How to photograph ghosts

Start with the following assumptions …

  1. Ghosts are actually being photographed.
  2. Ghosts are the spirit or intelligence that remain at the end of mortal life.

Also assume that a ghost has limited energy available to perform its antics in this world. This is supported by the almost universal ghost reports that show these entities have little effect on the physical world, (with the exception of a few poltergeists.).

OK. Now, I’m this ghost. I have a limited budget of energy to expend in my attempts to communicate with the physical world. I want to appear in photographs. How do I do this?

Well, most ghost photographers claim that what appears on the film was not seen in front of the lenses. Only light, heat, and radiation will expose film emulsion, and of these only light and heat can be focused by glass lenses. (Infrared light in the case of heat.) As no “hot spot” phenomenon are associated with ghost photography we can eliminate infrared. No isotopes capable of producing the amount of radiation needed to expose the film in such a short period of time are available, and the thought that such an isotope is temporarily materialized for this purpose is easily set aside. All we are left with is light.

So, I’m a ghost with the ability to create a small amount of light. How do I expose the film? What about creating this light inside the camera itself? I’ll still have the problem of not knowing at exactly which moment the photographer will snap the photo, nor will I know when the camera is about to be moved. This will give me great trouble in placing any coherent image on the film. Hence, the smeared images that we see. Long trails will be caused by camera motion as I’m putting my ghost image on the film. Sometimes these appear as wisps. The simplest images for me to create are circles, if the camera is held still. If I’m particularly artistic I may be able to “paint” a picture on the film.

If I were to investigate ghost photography, and had an active paranormal location to do this, I’d mount the camera on a tripod, leave the lens cover in place, explain what I’m doing to the entities present, and invite them to expose the film. The film would be advanced every 10 minutes or so. A series would also be done with the lens cover removed but the camera still mounted on the tripod. Finally, I would install a sensitive light detector inside the camera and monitor it to see if any light was present while the shutter is closed.

If one can be confident that you can really communicate to a ghost to inform them, then yes your idea would be best. Indeed, it should be tried on some particularly active site. What I suggested was put forth with the idea that it might be best to just leave the ghosts doing what they already seem to understand how to do, and investigate what is going on. It may be that the ghosts are noticing our human activity surrounding a camera and thus given the idea to effect the camera.

What I’m really trying to say here is that if I were a ghost, with limited perception and control in this world, what would I see, what would I be able to do, what would catch my attention, how might I make myself known, and how might we among the living be able to detect this.

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