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on SENDING GHOST PHOTOS
So you think you've caught something pretty strange on film and would like the opinion of on "expert" as to whether you have a true "capture" (the technical term for visual evidence of paranormal activity)? I don't claim to be an expert, but I have seen enough alleged ghost pictures over the years and worked with real photo experts enough to hazard a reasonable guess as to what you've got. As such, I'd be glad to take a look at your photo(s) and let you know what I think.
Before you send me your photo (by clicking on the link below) there are a few things you might want to consider.
The problem is that there are a lot of things that can create orbs, weird mists, bizarre effects and other anomalies on a photo that can be easily mistaken for evidence of the paranormal. Orbs, for example, are usually caused when the flash bounces off a speck of dust or an insect flying very close to the lens. Most misty images are often the result of the flash reflecting off one's exhaled breath (especially on cold nights outdoors) or cigarette smoke. And that "face" you're sure you see peering out at you from the bushes or from another room are usually a trick of the light and the human propensity to look for familiar objects in random patterns of light and shadow (an affect known as pareidolia or matrixing). As such, before you send me anything, take a close look at the examples on my anomalies page (which you can get to by clicking here). If your orb or mist or "face" looks pretty close to what you see there, then that's probably what it is, so I don't need to see your photo.
Another problem is that when people are taking photos at an allegedly "haunted" location (especially cemeteries) and they get an orb or other anomaly on film, the tendency is to assume it's paranormal based entirely on where it was taken. This is because one already has themselves in that frame of mind and, as such, are much more open to suggestion than they might be otherwise. (In other words, you lose objectivity.) To guard against that, just ask yourself whether, if you saw the same thing in some ordinary photo you took at another location, you would have assumed it to be evidence of a ghost. If not, then don't assume it might be a ghost simply because you took the photo at a cemetery or while on a ghost tour of a haunted location. Also, be aware that if you are actually looking for ghosts, don't be surprised when you "find one" (or, at least, think you have). The mind will play tricks on you and suggestion is a powerful tool for bringing the imagination to life. Unfortunately, when that happens, too many people don't want my actual opinion but instead they want me to confirm what their preconceived belief. It's remarkable how many times people have sent me photos that were obvious photo anomalies, matrixing, or hoaxes only to have them get angry when I tell them exactly that. Sometimes people have a vested interest in seeing to it that I see what they see, and if I don't they often feel threatened or take it as an insult. As such, if you think you've got a picture of a ghost and nothing in the world can convince you otherwise, you're better off not sharing it with me. I'll only make you angry or upset and that's the last thing I want to do.
Then there is the problem with hoaxers. Some people consider the whole idea of the paranormal and ghost hunting in particular to be one big joke and want to have a little fun. As such, people occasionally try to see if they can get one over on me by sending me a faked ghost photo. While I enjoy a good laugh as much as the next guy, this is a huge waste of my time (and, if you're honest, yours as well). As such, please don't send me your fakes, no matter how cool they may be. (And if you do, I reserve the right to post them without your permission!)
Okay, so you've compared your photo to those on my anomaly page and still can't find an explanation, and you're not faking it, so what's next? Below is a checklist for you to follow (as well as you can) when sending me your photo.
1. Send me the original electronic photo exactly as it came off the camera. In other words, don't bring it into a photo manipulation program in an effort to lighten it or crop it or circle the anomaly. It's okay if you want to attach a cropped photo or one in which you've circled the anomaly as an addition, but I need the raw metafile data, which can be lost if you try manipulating the photo or, especially, saving it under another name. I also prefer it as an attachment and not imbedded into the body text.
2. If the photo was taken with a non-digital camera, you'll need to have it scanned into an electronic format. (JPGs, TIFFs, PSDs, and PDFs are all acceptable.) You want to scan them in a fairly high resolution (300dpi at 4" x 4" is pretty good. Much bigger than that and it'll probably be too big for an e-mail attachment. I can handle up to around 4MG files. Bigger than that and they may not go through.) Send the entire photo even if the anomaly is in one small area only.
3. Please let me know the circumstances around which the photo was taken: when and where it was taken, who took it, why you took the photo, etc. If taken outside, what was the weather like (hot, cold, windy, etc.).
4. What brand of camera was used? Believe it or not, that matters, especially in regards to clarity and picture quality. Obviously, a higher resolution camera is going to present a sharper image than the snapshot you took off your iPhone.
5. Any other information you think might be pertinent.
I promise not to post your photo on my site without your permission (with the exception of hoaxed photossee above), and I never identify the photographer. Also, don't send me your phone number. If the photo looks like a real capture, I'll e-mail you my number and you can call me to discuss the particulars of the photo. Finally, be aware that if you send your picture to other people besides me, I can't guarantee it won't end up on the internet without your knowledge or permission, so if you want to protect your privacy, you may want to be careful about who you send it to.
Finally, do not send me a link to click on, as I do automatically delete these. Also, it would be nice if you introduced yourself and sent more than a brief "What do you think this is?" message, especially from your iPhone.
And so, with all the specifics covered, if you'd like me to give you my opinion in regards to your photo, please send it by clicking HERE. I usually respond within two days.
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