5]
All-Things-Photography.com [6]

Dec 22

Photography and Human Vision: Not the most Perfect Combination.

15So many people believe that photographs capture things that they swear weren’t there when they took the picture. In some cases, such as infrared, thermal or wide spectrum photography, that could be true. But if you’re using any type of digital camera, this couldn’t be further from the truth. “Most current digital cameras have 5-20 megapixels, which is often cited as falling far short of our own visual system. This is based on the fact that at 20/20 vision, the human eye is able to resolve the equivalent of a 52 megapixel camera (assuming a 60° angle of view).”1

That statement assumes our eye processes everything we see equally, but it doesn’t. “Only our central vision is 20/20, so we never actually resolve that much detail in a single glance. Away from the center, our visual ability decreases dramatically, such that by just 20° off-center our eyes resolve only one-tenth as much detail. At the periphery, we only detect large-scale contrast and minimal color: “2

http://cdn.cambridgeincolour.com/…/…/camera-eye_detail1c.jpg
Qualitative representation of visual detail using a single glance of the eyes.
To illustrate this, look at the diagram below. You can see that at the very center of our vision there is only an approximately 2 degree field where our vision is the sharpest. Outside of that area the image we see begins to blur to a point where we’re only able to detect changes in movement and brightness. This explains why many of us claim to see something out of the “corner of our eye.” Also, don’t forget that we all have blind spots in our vision and “floaters” which we could construe as a dark shadow in our field of vision. (Read more about floaters here:http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/benign-eye-floaters).

http://vspblog.com/wp-conte…/uplo16ads/2013/…/visualfield1.gif 3

Let’s also assume that our eyes are perfect organs to interpret our surroundings. I’d wager that there isn’t one of you that has not been fooled by some optical illusion. So what do we say about a photograph, which is already less accurate that our own vision, that we believe shows something out of the ordinary. This is one of the reasons we investigate so deeply into photographic “evidence” of the paranormal. The photographic image and the human eye are imperfect tools and as such, need to have supporting investigation done to confirm or debunk any claims of capturing paranormal events.

1 Cicala, Roger, “The Camera Versus the Human Eye,” November 17, 2012, PetaPixel, http://petapixel.com/…/…/17/the-camera-versus-the-human-eye/
2 “Cameras vs. the Human Eye,” Cambridge in Color, 2015,http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/t…/cameras-vs-human-eye.htm
3 “Camera vs. the Human Eye,” David C, VSP Blog, June 28, 2013,http://vspblog.com/camera-vs-the-human-eye/

Dec 22

Lens Flare need not Scare!

Lillee Allee

Lillee Allee

Representative at National Paranormal Society
Lillee Allee has studied religion, spirituality and paranormal investigation for over 40 years. She is the widow of John D. Allee, an internationally known dark magician. She continues to consult in paranormal investigation. Her specialties include: Marian and cultural spiritual phenomena/apparitions, spiritual support to teams and clients who want spiritual counseling after investigation, evp work and old school audio, the accuracy and research of past life regression and seance, and spiritual protection. Lillee was also one of the first to incorporate trained canines into paranormal investigations. She hosts a radio program on the para-x.com network, Happy Mediums, with Debra Ann Freeman, who also consults with paranormal investigative teams in Southern New England. Lillee is a published author and journalist, and legal clergy with degrees in psychology and mass communication. Lillee walks on the middle path sees learning as a life-long endeavor and is looking to make a difference and contribution to this field before she too will be heard on someone’s EVP. Lillee is always available to educate and consult and continues to enjoy guesting on other’s radio and television programs.
Lillee Allee

Latest posts by Lillee Allee (see all)

7Professional photographers and videographers learn to avoid the traps of amateur shooting, such as lens flare. For paranormal photographers, lens flare can provide anomalies that not only can damage evidence but ruin a serious investigation. Why? The interpretation may adversely affect the reveal and final findings.

Lens flare happens when direct light hits a lens (known as non-image forming light enters though the lens and hits the camera’s sensors) and an array of anomalies is found on the product (be it from photography or film). In other words, a bright light source (the sun is a great example) shines into the camera lens and affects the picture presented. Lens flare can also cause glare or unwanted artifacts of light which can appear in a polygonal shape. The shape is dependent on the shape of the lens diaphragm.

There are two types of flare. The first is specular flare where you will see circular blobs (some call them orbs) or streaks of light in the photo. The second is veiling flare which reduces the contrast between the dark and the light. This affects shadows, sharpness and definition and can lead to mystery figures (One can use auto-level or auto-contrast functions in the Photoshop application for regular photos, but for paranormal investigators – beware! Do not manipulate your images and offer them as evidence.

It is important to note that lens flare never useful for paranormal investigators, but it can be and is used creatively by amateur and professional photographers.

How to AVOID lens flare:
1) Do not allow sunlight, streetlights or any other direct source of light to hit the front element of your lens. Remember flare is caused by light reflection internally through the elements of an optical lens.
2) Wide-angle lenses are more prone to flare than longer focal lengths
3) Flare can be reduced or eliminated using a lens hood or shade. Some lens will come with a hood. Check your instruction manual to see what works best with your lens. The hood works simply by casting a shadow over the front element of the lens. It also will protect your lens from chips and scratches.
4) When using a tri-pod, you can use your hand or cardboard for shade.
5) Prime lenses are more resistant to flares than zooms. With fewer elements there is a lesser chance of flare.

But wait … there is always more … to learn. Professional photographer Bob Shell emphasizes the use of a lens hood. He points out that flare is an optical phenomena that can turn a great surprise into a daunting disappointment. You may not know if you have a lens flare problem until the photo is processed or until you get the digital up on your monitor. Shell points to another problem: every lens surface where lens meets air will reflect a certain amount of light. While modern lenses have coating to reduce this reflection, flare is still a concern. For those with zoom lenses, check the lens specifications. The higher the numbers, the better chance of lens flare. Do not use filters, says Shell, as they often make the flare worse. His belief is that there is no excuse for a good lens hood — for protection and flare reduction.

When you are not paranormal investigating, experiment with you camera. Artistic photographers suggest these tips for ACHIEVING lens flare:
1) Look into the sun! Aim toward the light source, use the spot metering mode and appropriate exposure. Unless you want to achieve a silhouette pose, set your camera to manual and adjust the exposure. This can help you achieve mystical rays or beams for a pretty picture.
2) Flash it! Flashes provide needed light for a dark scene – through flash reflection you can get a soft feel to a photo and get a nice effect from the flash itself. Remember to aim a bit away from the subjects to the right, left or above.
3) Open up! Your aperture blades cause the shape of your flare. The better the flare, the more lush and smooth the product will be. Open it up all the way, and the blades allow all the light in.
4) Focus first! In trying to achieve lens flare, you need the right point of focus. Many professionals offer three choices:
a) Control it yourself and go manual.
b) The focal lock allows you to lock your focus without direct light, and then take the shot.
c) Narrow down your choices: a narrow aperture and this adds depth to your field.
5) Angle it! You want the light to pass across your photo to get a cool effect. Try one side, then the other. Experiment!

Sources:

cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/lens-flare.htm

dptips-central.com

Gibson, Andrew S. How to prevent lens flare. Retrieved from digital-photography-school.com/how-to-prevent-lens-flare/

jiscdigitalmedia.ac.uk/glossary

Lens flare – 30 day challenge. Retrieved December 16, 2015 fromexpertphotography.com/lens-flare-30-day-photography-challen…

pixalo.com/articles/ A-Z-glossary-of-photographic-terms.php

photography.tutsplus.com/tutorials

Shell, Bob. Lens flare: what is it and how do you prevent it? Retrieved December 15, 2015 from
http://www.adorama.com/catalog.tpl?op=article_012703

Dec 22

“Demonic Orbs” and Other Fallacies and Facts

Lillee Allee

Lillee Allee

Representative at National Paranormal Society
Lillee Allee has studied religion, spirituality and paranormal investigation for over 40 years. She is the widow of John D. Allee, an internationally known dark magician. She continues to consult in paranormal investigation. Her specialties include: Marian and cultural spiritual phenomena/apparitions, spiritual support to teams and clients who want spiritual counseling after investigation, evp work and old school audio, the accuracy and research of past life regression and seance, and spiritual protection. Lillee was also one of the first to incorporate trained canines into paranormal investigations. She hosts a radio program on the para-x.com network, Happy Mediums, with Debra Ann Freeman, who also consults with paranormal investigative teams in Southern New England. Lillee is a published author and journalist, and legal clergy with degrees in psychology and mass communication. Lillee walks on the middle path sees learning as a life-long endeavor and is looking to make a difference and contribution to this field before she too will be heard on someone’s EVP. Lillee is always available to educate and consult and continues to enjoy guesting on other’s radio and television programs.
Lillee Allee

Latest posts by Lillee Allee (see all)

6When one popular paranormal show’s host described footage of an anomaly and declared it a “demonic orb,” it was time to admit the orb debate had sunk to a new low.

Most serious paranormal investigators react negatively to the “orbinators.” I use this term to describe those who are on the precarious far right of the orb debate. These are the people who will argue voraciously at the idea that an orb is anything but a spirit. Through paredolia, they insist that there are faces or figures in the orbs, as if each orb was a windowed Christmas ornament. Further, they connect the color of the orb with some spiritual meaning, the colors taken from magical practices or that of a chakra chart.

On the far left, we have those that insist that an orb is never anything paranormal, no matter what. They have debunked enough orbs that they are now convinced that even if the orb is waving at them with a connected EVP saying look at me, that this is not evidenceas if each orb was a windowed Christmas ornament. Further, they connect the color of the orb with some spiritual meaning, the colors taken from magical practices or that of a chakra chart.

The middle majority is where you find those committed to scientific investigation. These people understand the gravity of their work and significance of their evidence. They seek to eliminate all mundane probabilities, before moving into the area of paranormal possibilities. And yet, this is the group that often receives the most negative reactions from the blind believers. Why? It is much easier to believe (or want to believe) that this is Aunt Helen rather than dust contamination.

To start a discussion it is best to go to the beginning and look at the original or mundane definition: an orb is simply a sphere or a globe. The definition itself describes a three-dimensional body. From literary prose, orbs can be used as a verb that means to enclose, contain or encircle. The paranormal encyclopedia online offers this definition: “synonymous with sphere, when used in association with the paranormal, an orb is an anomalous globe-shaped spot, either white or colored, that shows up in photographs taken at allegedly haunted locations.” Yet just as we have a working definition, it seems that people other than myself.

The Paranormal Encyclopedia site offers these points to ponder:
1. “Ghosts” have been alleged seen in photos since the 1880s (birth of celluloid film)
2. Orbs were not a topic of discussion until built-in flash pocket cameras went on the market.
a) Orbs usually appear in the dark with flash digital still photography.
b) Orbs were first seen on video footage moving.
c) From the early nineties on, with new digital technology, orbs became popular.
d) All anomalous spots became labeled as orbs.
3) Ghost hunters of all abilities latched onto orbs and began claiming these were “proof” of spirits.
a) The Toronto Ghosts and Hauntings Research Society (GHRS), and other reputable paranormal organizations, stopped accepting them as proof of paranormal activity.
b) When an editor of the Paranormal Encyclopedia did the research for their article, it was found that every source of information from “orbinators” had an agenda to make money on their orbital insights be it a book, conference or video program.
4) Fuji Films in response to a question from Helena Cowell stated that floating dust may be the culprit in flash pictures, causing white spots due to reflection. Besides dust, this may also ring true with rain, snow, pollen, moisture or any particles floating in the air at the time of the shot.
a) Further, Fuji stated that the contaminant will appear big and light and out of focus and may form a shape that corresponds to the camera’s aperture (round)
b) Scott Denning, a paranormal investigator interviewed for their article questions how many control shots have been taken in areas with little contaminants or in places not without the haunted reputation.
d) The final answer from this piece may be that multiple shots must be taken, with and without flash.

Just when your amateur ghost hunter thinks they understand orbs and can debunk appropriately, the next problem occurs. People are offering their own form of cataloging orbs so that any chance of comparative or correlative studies is stopped before it can begin. At the popular Ghoststudy site, an article there suggests there are two classifications of orbs: busters and talents. Buster orbs are caused by the use of digital cameras with flash as noted above and are described as “false positives.” The sound advice offered is to document the weather and other conditions around at the time. However, this site believes talent orbs are real spiritual phenomena in a spherical or oblong shape. They do offer the caveat that a paranormal investigator will rarely witness such an orb a few times, and it may even be seen with the naked eye. To make it even more confusing, the article states that most talent orbs are human and might possibly also involve animals.

While the site, paranormal.lovetoknow.com, agrees that the debate is real, this site also points out that all information regarding the colors of orbs is theory and has no scientific basis. The site also points out that another problem is that if an image file is intentionally or unintentionally manipulated, orbs can occur due to distortion, pixilation or other problems.

Hazel Courteney, a writer with the Daily Mail, reports that Kalus Heinemann, a NASA researcher, studied pictures of spiritual healers with anomalies and at first thought it was contamination. Using scientific methods including microscopes, he failed to find a direct answer regarding causation. When even the camera itself checked out, he found himself asking people about these circles and spiritual healers said they could make them appear, especially at spiritual events. Heineman began to set up experiments, one involving two cameras taking the same picture at the same time, and he found orbs on only one photograph. He also estimated that orbs can move at around 500 miles per hour. Courteney reports that Heineman stated, “There is no doubt in my mind that the orbs may well be one of the most significant “outside of this reality” phenomena mankind has ever witnessed.” However, many of Heineman’s peers do not agree with this link to the spirit world. If you have been reading this article, it will not surprise you to note that this became a major topic for the world’s first orb convention, in 2007, in Sedona, Arizona. Thus with the help of a few scientists, a theology expert, and a group of healers, the “orbinators” became a part of the paranormal community.

