paranormal photographyYou have seen it everywhere, from special episodes on weird tv or inspiration for the next Hollywood sci-fi flick. Either that or you know someone who claims to have either seen them firsthand or has actual physical evidence they took from their camera. Whatever the case maybe, there is so much paranormal going around you would think you are the last person on earth who has not experienced anything unusual in your lifetime… yet.

Still, photos and odd sightings are common entertainment fodder either on Halloween or in dry times on primetime. Since not everybody has a video camera on hand, unlike those unfortunate kids in the contrived "Blair Witch Project", the next best thing is to have a photo camera on hand to capture that fleeting moment of mystery.

Why this topic? Besides the fact that it is about photography, there is always that doubt at the back of the head if the image is indeed legit or is just a creation of some imaginative mind. And to involve a technical aspect, why are most shots taken that involved weird phenomena are blurred and grainy?

There was this one show, the title escapes at the moment, where the hosts try to recreate a supposed sighting captured on film using common materials, some visual effects, and cunning optical illusions. This way, the program gets to demonstrate which pictures are most likely legit shots of the unusual and which are pranks made to fool people.

Technically though, there could be a lot of factors involved that made outputs scratchy. For one, think of the technology back then. Sure there was no Photoshop, but pictures were not A-grade either. Another thing to consider is the distance of the subject from the camera. The farther it is from the camera, the less distinct details could be seen. Then there is the subject of focus and camera shake or motion blurring. You are taking a picture of what you thought was Bigfoot from 50 feet away. You tense up as you fumble your way in clicking the shutter, excited at the idea that you have just captured an oddity.

Eager to see what you got, what comes out is a mere figment of how you intended the shot to be. You may not have provided an answer to a mystery of life, you might have added one more. But it sure is good conversation piece at the dinner table and a surreal tale for the grandkids later on.