Many people in the paranormal field these days are very concerned with obtaining photographic evidence of the paranormal. I can understand this because many people like visual evidence of sorts for everything. Seeing is believing right? Not necessarily. I have never placed a high priority on photos as evidence in my cases. Once in a while we may get something interesting on a photo or a video but even so it does not tell the story as to what may be the cause of a haunting or even if there is one at all. People call me all the time and tell me about their photos that they took in their home which they believe to be haunted, because of what they see or think they see in the photos. What anyone sees in a photo is largely subject to several very human factors, and some very common camera artifacts and errors. Human factors vary from what they have been led to believe is paranormal on film, to the tricks their minds play in matrixing things, what they are either afraid of or even may want to see, and of course their own individual eyesight conditions. So many people claim to see faces in just about every complex pattern, in their photos and think these faces are spirits in their home. With any supposed paranormal photo, my personal rule is: you should not have to "look for "a face or something out of the ordinary as it should be obvious and stand out right away. If not then the chances for your mind to fill in the blanks increases tenfold. I have seen many photos that I truly believe may be paranormal. I have seen faces and apparitions in photos that can not be explained but the trained eye is more discriminating than the layman's eye. I also think that what you capture on film is subject to timing and having no intent for exploitation.
I have seen supposed paranormal videos posted on line by many para teams and so called experts that did not impress me, yet one of my own clients sent me a video she took in her home that features some amazing apparitions and has captured some more since then. I am not surprised because I have done 2 investigations there and this lady has some serious spirit activity in her home. Some of the spirits even had flesh tone in some of her videos, and some of the photos. There were others that were taken in broad daylight that were just not easy to explain. She took these videos with her cell phone camera and did not doctor them in any way. She was given a rare glimpse into an unseen world that I consider to be a gift from spirit. Maybe it is because she has no desire to exploit it? If she did post one of these videos there would be hundreds of para trolls eager to say she faked them or created them anyway. I always enjoy seeing what she has captured. Sometimes the best photos and videos come from the people who are not pursuing ghost hunting at all. As it is often said "That which we chase after often eludes us." I think this applies especially to those who chase after it for personal gain of any kind.
Many of the photos people send me that they think are paranormal are in actuality very common anomalies created by digital and cell phone cameras. Light streaks caused by the camera shutter bleeding existing light sources across the frame, or reflective surfaces that throw light back at the camera, produce some weird results but not paranormal results. Low quality video cameras like those on cell phones or cheap digital cameras often are always trying to focus, as soon as the camera is moved or panned around, which sometimes creates dark black shadow like areas on the edges of the frame. People sometimes think that this too is a paranormal black mass. Paranormal investigators worth their salt spend a lot of time learning about photo anomalies and camera artifact. they also know many common camera errors that people make when taking photos, such as having the camera on a night setting inside the home. The camera settings and shutter speeds play into many false anomalies captured on photos of all kinds. In spite of the years that investigators may have worked with photos, people still get upset when the investigator tells them that their photo is not what they think it is. Telling some people what they want to hear may save you some grief but it is not ethical or right. I take what I do very seriously and I will not lie to someone about their photos.
Orb photos are the biggest cause nowadays for many folks thinking they are haunted. This is because orbs are the most common camera artifact, and the TV reality shows offer up wrong information on orbs, to make their show more exciting and to have something...anything, to show on the air to say "Look here are the ghosts." There are real orbs but most orb photos are humidity, dust or camera artifact. Even a real orb does not signify a haunting of any kind. When someone calls me about a supposed haunting I am always more interested in what is going on in their home rather than the photos they claim to have captured simply because the average person does not have the knowledge of photography to know camera artifact when they see it. To me a photo is not evidence in and of itself as photos are too sketchy and prone to artifact. Some people have the knowledge to fake some very good ghost photos also and get a charge out of trying to fool paranormal investigators. I try to keep an open mind with photos and all kinds of supposed evidence of the paranormal but at this point real photo and video evidence are not very common. For this reason I advise people not to take any photo at face value and to also do their homework and learn about digital cameras and the false anomalies they create, that people often mistake for something paranormal. I have tried to provide some tips here at this website in other sections about photos. There are pages about orbs and streamers here. I may comment now and again on photos posted by site members that are obvious camera artifact in an attempt to help educate people about their photos and what is not paranormal and what might be. There are a million ways that photos can turn out strange or seemingly paranormal that are the doing of the inexperienced photographer or the cameras themselves. Motion, shaking of the camera, auto focus errors, tiny particles on the lens, light sources, reflective surfaces and a host of other conditions can lead to false anomalies in photos. I will in the future be adding more information and examples of these kinds of photo errors down the line in the photo articles at this website. In this way, I hope to help people to learn and recognize some of these common photo mishaps.