Obviously, the rift began. Troy Taylor, author and president of the American Ghost Society, firmly states that orbs are not paranormal. While Troy Taylor calls the blind believers “orb-a-philes,” many of us have our own terms for the emotional outbursts from this group. Taylor offers a great list of tips to debunk orbs:

1) Rule out all possible explanations. Clean your lens regularly and more often if the environment warrants it. Keep all lenses free of dirt, water, smudges and fingertips.
2) Dust is the biggest problem – and this includes dead skin cells to pet dander.
3) Insects are drawn to light and may be filmed. The in-flight bug may cause an orb to appear to have a trail or tail.
4) Moisture can appear and does, whether it is raining or not. Water can be a variety of shapes and colors.
5) Light can cause orbs whether due to a flashlight or flash of another investigator, light can cause the lens of the camera to react and so many of these problems will be user-related. According to Taylor, there is a term from the science of physics, called back-scattering, that explains the phenomena of orbs in photos. This diffuse reflection of waves, particles and signals sends these back to the direction they came from. In physics, the phenomenon that creates orbs in photography is actually referred to as back-scattering. Back-scattering is a diffuse reflection of waves, particles, or signals traveling back to the direction it came from. And this can occur and does occur with all mentioned above, and more!
6. Patterns in orbs can be caused by pareidolia. This is a when the brain processes what it sees into a familiar pattern: a face, skull, flower or figure.
7. Always document the conditions that you are investigating in – weather, light, temperature, and bugs.

In conclusion, while the debate will continue, there is no hard evidence that orbs do exist and many professionals no longer will examine orb photographs. Those who are sure they can discern a “real” orb from a fake orb, no matter what you choose to call them, is at best difficult, because there is no hard evidence or photographs confirmed to be “real” orbs. While the scientist may think he is onto something, and he may be, there are orbs reported in every-day photos every day and these are posted on many paranormal websites. The majority is from people as confused and as the paranormal investigators try to discuss the mundane effects, it begins to move into belief defense and then pointless argument. Will this end in the near future? Orb-so-lutely not!

Sources:
Courteney, Hazel. July 20, 2007. Is this proof that spirits DO exist? Retrieved from dailymail.co.uk/…/article-46…/Is-proof-spirits-DO-exist.html

ghoststudy.com/new12/what_are_orbs.htm
hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Tips-on-Debunking-Orbs
paranormal.about.com/od/ghostphotos/a/aa102207.htm
paranormal-encyclopedia.com/o/orbs/
paranormal.lovetoknow.com/Ghost_Orbs_Different_Colors
prairieghosts.com/trouble.html

Nov 30

Shadow Manipulation

Andrew Alvarez

Andrew Alvarez

Representative - Division 3 at National Paranormal Society
Hello I'm Andrew Alvarez. I'm 34 years old. My interest in the paranormal started at about 8 years old after an experience that happened when my grandfather passed away. I'm a founder and director of the Paranormal Organization of South TX POST. We formed 7 years ago and have been serving the South Texas area since. I am an ordained Christian Minister and am studying demonology and theology. I also plan on learning the art of exorcism. I have a background in website administration, music performance and production (pre and post), web graphics, and some video production. I look forward to working with NPS in contributing my talents and learning from other's talents.
Andrew Alvarez

w1The day gets late, the sun gets lower, the light gets dimmer. All of a sudden, that 5ft sapling tree is casting a 15 ft shadow. A big monster of a man’s shadow is being cast by an 6yr old little boy.

Shadow – A dark area or shape produced by an object between rays of light and a surface.

Basically, a shadow is created when a object is blocking rays of light. Shadows are created on objects as small as a face to objects as large as a moon during an eclipse.

Shadows can be manipulated by changing the light source. Anything from the position of the light source to the type of light can change a shadow. Some lights have softer washes which will reduce a shadow and blur the edges while others are sharper creating more distinct shadows. Moving the light source will also change the shape of the shadow. A higher altitude angle will produce a smaller one while a lower degre angle will stretch the shadow and produce a longer angle.

w2Included are two pictures that illustrate the effects of manipulating a light source to produce different effects with shadows. The image with the camels shows almost perfectly shaped camel. Look again, the angle of the picture is almost directly on top of the camels so you aren’t looking at the camels, but at their shadows. The second shows an artist’s efforts in adding different objects and changing the light source to produce an almost paridolic effect by creating a shadow in a familiar shape.

So, being a group of paranormal investigators and students, how does this affect us? Taking a client’s testimony into consideration when talking about shadows, we can use this information to determine if perhaps a child’s toy is casting a demonic looking shadow on a wall every time the light from a passing car enters through a window. When we check for shadows (the absence of light) find the light source that is causing the shadow.

Nov 23

Dirty Camera

April Abercrombie

April Abercrombie

I was Case Manager for Denver Paranormal Research Society for nearly 4 years. While on the team, I primarily conducted investigations for clients of their private residences. I have since left Denver Paranormal to pursue my own research and conduct investigations of haunted locations. I now focus mostly on historical places.
April Abercrombie

Latest posts by April Abercrombie (see all)

d1First, as always, let me start by saying that I do not recommend still photography for paranormal investigations. Still photos will almost never stand up to scientific scrutiny.

Having said that, if you want to use your still camera for investigating, ALWAYS make sure your camera is clean inside and out first before your investigation begins.

We see many photos presented as evidence that are really the result of a dirty camera, either a dirty lens, or dirt on the camera’s sensor.

If you notice a dark, shadowy spot or black spec that is in many photos, that does not change position from photo to photo, it has to be something from your camera.

Notice the photos attached. The photo showing a piece of paper is an example of dirt on the lens, and the other photo of the sky is an example of dirt on the sensor. The dirty sensor photo is an extreme example, and you will probably never have your sensor this dirty, but a few specs are not uncommon.

d2Make it a habit to clean your lens every time you take it out, even if you just cleaned it the last time you had it out. Dirt, dust and finger prints accumulate rapidly. Dirt and dust can accumulate on your lens even from inside your case. Any where there is atmosphere, there is dust.

Check you camera’s sensor for dirt regularly by taking test photos against a plain background, such as a clear sky, a plain piece of paper, etc. Make sure you clean your lens first to ensure that any dirt spots are on sensor, not on the lens.

If you find that you do have a dirty sensor, be very careful in how you go about cleaning it. Check your camera’s manual and follow the directions CAREFULLY. Do not ever spray anything or stick anything, such as a cloth or q-tip, into your camera unless you are instructed to do so by the owner’s manual. Some cameras have onboard automatic sensor cleaning, but they aren’t perfect. If you are not comfortable cleaning your camera’s sensor yourself, you can have it professionally cleaned at most camera stores.

* Dirty camera sensor photo courtesy from vogeltalksrving.com

Nov 23

Full Spectrum Photography

Al Schmidt

Al Schmidt

Hi, I'm Allan (Al) Schmidt. I'm 52 living in Colorado. I've been married for 27 years. I Retired form the Air Force in 2001 and have been working for the Government in Boulder ever since. I have many hobbies, mostly outdoor, hiking, camping hunting, fishing etc. The main thing that ties them all together is Photography. I've been into the paranormal basically all my life, as my late father was into basically everything paranormal, although he didn't really refer to it as paranormal. Bigfoot, Nessi, UFO's, Little People. He had books on all subjects which I read with a passion. I have been investigating for over 10 years now regularly, and have been all over the country doing so. Locally, have investigated many locations, both with others teams and as I like to do most of the time, by myself or with my wife. I'm very logical in my undertakings, and very skeptical by nature. If I have exhausted all resources and ideas as to how to debunk something, only then will I call it interesting and possibly paranormal. I have not really had any wow moments to speak of, but have had some interesting things happen, enough so to make me more curious.
Al Schmidt

Latest posts by Al Schmidt (see all)

Camera-FSCAM-Slvr-FullSpectrum-5The current craze in paranormal photography and video is Full Spectrum. But, what exactly is it, and why is the theory that it will work in the field to capture spirits in action.

What is Full Spectrum? It is basically the ability to capture visible and near infrared light, commonly referred to as the VNIR. Modified digital cameras can detect some UV, all of the visible and much of the near infrared spectrum, as most digital imaging sensors are sensitive from about 350 nm to 1000 nm. An off-the-shelf digital camera contains an infrared hot mirror filter that blocks most of the infrared and a bit of the ultraviolet that would otherwise be detected by the sensor, narrowing the accepted range from about 400 nm to 700 nm. Replacing a hot mirror or infrared blocking filter with an infrared pass or a wide spectrally transmitting filter allows the camera to detect the wider spectrum light at greater sensitivity. Without the hot-mirror, the red, green and blue (or cyan, yellow and magenta) elements of the color filter array placed over the sensor elements pass varying amounts of ultraviolet and infrared which may be recorded in any of the red, green or blue channels depending on the particular sensor in use and on the dyes used in the Bayer filter. A converted full-spectrum camera can be used for UV or IR with the appropriate filters.

Use within the paranormal world usually means converting a digital camera to Full Spectrum, A converted digital camera usually requires that the infrared hot mirror be removed and replaced by a wideband, spectrally flat glass of the same optical path length. Typical glass types used include Schott WG-280 and BK-7, which transmit as much as 90% from around 300 nm to past 1000 nm. Removing the hot mirror is tedious and may require special tools and clean rooms.

There are issues with this type of photography, one being with Full-spectrum photography in either film or digital photography is the chromatic aberration, produced by the wideband information. That is, different spectra, including the ultraviolet and infrared, will focus at different focal points, yielding blurry images and color edge effects, depending on the focal length used. There are specialized lenses such as the Nikon 105mm f4.5 UV-Nikkor which are designed to eliminate this chromatic aberration.

Although Full Spectrum Photography has been around since the 50’s for geological and Military functions, it hos only recently been used for “Ghost Hunting”. The theory is that perhaps spirits can be detected in this light spectrum, and therefore photographed. Until now, there has not been scientific proof that this is the case, and with as many Full Spectrum Cameras, both still and video now being used, one would think that if this technology worked in the field, we would have a plethora of evidence to back the theory up.

Perhaps there still is a wavelength that spirits can be detected in that we simply have as yet been unable to determine, so we must keep trying different techniques and theories to try and find that holy grail.

Oct 01

Control photo

Andrew Alvarez

Andrew Alvarez

Representative - Division 3 at National Paranormal Society
Hello I'm Andrew Alvarez. I'm 34 years old. My interest in the paranormal started at about 8 years old after an experience that happened when my grandfather passed away. I'm a founder and director of the Paranormal Organization of South TX POST. We formed 7 years ago and have been serving the South Texas area since. I am an ordained Christian Minister and am studying demonology and theology. I also plan on learning the art of exorcism. I have a background in website administration, music performance and production (pre and post), web graphics, and some video production. I look forward to working with NPS in contributing my talents and learning from other's talents.
Andrew Alvarez

12036365_10153336513673962_1838278039367839102_nControl Photo: A photograph of a location or object taken under normal conditions without environmental or light contamination. Can be used to compare anomalous photos in less than sterile conditions.

Standard protocol for control photos can be to take 3 pictures of an object or location. These 3 photos can be used to compare each other. The first pictures ideally should be one taken during ideal photography conditions which include decent light, little or no wind (which can cause dust) etc. A good practice would is also to use a tripod for these pictures. Mark the location of the tripod with masking or gaffing tape to ensure a similar photo. You can get similar photos of the same locations at different times. If no tripod is available, still use the masking or gaffing tape to mark the location of the photo.

Once you have your set of photos you can use your control photos to compare to other pictures. The object is to find the difference or find similarities. Locations look different in light and dark. Shadows play a big role in how a photo turns out. Shadows are a major cause of pareidolia. Pareidolia is where your mind processes random shapes to make them appear like something they are not.

After finding the similarities and dismissing things that can be seen as different but aren’t in normal conditions. Look for differences. The illustrations shows how different two pictures can be when they look alike. It’s a simple “spot the differences” picture. It’s very similar but there are differences. This method is also used by NASA to find anomalies in space. Now your challenge is to find the differences in the two.
Photo courtesy of www.4yougratis.de

 

Sep 05

Digital Camera File Formats

Samuel Sanfratello

Samuel Sanfratello

My name is Samuel Sanfratello (Sam). I am a NY state dual-certified Mathematics and Special Education teacher and a nationally certified Consulting Hypnotist. I am also the proud owner and operator of two companies: Monroe Hypnosis and Rochester Analytics. I am a 2nd generation Spiritualist (American Spiritualism) and a certified Medium with the Plymouth Spiritualist Church (the mother church of modern spiritualism). I am an organizer of the Rochester Paranormal Researchers, founded in 2007 and a lead investigator for the Paranormal Science Institute’s F.R.I.N.G.E team. In my spare time, I give back to my community by doing volunteer work for my church and for my local chamber of commerce. I became interested in the paranormal when I spoke with a spirit in my grandmother’s house in the early 1980s. I enjoy reading publications and scientific articles about the fringe sciences and I enjoy sharing these understandings with others.
Samuel Sanfratello

Latest posts by Samuel Sanfratello (see all)

11947485_10101450412947865_238763632262395855_nFile formats are simply the ways a digital camera stores information captured by a photo sensor. Digital cameras utilize sensors to store information on wavelengths of light that reach the sensor. Two primary formats used by digital cameras are JPEG and RAW.

JPEG is a compressed format (technically a compression more than a format). This means that it removes redundant data to make a file size smaller. The image is reconstructed when it is opened. The quality depends on the amount of compression. In a JPEG file, “areas of the same color will compress much better (and with equal quality) compared to another scene with lots of small detail” (Sheppard, 44).

RAW is “a file of unconstructed image data with minimal processing, and must be put into a special image converter to put it together as a photo” (Sheppard, 43).

Shooting in RAW and JPEG both have advantages.

JPEG Reasons:
1) Smaller file size allows you to take more pictures and store more pictures with few drives/cards.
2) “Camera manufacturers worked hard to create internal processing of JPEG files so it looks good” (Sheppard, 45).
3) 8-bit JPEG (common) allow for 256 tones in each color channel
4) Automatic processing of each picture after you shoot

RAW Reasons
1) Minimal processing of picture (is your ghost an artifact of compression and color guessing?)
2) More possibilities for adjusting picture
3) Easier to fix over-exposure & white balance issues
4) 12-bit 4000 tones per color channel 16-bit files allow for 65,000 tones per color channel
5) RAW gives more details for very dark and very light areas (since there is less compression / pixel approximation)

Ultimately, the choice for formats will be left up to the teams based on needs, economics, and personal preferences.

Works Cited

Sheppard, R. (2008). Kodak guide to digital photography. New York: Lark Books.

Aug 24

Cell Phone Cameras and Photography

Sheri Collins

Sheri Collins

Assistant Executive Director Department Chair Investigation & Research Education Resource Photography & NPS Photography Team at NPS of Texas
Sheri has always had an interest in the paranormal – from watching different paranormal shows over the years to having déjà-vu experiences throughout all her life that she has tried to put an explanation to. When her dad passed away in March 2010she began her journey into the paranormal. She has had several encounters over the years since starting in the field & takes more of an “old school” approach to her research in the paranormal. She is a supporter of today’s modern technology being used on investigations & encourages the use of various tools on investigations. She is always looking for a new ‘old school’ method to try on investigations & employs the use of trigger objects in an effort to get a response. She became fascinated with the pendulum after using a set of original jailer’s keys as a trigger object on an investigation at a local historic jail & they began to sway in response to questions.She is a huge proponent of education in the paranormal field choosing to debunk things immediately by trying to recreate situations & experiment to find logical answers to things that have happened or been captured in photographs or on video in an effort to prove or disprove paranormal activity. She & her team focus on private residential cases as well as educating the public on paranormal investigation & research. You will often find them assisting & consulting with other teams on theircases. Sheri is a certified paralegal and Notary Public for the State of Texas. Her professional background includes working in the legal field, sports marketing, event coordination & business management. She serves as Assistant Executive Director of NPS and the Department Chair overseeing Photography and the NPS Photography Team. Sheri leads the Investigation & Research Education Resources for NPS which provides information, links, & articles surrounding education in the paranormal field. She also writes articles periodically for the NPS’ website that are tied to photography & education. She is one of the founders of NPS of Texas, a paranormal research & investigative team based out of Dallas, Texas.
Sheri Collins

phModern technology has incorporated a lot of conveniences for us now that we are an “on-the-go” society who always has a cell phone in our hands no matter where we go. As a result, someone thought it would be great to add a camera to our cell phone devices so that we would never really need a camera. However, from a photographer’s point of view this was a huge mistake. It is also why we never ever recommend using a cell phone camera for paranormal investigations. To understand this better, let’s take a look at what really makes a camera.

Optical Zoom
Optical zoom allows you to literally zoom in or out on a subject allowing you to get a truly closer view of the subject before snapping your picture. This is something cell phone cameras just cannot do with a fixed lens outside of the device. Sure you can put your fingers on the screen and “zoom” in for your picture but what you are actually doing is utilizing software built into the cell phone to enlarge the area, not zoom in on it. As a result we get blurry pictures and a lot of pixilation. And we all know what pixilation leads to – pareidolia.

Sensor
Some folks like to think that the megapixel size of a camera is what matters to take good quality pictures. Wrong! It’s the camera image sensor that determines this. It is the size of the sensor that determines how much light it uses to create an image. These sensors consist of millions of light-sensitive spots called photosites that are used to record information about what is seen through the lens. A larger sensor can gain more information than a smaller one. Of course a camera will have a much larger sensor than your cell phone camera just given the size of the device.

Interchangeable Lens
Let’s face it folks, your cell phone camera only has one, small, flat lens from which to take pictures whereas your cameras have several lenses available to take better pictures. Any app downloaded to your phone is just more software added to your device that is still utilizing the same small lens but manipulating the image instead of actually capturing it which affects the picture quality.

Shutter Speed
Shutter speed is the time the camera’s shutter is open for to capture an image. Fast action pictures or motion pictures require a fast shutter speed and you’re just not going to get that with a cell phone device. If you’re looking to capture a spirit or apparition that appears then disappears quickly, it’s not going to happen with a cell phone camera because the shutter speed just simply is not fast enough. That’s not to say you’re going to automatically catch something with a fast speed camera but chances are your pictures won’t be blurry or pixelated, they will be clear and concise of the area you are photographing. The cell phone camera’s shutter speed is just too slow and will cause blurry pictures and a lot of motion blur as a result.

Shooting Modes and Manual Adjustments
You just can’t control a cell phone camera the way you can a real camera when it comes to taking great quality pictures. Cameras have the additional features built into them that allow you control white balance, autofocus, light, etc.

As you can see, there are some pretty major differences in your cameras versus your cell phone camera. At the end of the day, put away your cell phone and pick up your digital camera for picture taking on paranormal investigations. The quality of a cell phone picture is just not acceptable to be considered as any type of paranormal evidence.

Please visit the NPS Photography Department online for more articles regarding photography to further educate yourself on tips, techniques and information.

Jun 30

Photography & Reflective Surfaces

Jamie Harris

Jamie Harris

Alternate Assistant Director - Div 5 at National Paranormal Society
Was born in Portland, OR in 1977. Moved to Laramie, Wyoming until six years old and then moved to Hot Springs, Arkansas until I got out of high school.Have been interested in the paranormal since I learned to use a card catalog. My first library book was about ghosts. Have always been drawn to the paranormal and occult.At about age 14, I decided to start putting what I had learned from witchcraft books to use in the paranormal. Started investigating graveyards and exploring abandoned buildings. As I met more people in the paranormal I started to learn about EVP and started getting into the tech modern investigators use.I have not investigated any of the more famous haunts unless you count Ft. Knox, ME or what was once known as The Poet’s Loft in Hot Springs, the latter used to be a hangout of mine.Currently I am an unemployed chef seeking employment due to binary pulmonary embolism I had about 6 months ago and doing landscaping work until then.

That’s about all I can think to say. Let me know if I need to include anything? Thank you.
Jamie Harris

Latest posts by Jamie Harris (see all)

rs2I would like to discuss photographing through or towards reflective surfaces. Several times I have been asked to go over photos where people think they might have captured something but it is just a person or object that is in the room reflecting off the glass. This morning i snapped a couple of examples and posted below.

Another thing that you see a lot of is photos taken outside a house with tree leaves or branches reflecting off the windows being matrixed by the brain to look like a person or a face. Unfortunately i live in the desert and could not get any good examples of this.rs1

One other example I couldn’t quite capture is photos taken from reflective surfaces or materials with a flash. This will often cause the light to refract off the reflective surface back onto the lens causing lens flare.

If you are interested try experimenting by taking photos of reflective surfaces with and without a flash and post them on our Facebook page.

rs3

Jun 23

Light Painting – The Art of Long Exposure

Andrew Alvarez

Andrew Alvarez

Representative - Division 3 at National Paranormal Society
Hello I'm Andrew Alvarez. I'm 34 years old. My interest in the paranormal started at about 8 years old after an experience that happened when my grandfather passed away. I'm a founder and director of the Paranormal Organization of South TX POST. We formed 7 years ago and have been serving the South Texas area since. I am an ordained Christian Minister and am studying demonology and theology. I also plan on learning the art of exorcism. I have a background in website administration, music performance and production (pre and post), web graphics, and some video production. I look forward to working with NPS in contributing my talents and learning from other's talents.
Andrew Alvarez

Light painting is the art of using customizable shutter speeds to create masterpieces using light emitting objects such as flashlights, glow sticks, even cell phones, and a slow shutter speed. Objects can be illuminated, shapes and designs can be created and light can be shown towards the camera for more effects.

11059479_10153084147798962_5030557103739466996_oPainting with light and long camera exposure dates back to 1889, and was used in Frank Gilbreth’s work with his wife Lillian Moller Gilbreth in 1914, when they used small lights and the open shutter of a camera to track the motion of manufacturing and clerical workers. One method of light painting is for the artist / photographer to set their camera at a shutter speed of around 20 seconds with the timer set. For this method, a tripod is mandatory. They then walk to the focal point with a hand held light or glow stick. When the shutter opens, they spin the light around them to create balls of light.

So how does this tie to the paranormal? Many anomalous photos show the same effect as light painting. Instead of a light emitting object, we often look at a light reflecting object. Shutter speeds are generally slower than daytime photos but more along the lines of 1/15 or 1/30 of a second. Now these speeds may not seem long, but when you look at action photos using a speed of 1/500th of a second. 1/15 of a sec takes about as long as saying the word “one” when saying “One Mississippi” That leaves time for a light streak to appear from a reflective surface as it moves across the focal point of a camera. Generally, paranormal investigators hold their cameras and don’t use a tripod which allows more movement to make a more extreme effect.

The photos show examples of light painting and the possible effects in paranormal photography.

Mar 28

Ghostly Photos or Simple Camera Tricks?

Al Schmidt

Al Schmidt

Hi, I'm Allan (Al) Schmidt. I'm 52 living in Colorado. I've been married for 27 years. I Retired form the Air Force in 2001 and have been working for the Government in Boulder ever since. I have many hobbies, mostly outdoor, hiking, camping hunting, fishing etc. The main thing that ties them all together is Photography. I've been into the paranormal basically all my life, as my late father was into basically everything paranormal, although he didn't really refer to it as paranormal. Bigfoot, Nessi, UFO's, Little People. He had books on all subjects which I read with a passion. I have been investigating for over 10 years now regularly, and have been all over the country doing so. Locally, have investigated many locations, both with others teams and as I like to do most of the time, by myself or with my wife. I'm very logical in my undertakings, and very skeptical by nature. If I have exhausted all resources and ideas as to how to debunk something, only then will I call it interesting and possibly paranormal. I have not really had any wow moments to speak of, but have had some interesting things happen, enough so to make me more curious.
Al Schmidt

Latest posts by Al Schmidt (see all)

utahWhile out in the desert of Utah recently, I took this photo at my campsite. It’s very spooky, and I know a lot of people would immediately jump to a paranormal conclusion, since the majority of people are under the false assumption that a camera just takes a picture of what they see and there is no way for it to do anything else. What you see is what you get.

This particular picture was taken with a Canon 5D Mark III, at night, under a full moon. How was I lucky enough to catch this Ghostly Apparition? Was this a Haunted Area? Did I get to see it with my own eyes? Well, none of the above. Although this is an extreme example of slow shutter speed, it does show a perfect example of how odd images can be created. I say extreme only because a slow shutter speed for most shots would be 1 second or less. This one, was around 20 seconds.

So what are we seeing here? Let me set it up. As I said, this was at night, under a full moon, so actually plenty of light for this type of shot. The key is the length of time the shutter is open, thus how much light is captured by the sensor. Since there is nothing else moving besides the Ghostly figure (Myself), and the stars of course, everything will be in focus, no blurred objects. Even at 20 seconds, the stars will have moved in the sky slightly, so there will be a small amount of streaking to them.

What is also needed, is a steady tripod and a remote control. The camera is set on bulb, so that the length of time the shutter is open can be controlled, and from a distance. To create the effect is simple. Stand whatever distance you want from the camera, open the shutter, stay in place for 10 seconds, and then move to the second position for the remaining 10ish seconds. Release the shutter and you have your incredible Ghostly image of yourself.

Now, how does this work and why does it appear this way, why am I see through? Since it is at night, with only minimal light from the moon, there would need to be around 20 total seconds in one position for the camera to fully pick up my image as it did with the surroundings in this photo. Since I was only in place for half that time, it was only able to pick up a partial image in each location. It also did not pick up my motion blur while moving to the second location because it was too fast for the sensor to pick up any image at all at that slow shutter speed.

Now, when we talk about a slow shutter speed under normal Paranormal Photography circumstances, Dark Location, Cell Camera or Point and Shoot and either a flash or no flash, we are only normally talking about a shutter speed of 1 second or less. But as opposed to this photo, within that 1 second, it can catch any motion blur that occurs, even with a flash. Since the flash on either a cell or point and shoot is not especially powerful, it will actually flash for as long as it thinks it needs to capture a photo, which in most cases is between ½ – 1 second. Couple the long shutter speed with hand shake, and you get a photo that not only catches motion blur, but also the movement blur of the hand shake. I must say, that in the thousands of “Paranormal” photo’s I have seen, this is the culprit in the vast majority of Ghostly Sightings. Either a photo of a scene with no moving objects, or a real person that was caught while moving, causing them to appear blurry in the beginning of the shot and more translucent at the end.

Conclusion and Recommendation: A cell phone and point and shoot were never meant to take low light or total darkness pictures. Why people continue to use them while investigating is a mystery to me. They are not, I repeat not going to take a perfect picture, they will take, blurry, grainy, and shaky pictures, every time. Even if a tripod is used, the shutter speed will still be slow enough to blur moving objects, even with a flash. I whole heartedly would never recommend taking photo’s during an investigation; it will only lead to misidentification of normal surrounding and false conclusions. If you must take photos please, never submit them as evidence, and always have them reviewed by multiple individuals. Could a photo catch a ghost, sure, anything is possible. Probable? Maybe 1 in a billion chance.

Mar 25

Flash Reflection and Effects

April Abercrombie

April Abercrombie

I was Case Manager for Denver Paranormal Research Society for nearly 4 years. While on the team, I primarily conducted investigations for clients of their private residences. I have since left Denver Paranormal to pursue my own research and conduct investigations of haunted locations. I now focus mostly on historical places.
April Abercrombie

Latest posts by April Abercrombie (see all)

This article will focus on the type of flash reflection that occurs when an object is directly on or extremely close to the camera’s lens. It is not referring to the flash reflections commonly seen in photos where mirrors or other reflective surfaces are in view.

When any object is directly on, or extremely close to the camera lens as the flash fires, the flash can illuminate the object (or not) in odd, unexpected ways.

Please look at the 3 photos posted with this article. These photos were taken during the day, indoors. Natural light was the only light source in the room, other than the camera’s flash. I had the blinds closed to insure it was dark enough that the flash would fire. The camera I used was a compact point ‘n shoot, Canon PowerShot ELPH300 HS, 12.1 MP. The photos were taken in full auto mode.
f1

Photo #1: The object is directly on (touching) the camera lens. Notice how the background is well lit and in focus, but the subject is very dark. When an object is on the camera’s lens, the camera cannot focus on it. In auto focus mode, since the camera could not focus on the object, it focused on the background, and metered accordingly. The result was a dark shadow effect on the object. This will happen no matter the color of the object. We commonly see this effect when there is an insect or piece of debris on the lens of the camera.

 

 

 

f2Photo #2: The object is just slightly away from the lens, within ½ inch. At this range, the camera still could not focus on the object very well, so again the camera focused on the background, and metered accordingly. At this distance though, the object is in the “orb zone” or range where the flash will bounce off the object. When this happens, the flash is reflected back into the camera lens, and the result is a washed out effect on the object. In some circumstances, the flash reflection can wash out the entire photo, giving it a cloudy or foggy appearance. We commonly see this effect when someone takes a photo, not realizing their finger, or a camera strap, or some other object was near the camera lens. This would be the same as taking a light and shining it into your eyes.

f3Photo #3: The object is sufficiently away from the camera and out of the “orb zone”. The flash does not reflect off of the object and back into the lens. At this distance the camera was able to focus on the object, and metered on the object. Notice now how the background has become dark and out of focus. These results and their severity will vary from camera to camera, but all cameras, especially compacts and cell phones, are susceptible to this effect.

Mar 20

Digital Upsampling & Interpolation

Samuel Sanfratello

Samuel Sanfratello

My name is Samuel Sanfratello (Sam). I am a NY state dual-certified Mathematics and Special Education teacher and a nationally certified Consulting Hypnotist. I am also the proud owner and operator of two companies: Monroe Hypnosis and Rochester Analytics. I am a 2nd generation Spiritualist (American Spiritualism) and a certified Medium with the Plymouth Spiritualist Church (the mother church of modern spiritualism). I am an organizer of the Rochester Paranormal Researchers, founded in 2007 and a lead investigator for the Paranormal Science Institute’s F.R.I.N.G.E team. In my spare time, I give back to my community by doing volunteer work for my church and for my local chamber of commerce. I became interested in the paranormal when I spoke with a spirit in my grandmother’s house in the early 1980s. I enjoy reading publications and scientific articles about the fringe sciences and I enjoy sharing these understandings with others.
Samuel Sanfratello

Latest posts by Samuel Sanfratello (see all)

What are digital upsampling and interpolation?

According to dspGuru: “ Upsampling is the process of inserting zero-valued samples between original samples to increase the sampling rate. (This is called “zero-stuffing”.) Upsampling adds to the original signal undesired spectral images which are centered on multiples of the original sampling rate. “Interpolation”, in the DSP sense, is the process of upsampling followed by filtering. (The filtering removes the undesired spectral images.) As a linear process, the DSP sense of interpolation is somewhat different from the “math” sense of interpolation, but the result is conceptually similar: to create “in-between” samples from the original samples. The result is as if you had just originally sampled your signal at the higher rate.” (dspguru).

When does it occur?
It occurs at some point in almost every digital photo. Interpolation occurs, “anytime you resize or remap (distort) your image from one pixel grid to another. Image resizing is necessary when you need to increase or decrease the total number of pixels, whereas remapping can occur under a wider variety of scenarios: correcting for lens distortion, changing perspective, and rotating an image” (Cambridge).

Examples:
When people edit a photo to enlarge a picture the following artifacts can occur:
Aliasing, Blurring, and Edge Halo artifact examples can be found on the lightning bolt photos on the following page http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tu…/image-interpolation.htm.

11251898_10101309381401215_5187547037750174177_n

10985911_10101309381396225_4809478633611656578_n11205985_10101309381391235_6054481984459072253_n

Notes on Digital vs Optical Zooms:
Most digital cameras come with both an optical zoom and a digital zoom. Cellular phone cameras come with just a digital zoom. Optical zooms use principles of light and optics to magnify the light prior to reaching the sensor on the camera. Digital zooms simply, “degrades quality by simply interpolating the image — after it has been acquired at the sensor“ (Cambridge)

 

Works Cited
DIGITAL IMAGE INTERPOLATION. (n.d.). Retrieved May 10, 2015, from http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tu…/image-interpolation.htm

Interpolation. (n.d.). Retrieved May 10, 2015, from http://www.dspguru.com/dsp/faqs/multirate/interpolation

Mar 20

A Brief History of Paranormal Photography

Latest posts by Sara Owens (see all)

Courtesy of:  http://www.paranormal-encyclopedia.com

p1Perhaps the first “ghost photo” was taken in 1860 by W. Campbell in New Jersey. The photo was of an empty chair, but once the photo was developed, the image of a small boy was discovered. However Campbell was never able to replicate this event and it is not well remembered by historians of the art.

A year later in 1861, Boston engraver, William Mumler took his own photograph only to discover the image of a dead cousin in the photograph with him. A leading photographer, William Black subsequently investigated his photographs and declared them to be authentic in nature. Mumler was able to produce several more photographs with ghostly images of individuals, some recognizable as dead relatives and others as unknown people. One of Mumler’s most famous works is the photograph of Mary Todd Lincoln with the ghost of her husband Abraham Lincoln. Despite enjoying some popularity at the time, these photos are now generally considered fakes.
Mumler is widely credited with launching the popularity of spirit photography. Over the next few decades, many individuals chose to have their pictures taken in the hope of seeing some long lost relative.
It is important to note two things about early spirit photography:

1. Early cameras had very long exposure time—up to one minute—during which the subject had to remain perfectly still. It was quite common for “ghostly” images to appear when a subject moved or left the frame before the exposure was complete.

2. Spirit photographs and stereographs were sold as entertainment novelties in America in the late 19th Century. These were basically indistinguishable from “genuine” ghost photos, but were not intended to be considered real.
Following in Mumler’s footsteps, a number of other photographers sought to cash in on the spirit photography phenomenon, including Frederick Hudson (London) and E. Buguet (France). In 1891, Alfred Russell Wallace (one of the developers of the theory of evolution) voiced his opinion that spirit photography should be taken seriously.

p2That same year, one of the best-known ghost photos of all time was taken by Sybell Corbett at Combermere Abbey in Cheshire, England. The photo was of a library room, taken with an exposure of one hour. Although the room was apparently unoccupied the entire time, the resulting photo clearly showed a man sitting in a chair. The man was identified by a relative as Lord Combermere, who had died in an accident five days earlier.

In 1911, James Coates published a book called Photographing the Invisible, in which he examined numerous cases of spirit photography. This book helped propel paranormal photography into the mainstream and brought the attention of a number of researchers.

Another boost was given to spirit photography by respected English scientist Sir William Crookes, who conducted research into various paranormal phenomena and concluded that, among other things, spirit photography was a credible pursuit.

As the sophistication of spirit photography developed, so did the understanding of fraudulent tricks. Many early photographers were shown to have used double-exposure techniques and simple plate-swapping tricks.
Although early paranormal photography was mostly concerned with ghosts, there were other examples as well, such as the first UFO photograph in 1870 and the Cottingley Fairies in 1917 (later revealed as a hoax).

Notable ghost photographs of the 20th Century:
Freddy Jackson (1919).
The “Brown Lady”, Raynham Hall, Norfolk, England (1936).
Mabel Chimney’s mother, England (1959).
Greenwich Ghost, Queen’s House, Greenwich, London (1966).
Ghost in Burning Building,Shropshire, England (1995).

Source:

http://www.paranormal-encyclopedia.com/p/photography/history.html

Mar 17

Cambridge In Colour

Latest posts by Stephanie Morris (see all)

Hi I’m a new member of the Photography Team. I believe ALL Investigators or anyone holding a camera should know the Basics. Of course more is expected of the Photo Team but I simply wanted to give the group a good reference page for Photography. It has free tutorials and many good articles on things such as “circles of confusion” and other Depth of Field topics and DOF is very important in Spirit Photography (or any photography) and is simply one example of what this page has to offer.

www.cambridgeincolour.com/

Mar 14

Why Cell Phone Camera’s (All Camera’s) should be Taboo While Investigating

Al Schmidt

Al Schmidt

Hi, I'm Allan (Al) Schmidt. I'm 52 living in Colorado. I've been married for 27 years. I Retired form the Air Force in 2001 and have been working for the Government in Boulder ever since. I have many hobbies, mostly outdoor, hiking, camping hunting, fishing etc. The main thing that ties them all together is Photography. I've been into the paranormal basically all my life, as my late father was into basically everything paranormal, although he didn't really refer to it as paranormal. Bigfoot, Nessi, UFO's, Little People. He had books on all subjects which I read with a passion. I have been investigating for over 10 years now regularly, and have been all over the country doing so. Locally, have investigated many locations, both with others teams and as I like to do most of the time, by myself or with my wife. I'm very logical in my undertakings, and very skeptical by nature. If I have exhausted all resources and ideas as to how to debunk something, only then will I call it interesting and possibly paranormal. I have not really had any wow moments to speak of, but have had some interesting things happen, enough so to make me more curious.
Al Schmidt

Latest posts by Al Schmidt (see all)

Although I am not an advocate of taking any still pictures while investigating, using a cell phone makes it significantly worse for many reasons. Sure, they are convenient, but that’s about as far as I could go with anything positive to say about using them.

I hear people say that their Cell Phone takes great pictures, and while that may be true on a nice sunny day; they have many limitations as to their functionality in low light/no light situations. Yes, they have a flash, but the flash has limited range, and also the camera then has to compensate for the flash usage. Taking a picture of your friends in a bar is fine, but to try and use it to capture anything paranormal is out of the question. Let’s take a look at why I say this, in regards to the inner working of a cell camera.

The majority of the time, you simply are going to use your flash and a longer shutter speed in low light. Then trying to stabilize the cell phone against some immovable object. With real cameras, even using an eye level viewfinder and supporting the lens correctly offers you some additional support, and aside from DSLR mirror shake potential, a large camera has more mass, so it’ll make fewer tiny moves in response to body shakes. You really want to lock that cell phone down, but how many people actually do that while investigating. I see it all the time, people walking around, snapping away. And then sometimes while moving, which creates even more motion blur.

Another issue is getting blur from moving subjects. Not much you can do about that in most cases though but that also tends to lead to mis-identification of something being “Paranormal”. If you’re shooting a moving object, you can match its motion and shoot while moving, which can work great, but of course you risk vertical shake following a horizontally moving object, and this issue is exacerbated in low light. It will also blur the surrounding, again leading to mis-interpretation. The best was to eliminate some of these is to go to a faster shutter speed, but that would mean setting this manually and on a cellphone, the only other degree of freedom is image gain, and that’s also a problem on phones.

When you see noise in an image, grain or static, that’s actually sensor noise. Your phone, like all digital cameras, has a photo sensor composed of small pixels, one or more analog to digital converters, and one more thing, a programmable gain amplifier. That amp sits between your pixels and ADC, with the job of boosting the signal from each pixel when it’s too low. The strength of a pixel’s signal is based on how many photons are hitting it… more light or a larger pixel gets you a stronger signal. The iPhone 5s has 1.5um pixels, better than the 1.0um pixels of older iPhones, but still tiny. So the signal gets weak, it gets boosted, but eventually, the random noise in any electronic system gets to be close in level to the pixel signal, and so, when you boost that pixel, you get visible effect from the noise.

Which brings me back to the old adage, add more light. You could lower sensitivity and increase exposure time for a cleaner image, but more blur potential. Add room lights; use a flash, that’s about it. This is just how photography works, and the problems only increase with the limitations of the camera being used.

Let’s look at some samples of photo’s using different cameras. Same light, same location. They are all handheld as well (No Tripod) and all on Auto setting, since that is what makes a huge difference in photo quality. They are in my basement with very low light from ceiling lights.

First two pictures are with my cell phone, an HTC, first no flash, second with flash.
12

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next 2 Photo’s are with a Point and Shoot Digital, a Casio EX-S200 and again no flash, w/flash

34

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next 2 pictures are with a Canon 5D Mark III full frame DSLR, no flash, with flash

10950660_10205906679363262_1578206737995275930_o10662060_10205906680803298_8281836960321657549_o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see, there is a huge difference between the camera’s and the quality of the shots. The cell phone picture with flash, is not something I would even use as evidence (And Agin I would stress, I would never shoot still photo’s during an investigation, nor ever think of using them as evidence), as the lighting is not up to par with trying to define much of anything. The point and shoot with flash is much better, but still not of high quality and still has a bit of blur due to a slower shutter speed. In comparison, the Full Frame camera with flash is clean and crisp. Even without the flash, it’s not a bad picture, but still dark and again, a bit blurry being hand held with a slower shutter speed.

With all of this being said, looking at the cell phone photo compared to the other two with flash, shows that a cell phone cannot even compare. And why is that? It’s all about the sensor size. The cell phone, despite claimed MegaPixial Size, cannot draw in enough light, even with a flash to get a clean crisp image due to the size of the sensor and the low quality flash.

My bottom line, don’t use a cell phone while investigating and more importantly, when reviewing your cell phone pictures, be aware of its short comings in image quality, especially in low light situations. Don’t be fooled into thinking that you have captured an “Entity” when in fact what you have captured is a low quality photo that is not a well-defined image.

 

Mar 01

How ‘image aliasing’ allows iPhone cameras to photograph spectres

Courtesy of:  http://www.independent.co.uk

There is a ghost at Hampton Court Palace – or so a new photo, taken from an iPhone, would have you believe. But the spectre really lurks in the way that the mobile phone cameras takes pictures.

Screenshot_1

The new photos supposedly show a schoolgirl being followed by Hampton Court Palace by a ghostly apparition – claimed to be the Grey Lady that haunts the palace. The girl and the apparition are alone in the first picture, as it follows behind her, and in the second she is joined by someone else, shown turning around after the ghost has left.

But the two people – the apparition and the other person in the room – are likely instead to be one. And the secret that has brought them together is image aliasing and distortion.

What seems to have happened is that as people move in the image, they get pulled together as the camera attempts to take the picture. As the iPhone struggles to take the photo in the dark, the people in it distort and blend together.

What’s more, the iPhone doesn’t take photos all in one go, which means that people end up distorted and stretched.

It’s called image aliasing, and leads photos and videos taken from the iPhone’s camera to look odd. The effect is especially clear on videos taken of fast moving objects.

The cameras on iPhones and other mobile phone cameras scan slowly. Unlike a normal camera, which takes an image of all the pixels at once, it captures from one part of the sensor and then does the next.

That means that the different parts of the images are taken at different times. If something in the pictures moves while it is doing so, it can pull and stretch the images.

In the Hampton Court image, that is what seems to have happened. As the woman moves from the right to the left, she is captured at various parts of her journey – making her hair look very tall, while her body has moved away.

Source:

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/ghost-of-the-grey-lady-at-hampton-court-how-image-aliasing-allows-iphone-cameras-to-photograph-spectres-10069536.html

Feb 02

Sharp J-SH04 Mobile Phone

April Abercrombie

April Abercrombie

I was Case Manager for Denver Paranormal Research Society for nearly 4 years. While on the team, I primarily conducted investigations for clients of their private residences. I have since left Denver Paranormal to pursue my own research and conduct investigations of haunted locations. I now focus mostly on historical places.
April Abercrombie

Latest posts by April Abercrombie (see all)

Courtesy of:  http://www.puntainversiones.com

jphonTHE FIRST MOBILE PHONE WITH A BUILT-IN CAMERA

Sharp J-SH04 is a mobile phone which was created by Sharp Corporation and released by J-Phone in November 2000. At that time, this mobile phone was only available in Japan and it became the Japan’s first ever phone which was equipped with a built-in camera. This camera had a 110.000 pixels resolution and a 256 colors display so you can get excellent photo result.

It was not the first mobile phone with a built-in camera in the world because Samsung had also released a mobile phone, called Samsung SCH-V200 in several months earlier in South Korea. This Samsung’s mobile phone was equipped with a VGA (Video Graphics Array) camera.

Sharp J-SH04 is able to save up to 500 phone numbers and it is compatible with GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) card. It uses a dual band to support its performance. This 127 x 39 x 17 mm product which is available in silver color has a 74 grams weight. This mobile phone is able to save last 20 incoming calls, outgoing calls, and missed calls.

This Japan’s first camera mobile phone which uses a directional pad is supported by a Lithium Ion rechargeable battery which is able to survive up to 310 hours in standby mode and up to 2 hours in talking mode. For its price, it was sold for USD 500 in 2000 and for the time being you might get difficulty to find this product again.

Source:

http://www.puntainversiones.com/2012/07/sharp-j-sh04-the-first-mobile-phone-with-a-built-in-camera-in-japan/

Feb 02

Nippon Kogaku Nikon F

April Abercrombie

April Abercrombie

I was Case Manager for Denver Paranormal Research Society for nearly 4 years. While on the team, I primarily conducted investigations for clients of their private residences. I have since left Denver Paranormal to pursue my own research and conduct investigations of haunted locations. I now focus mostly on historical places.
April Abercrombie

Latest posts by April Abercrombie (see all)

Courtesy of:  http://camerapedia.wikia.com

niknThe Nikon F was introduced in 1959 with a comprehensive range of high quality lenses and accessories. During its lifespan, new items were continuously added, comprising bulk film magazine, electrical motor drive, viewfinders, focusing screens, close-up and scientific attachments, flash units, remote controls, and even a Polaroid back, the Speed Magny, as well as a wide variety of exposure meters, both separately available or as part of the finder prism, the latest of those being TTL meters, known as the Photomic.

Specs

Lens Aperture: Instant-return type, with focal depth monitoring button (stop-down button)

Mirror: Automatic instant-return type with lock-up facility available as necessary

Viewfinder: Interchangeable with waist-level viewfinder

Focusing screen: Interchangeable with waist-level viewfinder

Shutter: Titanium foil focal-plane shutter

Self-timer: Variable duration type

Flash Synchronization: Variable according to time lag, sync. with Speedlight at a high speed (1/60 sec.), with JIS B type clip contact

Dimensions: Approx. 147x98x89mm (with 5-cm F2 lens)

Weight: Approx. 685g (body only)

Source:

http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Nikon_F

Feb 02

Graflex “Pre-Anniversary” Speed Graphic

April Abercrombie

April Abercrombie

I was Case Manager for Denver Paranormal Research Society for nearly 4 years. While on the team, I primarily conducted investigations for clients of their private residences. I have since left Denver Paranormal to pursue my own research and conduct investigations of haunted locations. I now focus mostly on historical places.
April Abercrombie

Latest posts by April Abercrombie (see all)

Courtesy of:  http://camerapedia.wikia.com

graflexThe famous press cameras of Graflex were made in a number of variants and in several formats.

The earliest models were available in 3×4, 4×5 and 5×7 formats. By 1939-1940 the 5×7 format was dropped and the 2¼x 3¼ format was added. Focal plane shutters were available from the beginning until 1970. Models with a focal plane shutter can use lenses mounted in shutters or barrel lenses (without shutters). The Pacemaker Crown Graphic, introduced in 1947, was the first model available without a focal plane shutter.

Specs

Pre-Anniversary 1928-1939: 4×5 and 5×7, (also 3¼ x4¼ from 1935 to 1939) Had larger lensboard. Focal plane shutter.

Source:

http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Graflex_Speed_Graphic

Feb 01

Exakta A

Courtesy of:  http://camerapedia.wikia.com

exactExakta A Manufacturer: Ihagee Date 1932-(c)1940

The original 1933 Exakta wasn’t called Exakta A until the introduction of the model B, later that year. This first Exakta had a focal plane cloth shutter with speeds of B(beliebig), Z(Zeit)(T), 1/25, 1/50, 1/100, 1/200, 1/300, 1/600 and, rather amazing for its time: 1/1000s. For comparison: comtemporary Leicas had a top speed of 1/500s. Only two years later did Leica Introduce a 1/1000s shutter on the model IIIa (G).

Exakta B Edit

The Exakta B evolved in parallel with the model A, but had a second shutter speed knob on the right of the body. This gave additional speeds from 12s to 1/10s and a self-timer with 1/10s, 1/2s, 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 12 second speeds. In total, this gave the Exakta B a shutter speed range from 12s to 1/1000s. This shutter setup and range was to be continued in later 35mm and 6×6 models of the Exakta.

From 1934 the thread, like on the Exakta A, was enlarged (see lenses). This third version of the model B saw the introduction of a transport lever (on the left of the camera!).

Night Exakta Edit

Made from 1934 to 1937, Night Exaktas were made with a larger thread to allow larger aperture lenses. This also means lenses can not be interchanged with other VP exaktas. Large apertures were especially important because films of the time were rather slow. Meyer Primoplan 80/1,9, Zeiss Biotar 8cm/2 and Dallmeyer 80/1,9 were available. Night Exaktas were made in two designs, based on the Exakta A (only high shutter speeds) and on Exakta B (slower speeds also available). Given the slow film material and the need for large lens apertures, one wonders how useful a Night Exakta with a slowest speed of 1/25s may have been in a night shot situation.

Exakta C Edit

The design for the Exakta C was based on the model A or B. The difference is, the Exakta C has interchangable backs, one for 127 film and one for plates. When used with film, the Exakta C is very similar to the models A and B, meaning there are versions with and without the slow speeds (see above). When the plate adapter is mounted, however, the Exakta C practically ceases to be an SLR!. The image is focused on a second ground glass, not in the reflex finder but in the plate back. Remove the ground glass from this special back and a film plate with dark slide can be inserted, much as on any view camera. This ground glass and film plate are at a slightly larger distance from the lens than the VP film would be in the film back. This has some major consequences. First, for use with film, an adapter ring has to be used between the body and the lens. This compensates the smaller lens-to-film-plane distance. The reflex finder can only be focused reliably with this adapter ring in place.

Using the plate back, it becomes highly impractical, if not impossible to use the reflex finder. There is a way, though. Focus the image in the reflex finder with the adapter ring in place. Remove the adapter ring, remount the lens on the body itself and your shot should still be in focus. A rather clumsy way of taking a picture. The ground glass focusing in the plate back seems to bee a better option, albeit upside down and mirrored. In practical terms, both ways rule out shooting moving subjects or changing sceneries.

Lenses Edit

Usually, the diagonal of the film format is about the same length as the “normal” or standard objective. In this case, 40x65mm gives a diagonal of 76mm, thus the standard lens for these Exaktas is a 75mm lens. Ihagee produced an Exaktar 75/3,5 and had other standard lenses made by reputed German makers such as Zeiss, Meyer and Schneider. A wide array of lenses was produced by a lot of different makers. Objectives from a Zeiss 55 mm Tessar to 360mm Schneider tele-Xenar were available. Not long after the introduction of the first Vest Pocket Exakta, in late 1933, Ihagee changed the screw mount a little. This prevents the interchangability of late lenses on early bodies. The earlier 39.5 mm wide screw mount with a 0.5mm pitch was replaced by a 39,8/0,75mm thread. A puzzling decision, as no functional benefit is immediately obvious. Interchangable lenses were probably only made for the somewhat larger screw mount, thus for cameras from late 1933 onwards.

Source:

http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/VP_Exakta

 

Feb 01

Pareidolia and Photos – Am I seeing Things?

April Abercrombie

April Abercrombie

I was Case Manager for Denver Paranormal Research Society for nearly 4 years. While on the team, I primarily conducted investigations for clients of their private residences. I have since left Denver Paranormal to pursue my own research and conduct investigations of haunted locations. I now focus mostly on historical places.
April Abercrombie

Latest posts by April Abercrombie (see all)

parei

We have heard it here in this group many, many times…”It just pareidolia”, which is the tendency for the brain to perceive meaningful shapes, especially faces, in random visual or audible stimuli. The good news though is that we have the ability to override this natural instinct of ours.

If we as paranormal investigators want to actually present real proof of paranormal events to the world and further the fringe sciences, we need to remain purely objective when analyzing our evidence.

We need to detach ourselves from our evidence completely, and be willing to debunk it.

IS THE PHOTO WORTHY OF BEING CONSIDERED?

First and foremost before we even get into looking at images in a photo, we need to be sure the photo is a suitable candidate for analysis. We need to perform a quality check:

– The photo needs to be in good focus. No blurry or poor quality, badly pixelated photos.

– The exposure needs to be reasonably correct. It cannot be too dark, nor too bright. If the photo does not pass this quality check, then it cannot be offered as evidence to the world at large. It’s just not good enough to stand as any type of proof. This is because blurry or bad photos give alot of fodder for your brain to use to make all sorts of
wonderful, or horrific, images.You have to let it go! Keep it for yourself if you wish, but do not submit it as evidence to anyone else.

If the photo passes the initial quality check, we can then analyze any images it contains.

DO I SEE A FACE?

When analyzing an image we see in a photograph, we need to observe its qualities closely, without bias. We MUST be able to leave our beliefs and wishes at the door.

Study the image in question. The image should be an actual object – it should be separate and apart from anything else in the photo, with a distinct shape. It cannot be inside a bush, in tree branches, in the shadows etc. It also MUST be clear and obvious. If you have to draw circles or outlines, or zoom in to see it, it is not good enough to be considered. Zooming into a digital photo causes pixelation and digital artifacting, which can add to the pareidolia effect.

We need to set aside any impressions we get and look at it purely objectively. Look ONLY at what is ACTUALLY there. For instance, we can’t call 3 ovoid shapes and a curvy line a face. For it to be a real face, we need to see actual eyes, a nose and a mouth. If it only *seems* like a face, then we have to let it go.

So…

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF TO DETERMINE IF AN IMAGE YOU SEE IN A PHOTO MAY BE A PRODUCT OF PAREIDOLIA

Looking at the photo below, ask yourself:

Is the image made of vague shapes that only resemble a face or figure? Is the image composed of other elements in the photo, such as branches, shadows, leaves, reflections, patterns on wood or other
materials, etc?

Does the image look like an actual object existing independently in the photo? This photo is of a brick on my fireplace. My house is not haunted. This is not a face.

WE CAN DO THIS!

If we really want to find proof of the paranormal, there is no other way – we must be objective always. We must debunk, debunk, debunk. When in doubt we must be willing to throw it out. This goes for every piece of evidence we analyze whether it be visual, audio or other, whether it be yours, mine or ours.

If we hold ourselves to these standards, and come across something we cannot debunk, that makes for strong evidence, and that is the ONLY way we will further the fringe science of paranormal investigating.

Feb 01

Kodak Retina (Type 117)

Holly Moreland

Holly Moreland

Director - Div 2 at National Paranormal Society
Hi, My name is Holly. I live in the middle of Michigan on a small quiet lake with my significant other. I have 2 children, and a couple I choose to also call my own! I have had a few experiences that have made me scratch my head about so I reached out to see what others have encountered! I love to research and communicate what I find in any aspect of life! I also seem to have a need to help others or I could say others seem to seek me out for help! Happy to be part of the group!!.
Holly Moreland

Latest posts by Holly Moreland (see all)

Courtesy of:  http://camerapedia.wikia.com

kretKodak Retina (Type 117), product of 1934-1935.

The Retina cameras were manufactured at Kodak A.G. in what had been previously been the Dr. August Nagel Camerawerk factory in Stuttgart, Germany. The first Retina camera, Retina type 117, was introduced in the summer of 1934 along with a new 35mm film Daylight Loading Cartridge(DLC).

The Retina type 117 was replaced by the Retina type 118 within a year, the total production number is around 60,000.

Camera model – Retina type 117
Year built – 1934-1935
Shutter – Compur
Shutter speed – T, B, 1sec to 1/300 sec
Flash PC socket – on the lens-shutter barrel

Source:

http://camerapedia.wikia.com/wiki/Kodak_Retina_I

Jan 31

Kodak Advantix 2000 Auto

Courtesy of:  http://camera-wiki.org

kodfrThe Kodak Advantix 2000 Auto is a fixed lens compact camera for the APS film system. It has no programmed modes and no APS date storage functions so that it does without a LCD display. The film load status and the film advance are displayed mechanically through two little control windows.

With this simple camera Kodak started successfully its camera contributions to the APS film & camera system spring of 1996.

Specifications

Type: point and shoot
Manufacturer: Kodak plant in China
Year of release: 1996
Lens: Kodak Ektanar 1:5.6/25mm
Films: APS films
Viewfinder: with C, H, and P format display
Flash: Automatic flash

Source:

http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Kodak_Advantix_2000_AUTO

Jan 31

Leica II

Andrew Alvarez

Andrew Alvarez

Representative - Division 3 at National Paranormal Society
Hello I'm Andrew Alvarez. I'm 34 years old. My interest in the paranormal started at about 8 years old after an experience that happened when my grandfather passed away. I'm a founder and director of the Paranormal Organization of South TX POST. We formed 7 years ago and have been serving the South Texas area since. I am an ordained Christian Minister and am studying demonology and theology. I also plan on learning the art of exorcism. I have a background in website administration, music performance and production (pre and post), web graphics, and some video production. I look forward to working with NPS in contributing my talents and learning from other's talents.
Andrew Alvarez

leicaLeica II Manufacturer: Ernst Leitz Date: 1932-1948

The Leica II is a rangefinder camera introduced by Leica in 1932. They were the first Leica cameras with a built-in rangefinder. Several models were produced over the years, in parallel with the Leica III series from 1933.
The Leica II uses a coupled rangefinder distinct from the viewfinder. The viewfinder is set for a 50mm lens; use of shorter or longer lenses requires installing an alternate viewfinder on the accessory socket.
The II’s combination of rangefinder, interchangeable lenses, built in 50 finder, and shutter speeds from 1/20th to 1/500th made it Leica’s first real system camera.
Resolution – With an ASA 50 slide film the camera is capable of 16Mp depending on who you ask and how you scan the negative and how geeky you are.
The Leica II is well sealed from water. In 1994 in the glacier of Wielinger Kees in Upper Thuringia at 2,200 meters of altitude, the camera body and les survided the weather and pressure of the ice. Leitz’s archives indicate that the camera was sold on April 11th, 1932 to Mr. Jansen
Shutter speeds: 1/20th to 1/500th sec
Finishes – Chrome or Black
Iso Range – pretty much all of them
Current resale price for body only – £295-525
Availability- since 1932

Jan 31

Minolta 7000

Andrew Alvarez

Andrew Alvarez

Representative - Division 3 at National Paranormal Society
Hello I'm Andrew Alvarez. I'm 34 years old. My interest in the paranormal started at about 8 years old after an experience that happened when my grandfather passed away. I'm a founder and director of the Paranormal Organization of South TX POST. We formed 7 years ago and have been serving the South Texas area since. I am an ordained Christian Minister and am studying demonology and theology. I also plan on learning the art of exorcism. I have a background in website administration, music performance and production (pre and post), web graphics, and some video production. I look forward to working with NPS in contributing my talents and learning from other's talents.
Andrew Alvarez

miloMinolta 7000 – Date 1985

The Minolta Maxxum 7000 35mm SLR (often called the “Dynax” in some areas) camera was introduced in 1985 and was the first camera to feature both intergrated autofucus and motorised film advance, the standard configuration for later amateur and professional single lense reflex camera. This revolutionary camera redefined what an SLR was with the addition of computer chips in the camera body, senses and accessories. In addition to autofocus, the Maxxum had manual, aperture priority, shutter priority, and program modes. Knobs and dials were replaced with pushbuttons and internal and external liquid crystal displays (LCD’s). Popular with many new buyers, the LCD displays were disliked by some photographers used to the older controls.
Lens Compatibility -Stainless-steel self-lubricating bayonet.
Works with all Minolta MAXXUM AF and Sony Alpha lenses.

Autofocus
TTL phase-detection with 8-bit digital on-board computer.
One central point.
Rated EV 2 to EV 19.
Focuses and locks in Single advance mode, continues to track moving objects in Continuous advance mode.

Finder
0.85x magnification with 50mm lens.
94% coverage.

Bright Acute-Matte screen.
Bottom data LCD is lit from ambient light above the MAXXUM 7000, or by amber LEDs when the light is dim.
To the left of the data LCD are four big LEDs: three LEDs ( > o < ) for focus, and one red flash bolt.

Light Meter
Center-weighted silicon photocell.
Second silicon photocell for TTL OTF flash meter.
Rated to read at a very wide LV —1 (LV negative one; 4 seconds at f/1.4 at ISO 100) to LV 20 (f/22 at 1/2,000 at ISO 100).
DX coded and sets manually from ISO 25 to ISO 6,400 (only to ISO 1,000 with TTL flash).
±4 stops compensation, set in half stops.

Exposure Modes
Program, Aperture-, Shutter-priority and Manual (P, A, S and M).
Program shifts itself when wider than 35mm or longer than 105mm.

Manually shiftable program.

Flash
Through-the-lens (TTL) off-the-film (OTF) real-time exposure control
Standard hot shoe (lacking in all newer MAXXUM and older Sony cameras).

Dedicated contacts.
The Minolta 4000 AF (large), 2800 AF (medium) and 1800 AF (small) were the usual flashes sold with the MAXXUM 7000.

Flash Sync
1/100.

Shutter
Vertical metal focal plane.
30 seconds to 1/2,000 and Bulb.
Maximum Bulb time: 9 hours with alkaline AA, 4 hours with alkaline AAA.
Sets in full stops in manual.
Sets steplessly and reads in half stops in auto modes.
10s self-timer.

Remote control
RC-1000 cord attaches to three pins hidden under a plastic cover on the front corner of the MAXXUM 7000 body.

Frame Rate
2 frames per second.

Power
As shipped, the MAXXUM 7000 uses 4-AAA cells in the standard BH-70S battery holder
The BH-70L battery holder takes 4-AA cells as shown here, making the camera bigger and heavier while increasing battery life.
The EP-70 external battery holder takes 4-AA cells and is used in cold weather so you can keep the batteries warm in your pocket.
The BH-70T takes a 6-volt lithium battery.
Maximum Bulb time: 9 hours with alkaline AA, 4 hours with alkaline AAA.

The manual claims that there is a lithium cell in the camera to retain frame count and ISO if you remove the main battery grip. If this cell is dead, you won’t see these displayed with the main batteries removed, and supposedly they’ll blink when the main battery is attached to let you know.

Jan 31

Polaroid Land 95

Andrew Alvarez

Andrew Alvarez

Representative - Division 3 at National Paranormal Society
Hello I'm Andrew Alvarez. I'm 34 years old. My interest in the paranormal started at about 8 years old after an experience that happened when my grandfather passed away. I'm a founder and director of the Paranormal Organization of South TX POST. We formed 7 years ago and have been serving the South Texas area since. I am an ordained Christian Minister and am studying demonology and theology. I also plan on learning the art of exorcism. I have a background in website administration, music performance and production (pre and post), web graphics, and some video production. I look forward to working with NPS in contributing my talents and learning from other's talents.
Andrew Alvarez

poloPolaroid Land 95 Manufacturer: Polaroid Date: 1948-1953

This is the first successful instant camera and the Great-Grand Daddy of all Polaroids. It featured a sturdy metal body as found in most 40’s 60’s roll fill model and unlink most plastic bodied future Polaroid cameras.
The film used was 40 series roll film that made 3 1/4 X 4 1/4 prints with 8 shots per roll. I have none to show as it was all discontinued by 1992.

1948-1950: “40” film, the original. Sepia tone and ISO 100.
1950-1959: “41” ISO 100, orthochromatic B&W. The film was prone to fading, so Polaroid kits came with a print coater to fix the print. It wasn’t until the 70’s when B&W could be used without a coater.
The basic concept is the same as all Polaroids–a picture is taken and the film squeezed through rollers that releases developing chemicals. In the last Polaroids it was all one unit and brought us the infamous waiting for a picture to appear from a white background. The earlier pack film cameras had the film/developer manually pulled out as a unit and peeled apart after developing. This was a few steps more complex, as the film came in a roll, the leader was manually cut, and after developing you opened a back door to peel it off the developer.

This was actually more complex than just loading roll film, and so the move to pack film–while affecting quality somewhat as the film was not longer held flat against a pressure plate–was still a good idea.

The lens is a 135mm F/11 3 element glass, with a four speed shutter (minimum of 1/8 and maximum of 1/60) and an M-sync flash connector. The shutter only has an I/B (Interval/Bulb) setting, but from what I can tell does vary with different exposure settings.
Lens: 135mm, f/11, 3-element glass.
Shutter: 4 speed everset rotary-leaf design; 1/8 – 1/60, plus Bulb.
Flash: M-sync via ASA-bayonet post connector.
Exposure set by Light Value scale. (“Polaroid numbers”)
Folding viewfinder, with simple “ball-and-mast” parallax compensation device.
Scale focus, with distance set by arcuate lever.
Has two tripod sockets and cable-release socket.

Jan 30

Camera Lens Reflection

April Abercrombie

April Abercrombie

I was Case Manager for Denver Paranormal Research Society for nearly 4 years. While on the team, I primarily conducted investigations for clients of their private residences. I have since left Denver Paranormal to pursue my own research and conduct investigations of haunted locations. I now focus mostly on historical places.
April Abercrombie

Latest posts by April Abercrombie (see all)

Your camera lens is basically a piece of glass. As such, it is subject to picking up reflections on it’s surface of things in the environment in which you are photographing. This is especially prevalent when taking photos in low light conditions, when bright light sources, such as candles or lights, are present. It’s exactly the same as having reflections on your house windows, TV screen or any other reflective surface.

When objects reflect on your camera lens, the reflected images can actually appear in your photo when the angle and light conditions are right. I have seen reflections occur not just of light sources, but with people and other objects as well. This occurs with still photo cameras and video cameras alike. Any camera with a glass lens is subject to picking up reflections.

Camera lens reflections should not be confused with lens flare, although both can occur simultaneously. The difference is that Lens Flare occurs when a very bright light source, such as the sun, shines directly into your lens and washes out parts of your photograph, causing a “flare” effect. Lens reflections however are images reflected from the environment onto the surface of your camera’s lens.

HOW TO SPOT A LENS REFLECTION

To test if you have picked up a lens reflection, take several shots of the same scene and compare. If the anomaly in question does not change in shape, and stays consistently present, and moves only in relation to the movement of the camera, then you have a lens reflection.

I am including example photos of lens reflections. The 3 landscape oriented photos were taken with a Canon EOS Rebel T2i DSLR. The 3 portrait oriented photos were taken with an iPhone 5s. With the Canon photos, I used my tripod and swiveled the camera from photo to photo. I hand-held my cell phone for the iPhone photos.

Canon (click to enlarge)

Canon (click to enlarge)

Canon (click to enlarge)

Canon (click to enlarge)

Canon (click to enlarge)

Canon (click to enlarge)

iPhone (click to enlarge)

iPhone (click to enlarge)

iPhone (click to enlarge)

iPhone (click to enlarge)

iPhone (click to enlarge)

iPhone (click to enlarge)

 

Notice how in each photo the anomalies stay consistent in comparison with each other, and they move as a group as the camera was moved. Also notice how small in comparison the reflections are in the cell photos. One reason for this is because the lens on the cell phone is much smaller than the Canon’s lens. However, even though cells have very small lenses, they can pick up reflections just as well as regular cameras.

Jan 30

Beseler Topcon Super D

Jamie Harris

Jamie Harris

Alternate Assistant Director - Div 5 at National Paranormal Society
Was born in Portland, OR in 1977. Moved to Laramie, Wyoming until six years old and then moved to Hot Springs, Arkansas until I got out of high school.Have been interested in the paranormal since I learned to use a card catalog. My first library book was about ghosts. Have always been drawn to the paranormal and occult.At about age 14, I decided to start putting what I had learned from witchcraft books to use in the paranormal. Started investigating graveyards and exploring abandoned buildings. As I met more people in the paranormal I started to learn about EVP and started getting into the tech modern investigators use.I have not investigated any of the more famous haunts unless you count Ft. Knox, ME or what was once known as The Poet’s Loft in Hot Springs, the latter used to be a hangout of mine.Currently I am an unemployed chef seeking employment due to binary pulmonary embolism I had about 6 months ago and doing landscaping work until then.

That’s about all I can think to say. Let me know if I need to include anything? Thank you.
Jamie Harris

Latest posts by Jamie Harris (see all)

topconThe Topcon RE Super, or Beseler Topcon Super D in USA, was launched by Tokyo Kogaku KK in 1963 and manufactured until 1971, at which point it was upgraded to the Super D and again to Super DM the following year. General sale continued for several years. These later models have a shutter release lock lever on the shutter release collar. It is a professional oriented 35mm SLR camera that had a comprehensive range of accessories available. It has a removable pentaprism finder and focusing screen. It features the Exakta bayonet lens mount for interchangeable lenses. A special accessory shoe is situated at the base of the rewind knob with a standard PC sync. contact next to it. The release button is placed at the right-hand camera front, but it lacks a mirror-up facility. This was included on the upgraded versions. The standard lens is the RE. Auto-Topcor 1:1.4 f=5.8cm or the slightly slower 1:1.8 version. A battery-operated winder to be attached to the camera base was made available.

Some common features of 35mm SLR photography were first seen on the Topcon RE Super. Among these is the through-the-lens exposure metering. This enabled improved exposure accuracy, especially in close-up macro photography using bellows or extension rings, and in telephotography with long lenses. In addition to this feature, the metering is at full aperture. For this purpose the RE-lensese have an aperture simulator that relays the preset aperture to the exposure meter at full aperture, retaining a bright viewfinder image while determining the correct exposure, avoiding the stop-down method. The meter also works independently of the pentaprism finder, which allows for different viewfinder configurations. The meter cell is actually incorporated in the camera’s reflex finder mirror. This was accomplished by milling narrow slits in the mirror surface letting a fraction of the light through to the CdS cell placed just behind it.

Jan 30

Contax N Digital

Jamie Harris

Jamie Harris

Alternate Assistant Director - Div 5 at National Paranormal Society
Was born in Portland, OR in 1977. Moved to Laramie, Wyoming until six years old and then moved to Hot Springs, Arkansas until I got out of high school.Have been interested in the paranormal since I learned to use a card catalog. My first library book was about ghosts. Have always been drawn to the paranormal and occult.At about age 14, I decided to start putting what I had learned from witchcraft books to use in the paranormal. Started investigating graveyards and exploring abandoned buildings. As I met more people in the paranormal I started to learn about EVP and started getting into the tech modern investigators use.I have not investigated any of the more famous haunts unless you count Ft. Knox, ME or what was once known as The Poet’s Loft in Hot Springs, the latter used to be a hangout of mine.Currently I am an unemployed chef seeking employment due to binary pulmonary embolism I had about 6 months ago and doing landscaping work until then.

That’s about all I can think to say. Let me know if I need to include anything? Thank you.
Jamie Harris

Latest posts by Jamie Harris (see all)

contax

The Contax N Digital was a six-megapixel digital SLR camera produced by Contax in Japan. The camera was announced in late 2000, and began to be sold in spring 2002, after several delays. The camera received mixed reviews from the press, and was withdrawn from the market within a year of its introduction.

It was noteworthy for being the first full-frame digital SLR, with an imaging chip the full size of a 135 film frame. All previous digital SLRs had a smaller sensor, giving a cropped view. The imaging sensor was a Philips FTF3020-C, which had previously been used in the Jenoptik Eyelike medium format digital back. Pentax also planned to use the sensor in a full-frame digital SLR, the Pentax MZ-D, but abandoned work on the prototype in late 2001. The sensor featured ISO settings as low as ISO 25, but the reviews noted that it had a relatively high noise level above ISO 100. The next full-frame digital SLRs were the Canon EOS-1Ds of late 2002, followed by Kodak’s DCS Pro 14n in 2003. Nikon and Sony introduced full-frame models in 2007 and 2008 respectively.

The N Digital was based on the short-lived Contax N range of 35mm film SLRs, and used the Contax N-mount lens system. Nine lenses were produced for this mount, by Carl Zeiss. There were three Contax N-Mount cameras – two 35mm film SLR bodies, plus the N Digital – all of which are now discontinued.

Contax’s parent company Kyocera withdrew from the digital imaging market in 2005.

Jan 30

EOS D30

Jamie Harris

Jamie Harris

Alternate Assistant Director - Div 5 at National Paranormal Society
Was born in Portland, OR in 1977. Moved to Laramie, Wyoming until six years old and then moved to Hot Springs, Arkansas until I got out of high school.Have been interested in the paranormal since I learned to use a card catalog. My first library book was about ghosts. Have always been drawn to the paranormal and occult.At about age 14, I decided to start putting what I had learned from witchcraft books to use in the paranormal. Started investigating graveyards and exploring abandoned buildings. As I met more people in the paranormal I started to learn about EVP and started getting into the tech modern investigators use.I have not investigated any of the more famous haunts unless you count Ft. Knox, ME or what was once known as The Poet’s Loft in Hot Springs, the latter used to be a hangout of mine.Currently I am an unemployed chef seeking employment due to binary pulmonary embolism I had about 6 months ago and doing landscaping work until then.

That’s about all I can think to say. Let me know if I need to include anything? Thank you.
Jamie Harris

Latest posts by Jamie Harris (see all)

cano

The EOS D30 was announced, as the first digital SLR designed and produced entirely by Canon. Since 2005, all newly announced EOS cameras have used digital image sensors rather than film. The EOS line is still in production as Canon’s current digital SLR (DSLR) range, and, with the 2012 introduction of the Canon EOS M, Canon’s mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera (MILC) system.

The acronym “EOS” was chosen for Eos, the Titan goddess of the dawn in Greek mythology, and is often pronounced as a word, although some spell out the letters, reading it as an initialism.

Jan 28

Box Tengor

Andrew Alvarez

Andrew Alvarez

Representative - Division 3 at National Paranormal Society
Hello I'm Andrew Alvarez. I'm 34 years old. My interest in the paranormal started at about 8 years old after an experience that happened when my grandfather passed away. I'm a founder and director of the Paranormal Organization of South TX POST. We formed 7 years ago and have been serving the South Texas area since. I am an ordained Christian Minister and am studying demonology and theology. I also plan on learning the art of exorcism. I have a background in website administration, music performance and production (pre and post), web graphics, and some video production. I look forward to working with NPS in contributing my talents and learning from other's talents.
Andrew Alvarez

Courtesy of:  http://camera-wiki.org

boxtengorCamera: Box Tengor
Manufacturer: Zeiss Ikon
Date : c1925-1956

Box cameras were dedicated tophotographic beginners. Some models of Goerz’s and later Zeiss Ikon’s Box-Tengor series were more sophisticated models of such beginners cameras, with simple distance and aperture preselection. Different Tengors were offered for the film formats 116, 120 and 129.

Specifications of type 54/2, later version:
Type:  Box camera
Manufacturer: Zeiss Ikon (product line taken over from Goerz)
Years of production: 1934-38
Film: 120 roll film
Lens: Goerz Frontar
Shutter: single speed
Aperture: switchable: 1:11, 1:16 or 1:22
Focusing: switchable: 1m, 3m+, 8m+
Viewfinder: two built-in brilliant finders, one for vertical, one for horizontal image format

Source:

http://camera-wiki.org/wiki/Box_Tengor

Jan 26

Hasselblad 1600F

haSSCamera : Hasselblad 1600F Focal Plane Shutter SLR
Manufacturer : Hasselblad
Date : 1948-1952
NATIONALITY: U.S.
PLACE MANUFACTURED: NY
FILM TYPE: 120 rollfilm
IMAGE SIZE: 6 X 6 in
ORIGINAL PRICE: $300-$400
STANDARD LENSES/SHUTTERS:
2.8/80mm lens supplied by Kodak for the US market fitted at arrival, but later also Zeiss lenses became available. The Kodak Ektar 3.5/135mm was also available from early on.
It is a focal plane shutter SLR camera taking 6×6 images on type 120 film. It was a revolutionary concept at the time of introduction, being of a modular design having interchangeable lens, viewfinder and film magazine. The shutter curtains are made of corrugated stainless steel foil which is light and durable enough to withstand the high acceleration forces present in this exceptionally fast shutter. The interchangeable magazine allows fast film changing, also in mid-film, without losing a single frame by inserting a magazine.
• The First 269 camera was simply known as the “Hasselblad Camera”. The remaining examples of these are extremely rare since 153 were withdrawn and scrapped due to the problematic shutter design.
• In 1950 1600F was added to the camera name, “1600” indicating the highest shutter speed of 1/1600 sec. and “F” the focal plane shutter. Currently functional cameras are somewhat scarce due to the fragile shutter.
It should be noted that the camera must be wound on before changing the shutter speed setting or removing the magazine, in order to prevent damage and malfunction! Note also that when a magazine, with the dark slide in place, is on the camera, the shutter can’t be released. The magazine should be stored without a dark slide inserted to preserve the properties of the light aligning fabric in the dark slide slit.

Source:  

http://collectiblend.com/Cameras/   (Medium Format Photography Megasite)

Jan 26

Folding Pocket Kodak

yhtrCamera : Folding Pocket Kodak
Manufacturer : Eastman Kodak
Date : 1903-1915
NATIONALITY: U.S.
PLACE MANUFACTURED: Rochester NY
FILM TYPE: 122 rollfilm
IMAGE SIZE: 2¼ x 4¼in
ORIGINAL PRICE: $78
STANDARD LENSES/SHUTTERS:
Lens, Achromatic 105mm f/11, Shutter, Pocket Automatic, speeds I, B, T

Kodak produced seven models of the 3A Folding Pocket Kodak (thankfully abbreviated as 3A FPK). The models were known as B, B-2, B-3, B-4, B-5, C and G. The F.P.K. Automatic shutter was equipped with a pneumatic release. The original rubber hose and squeeze ball are still attached to the pneumatic cylinder. The shutter has one instantaneous speed plus time and bulb. The pneumatic release can prevent camera shake when using the time and bulb settings. The rubber hose and bulb are removable, but because of their size, they could also be left permanently attached, as they do not interfere with closing the camera. The 3A FPK created 3 1/4 x 5 1/2 inch postcard format images on Kodak 122 roll film. Kodak 122 film was first introduced for use in the 3A FPK and was available in four, six or ten exposure lengths.

Closed, the 3A FPK measures 9 1/2 x 4 3/4 x 1 7/8 inches. Kodak advertised this camera as fitting neatly in an “ordinary top-coat pocket”. Well, fashion is fickle. I think I’ll just carry my camera around in its fitted leather case. Californians don’t own top-coats, and none of my Levis have what you would call a roomy pocket. When introduced, the 3A FPK, fitted with Kodak’s top-of-the-line lens and shutter was priced as high as 78 US dollars. Seventy eight 1903 dollars placed the 3A FPK in Kodak’s top pricing tier. A variety of lens and shutter combinations were available for this camera. A 1912 Eastman Kodak catalog prices the 3A FPK with Kodak Ball Bearing shutter at 20 dollars, with Kodak Automatic shutter at 25 dollars and with Compound shutter and Zeiss Kodak anastigmatic lens at 61.40 dollars.

Soucre

http://www.vintagephoto.tv/3afpk.shtml .
Several other websites for Camera Data were used as well.

Jan 26

Kodak 110 Instamatic

21689_10206125449232372_5984037301965549264_nCamera : Kodak 110 Instamatic
Manufacturer : Hasselblad
Date : 1948-1952
NATIONALITY: U.S.
PLACE MANUFACTURED: NY
FILM TYPE: 110 Cartridge
IMAGE SIZE: 13 X 17 mm
ORIGINAL PRICE: $28 for Model 20
STANDARD LENSES/SHUTTERS:
25mm (f11.0), (1/1) fixed-focus lens, mechanical shutter with speed of 1/90, basic flash-cube compatibility, and no exposure control

In 1972, Kodak introduced the Pocket Instamatic series for its new 110 format. The 110 cartridge had the same easy-load design as the 126 format but was much smaller, allowing the cameras to be very compact (hence the “Pocket” designation). The top-of-the-line model was the Pocket Instamatic 60, which featured a stainless steel body, rangefinder, and automatic exposure. More than 25 million Pocket Instamatics were produced in under three years, and the 110 format remained popular into the 1990s. However the small negative size limited quality when using the film emulsion of the period, although in practice most prints were small so this was not as apparent until they were ‘blown up’ to a larger size.

A new series of Instamatics was introduced in 1970 to take advantage of the new Magicube flash technology. Magicubes used mechanically triggered pyrotechnic detonators for each bulb, an improvement over flashcubes in that the need for batteries was eliminated. Instamatics with Magicube sockets were denoted by an “X” in the model number.

Source:

Wiki and http://www.lomography.com/magazine/178694-iconic-110-cameras-kodak-pocket-instamatic

Nov 01

Blair Tourograph

Sheri Collins

Sheri Collins

Assistant Executive Director Department Chair Investigation & Research Education Resource Photography & NPS Photography Team at NPS of Texas
Sheri has always had an interest in the paranormal – from watching different paranormal shows over the years to having déjà-vu experiences throughout all her life that she has tried to put an explanation to. When her dad passed away in March 2010she began her journey into the paranormal. She has had several encounters over the years since starting in the field & takes more of an “old school” approach to her research in the paranormal. She is a supporter of today’s modern technology being used on investigations & encourages the use of various tools on investigations. She is always looking for a new ‘old school’ method to try on investigations & employs the use of trigger objects in an effort to get a response. She became fascinated with the pendulum after using a set of original jailer’s keys as a trigger object on an investigation at a local historic jail & they began to sway in response to questions.She is a huge proponent of education in the paranormal field choosing to debunk things immediately by trying to recreate situations & experiment to find logical answers to things that have happened or been captured in photographs or on video in an effort to prove or disprove paranormal activity. She & her team focus on private residential cases as well as educating the public on paranormal investigation & research. You will often find them assisting & consulting with other teams on theircases. Sheri is a certified paralegal and Notary Public for the State of Texas. Her professional background includes working in the legal field, sports marketing, event coordination & business management. She serves as Assistant Executive Director of NPS and the Department Chair overseeing Photography and the NPS Photography Team. Sheri leads the Investigation & Research Education Resources for NPS which provides information, links, & articles surrounding education in the paranormal field. She also writes articles periodically for the NPS’ website that are tied to photography & education. She is one of the founders of NPS of Texas, a paranormal research & investigative team based out of Dallas, Texas.
Sheri Collins
Blair Tourograph

Blair Tourograph

The Tourograph was introduced in 1878 by a man named Thomas Henry Blair and was initially produced and marketed by the Scovill Manufacturing Company through their American Optical Division. Later it would be owned and controlled by The Blair Tourograph Company. It contained everything needed for photographers to expose and develop wet collodion plates. Blair created it to be a complete portable photographic system.

When the first Tourograph was introduced it was during a time when the wet collodion method was ending. A new method was on the horizon that used dry gelatin plates and so Blair revamped the Tourograph to keep up with the newer technology. In 1880 the new version appeared and was a completely different design. Three versions of the newer Tourograph were produced and it was ultimately replaced in 1883 with the Lucidograph.

The Tourograph was designed to enclose all the workings needed inside the wood box that a photographer would need to take a picture and develop it. It was a little cumbersome to use as there were steps to take in physically manipulating the camera itself order to produce a picture.

To learn more about the details of the Tourograph, check out this link on the camera: http://www.antiquewoodcameras.com/tourogr1.html

Sep 08

The Sliding Box Camera

Sheri Collins

Sheri Collins

Assistant Executive Director Department Chair Investigation & Research Education Resource Photography & NPS Photography Team at NPS of Texas
Sheri has always had an interest in the paranormal – from watching different paranormal shows over the years to having déjà-vu experiences throughout all her life that she has tried to put an explanation to. When her dad passed away in March 2010she began her journey into the paranormal. She has had several encounters over the years since starting in the field & takes more of an “old school” approach to her research in the paranormal. She is a supporter of today’s modern technology being used on investigations & encourages the use of various tools on investigations. She is always looking for a new ‘old school’ method to try on investigations & employs the use of trigger objects in an effort to get a response. She became fascinated with the pendulum after using a set of original jailer’s keys as a trigger object on an investigation at a local historic jail & they began to sway in response to questions.She is a huge proponent of education in the paranormal field choosing to debunk things immediately by trying to recreate situations & experiment to find logical answers to things that have happened or been captured in photographs or on video in an effort to prove or disprove paranormal activity. She & her team focus on private residential cases as well as educating the public on paranormal investigation & research. You will often find them assisting & consulting with other teams on theircases. Sheri is a certified paralegal and Notary Public for the State of Texas. Her professional background includes working in the legal field, sports marketing, event coordination & business management. She serves as Assistant Executive Director of NPS and the Department Chair overseeing Photography and the NPS Photography Team. Sheri leads the Investigation & Research Education Resources for NPS which provides information, links, & articles surrounding education in the paranormal field. She also writes articles periodically for the NPS’ website that are tied to photography & education. She is one of the founders of NPS of Texas, a paranormal research & investigative team based out of Dallas, Texas.
Sheri Collins

sliding-box-cameraThe Sliding Box Camera was first introduced commercially in 1839 by Louis Daguerre along with daguerreotypy – the first photographic process. The plates this camera used measured 6 ½” x 8 ½” and were known as “whole plates” which became a standard for many years. The Sliding Box Camera consisted of two wooden boxes with one sliding into the other and the outer box being attached to a baseboard. Focusing was done by sliding the inner box until the subject was focused on the rear ground glass screen then a brass nut was used to lock it in place. Fine focus was adjusted using the lens rack and pinion. With the screen image being dim, the photographer would usually work under a dark cloth.

Learn more about the Sliding Box Camera by visiting Vintage Photo:

http://www.vintagephoto.tv/slidingbox.shtml

www.vintagephoto.tv

mahogany sliding box camera

Sep 07

Camera Obscura

Sheri Collins

Sheri Collins

Assistant Executive Director Department Chair Investigation & Research Education Resource Photography & NPS Photography Team at NPS of Texas
Sheri has always had an interest in the paranormal – from watching different paranormal shows over the years to having déjà-vu experiences throughout all her life that she has tried to put an explanation to. When her dad passed away in March 2010she began her journey into the paranormal. She has had several encounters over the years since starting in the field & takes more of an “old school” approach to her research in the paranormal. She is a supporter of today’s modern technology being used on investigations & encourages the use of various tools on investigations. She is always looking for a new ‘old school’ method to try on investigations & employs the use of trigger objects in an effort to get a response. She became fascinated with the pendulum after using a set of original jailer’s keys as a trigger object on an investigation at a local historic jail & they began to sway in response to questions.She is a huge proponent of education in the paranormal field choosing to debunk things immediately by trying to recreate situations & experiment to find logical answers to things that have happened or been captured in photographs or on video in an effort to prove or disprove paranormal activity. She & her team focus on private residential cases as well as educating the public on paranormal investigation & research. You will often find them assisting & consulting with other teams on theircases. Sheri is a certified paralegal and Notary Public for the State of Texas. Her professional background includes working in the legal field, sports marketing, event coordination & business management. She serves as Assistant Executive Director of NPS and the Department Chair overseeing Photography and the NPS Photography Team. Sheri leads the Investigation & Research Education Resources for NPS which provides information, links, & articles surrounding education in the paranormal field. She also writes articles periodically for the NPS’ website that are tied to photography & education. She is one of the founders of NPS of Texas, a paranormal research & investigative team based out of Dallas, Texas.
Sheri Collins

camera-obscuraThe word photography was first coined by scientist Sir John F.W. Herschel in 1839. The word comes from two Greek words meaning “light” (photo) and “to draw” (graphein). However it wasn’t until around 1000 AD that the first pinhole camera was invented by the Arab scholar Alhazen (Ibn Al-Haytham), who was known as the “Father of Modern Optics” by the scientific community. The pinhole camera, known as the Camera Obscura (Latin for “dark room”), was simply a closed box with a hole on one side of it where light would come through the tiny hole to create an image on the wall of the box of the outside scene that was mirrored and appeared upside down. It was often used by artists to make sketches in the field.

The first photograph was actually taken during the summer of 1827 by Joseph Nicephore Niepce using the Camera Obscura. Prior to this these cameras were used for viewing or drawing. Niepce’s photograph were called heliographs or sun prints and were the prototype so to speak for today’s photographs in using light to draw pictures. By placing an engraving onto a metal plate coated in bitumen then exposing it to light Niepce was able to make his photographs. This process took eight hours of light exposure to create.

The Museum of Modern Art has on their website some interesting information surrounding the Camera Obsura to check out.

https://www.moma.org/collection/details.php?theme_id=10060

www.moma.org

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is a place that fuels creativity and provides inspiration. Its extraordinary art collection includes modern and contemporary art.

Aug 01

Top 20 Cameras

Ken Weigand

Ken Weigand

Senior Director / Webmaster at National Paranormal Society
Ken is a graphic designer, web developer and co-founder of One True Paranormal, a para-group in southwest Missouri.
Ken Weigand

Latest posts by Ken Weigand (see all)


camera obsuraThe word photography was first coined by scientist Sir John F.W. Herschel in 1839. The word comes from two Greek words meaning “light” (photo) and “to draw” (graphein). However it wasn’t until around 1000 AD that the first pinhole ca
mera was invented by the Arab scholar Alhazen (Ibn Al-Haytham), who was known as the “Father of Modern Optics” by the scientific community. The pinhole camera, known as the Camera Obscura (Latin for “dark room”), was simply a closed box with a hole on one side of it where light would come through the tiny hole to create an image on the wall of the box of the outside scene that was mirrored and appeared upside down. It was often used by artists to make sketches in the field.

[pullquote align=”left|center|right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”30%”]
Photography comes from two Greek words meaning “light” (photo) and “to draw” (graphein).[/pullquote]The first photograph was actually taken during the summer of 1827 by Joseph Nicephore Niepce using the Camera Obscura. Prior to this these cameras were used for viewing or drawing. Niepce’s photograph were called heliographs or sun prints and were the prototype so to speak for today’s photographs in using light to draw pictures. By placing an engraving onto a metal plate coated in bitumen then exposing it to light Niepce was able to make his photographs. This process took eight hours of light exposure to create.


The Museum of Modern Art has on their website some interesting information surrounding the Camera Obscura to check out.

https://www.moma.org/collection/details.php?theme_id=10060

 

Camera : Artist’s Camera Obscura
Date : 18th Century
Camera : Sliding Box Camera
Date : c1850s
Camera : Voigtländer / Petzval lens
Manufacturer : Voigtländer & Sons
Date : c1841
Camera : The Tourograph
Manufacturer : E & T Underwood
Date : c1897
Camera : Stereo Weno
Manufacturer : Blair Camera Co.
Date : 1902-1903
Camera : The Kodak
Manufacturer : Eastman Dry Plate & Film Co.
Date : 1888-1889
Camera : Box Tengor
Manufacturer : Zeiss Ikon
Date : c1925-1956
Camera : No. 3A Folding Pocket Kodak
Manufacturer : Eastman Kodak
Date : 1903-1915
Camera : “Pre-Anniversary” Speed Graphic
Manufacturer : Graflex
Date : c1928 – 1939
Camera : Exakta A
Manufacturer : Ihagee
Date : 1932-c1940
Camera : Rolleiflex
Manufacturer : Franke & Heidecke
Date : 1929-1932
Camera : Leica II
Manufacturer : Ernst Leitz
Date : 1932-1948
Camera : Retina Type 117
Manufacturer : Kodak (Germany)
Date : 1934-1935
Camera :Polaroid Land 95
Manufacturer : Polaroid
Date : 1948-1953
Camera : Hasselblad 1600F
Manufacturer : Hasselblad
Date : 1948-1952
Camera : Nikon F
Manufacturer : Nippon Kogaku
Date : 1959
Camera : Topcon RE Super
Manufacturer : Tokyo Kogaku
Date : 1963
Camera : Instamatic 110
Manufacturer : Kodak
Date : c 1972
Camera : A-1
Manufacturer : Canon
Date : c 1985
Camera : Disc-7
Manufacturer : Minolta
Date : c 1984
Camera : Nikon AF
Manufacturer : Nikon
Date : c 1984
Camera : 7000
Manufacturer : Minolta
Date : 1985
Camera : Quicksna
Manufacturer : Fuji
Date : 1988
Camera : DCS 420
Manufacturer : Kodak / Nikon
Date : 1994
Camera : Advantix
Manufacturer : Kodak
Date : 1996
Camera : MX-2700
Manufacturer : Fuji
Date : 1999
Camera : EOS D30
Manufacturer : Canon
Date : 2000
Camera : J-SH04
Manufacturer : Sharp
Date : 2000
Camera : NDigital
Manufacturer : Contax
Date : 2002

Cell Phone Cameras

  1. iPhone 5s, 8 MP, dual LED flash
  2. Samsung Galaxy S5, 16 MP, can focus and take a photo in .3 seconds
  3. Nokia Lumia 1020, 41 MP, sensor, good in low light
  4. Sony Xperia Z2, 20.7 MP, good for viewing HD photos and video
  5. LG GS, 13 MP, good laser guided auto focus
.