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Paranormal photography tips
#1
Lets look at basic night time photography tips. Remember this is just a basic guide as all cameras will vary slightly. You may still need to experiment to get the correct settings.

Flash: some cameras allow you to adjust your flash strength, I suggest turning it up all the way to increase your depth of field.

Night scene or night shot, some cameras have this and if your using a tripod fine but without one you stand a great chance of blur or light trails because night scene gives your camera a longer exposure time. Many mistakes are made here.

Exposure is the time your aperture is open. What happens in many cases you take a picture, your flash goes off and you lower your camera. Well many times your camera aperture is still open so the picture will show light trails or blurring of the brighter objects. You should not use a long exposure UNLESS your shooting off a tripod. Hearing is very important when taking pictures at night. You need to listen for your camera to finish a picture before you move it. I have seen many pictures claimed to be paranormal that were up to 8 seconds exposure times. YOU WILL GET MOVEMENT unless shooting off a tripod. The longer your exposure the more movement in your picture becomes see thru. See those claimed apparition on the internet where a person is see through? Its movement with long exposure. See light trails? These are long exposure.
Exposure is measured by f-stops Remember the lower the F-stop the more light your camera lets in.
F1 being largest F 64 being a pin hole Now your camera may be limited so select a low setting so more light enters your camera.

ISO: ISO speed affects the shutter speed / aperture combinations you can use to obtain correct exposure. The higher the ISO the more pixilation you get. Now using a flash at night you want an ISO that is appropriate. 400 to 640 are good all around settings. If you have a 12 mega pixel or higher camera you can even go up to an 800 ISO. Do not go higher unless your shooting off a tripod without a flash. Also do not drop to a 200 or 100 ISO unless your shooting off a tripod WITH flash.

Foreign objects in your picture, when using a flash any foreign particle, from lint to pollen, even moisture appear as objects in your picture if they are near your lens, they often give the illusion of being further away from the lens. Remember your shooting in 2D. Many small point and shoot cameras catch a sleeve, a finger even camera straps or lens cap strings in the flash. If possible use a lens hood as this helps eliminate some of these issues. These appear as a bright objects often reported as ghosts or a vortex. But once again understand your equipment.

Shadows: Many times a dark shadow or spot is misperception. A finger blocking a portion of a flash will appear as a dark shape. When taking pictures an object off the side can appear as a larger shape when the flash creates a shadow. I have seen a vase as a cowboy.

Always try and pay attention to your surroundings. Take control shots with the lights on as a reference. When taking pictures at night take a couple from each position so you have another picture to reference.

Most digital cameras have an exif file attached to your pictures. They explain what settings your camera had. You can look at these to see if a flash went off, your ISO, your exposure time, your f-stop along with many other settings. We are only looking at the basics as we aren’t professionals. Windows 7 allows you to see photo properties. Photo shop paint shop, and many other software allow you to look at your Exif. Photome is a great FREE program to to view your Exif.

I hope this will help you understand and take better photographs at night. Practice and understand what YOUR camera responds to.

Edit to add: To test your ability to hold a camera still get a clear glass, fill it 1/3 with water and now hold it up with both hands to see how steady you really are.
Belief bias occurs when we make illogical conclusions in order to confirm our preexisting beliefs. Belief perseverance refers to our tendency to maintain a belief even after the evidence we used to form the belief is contradicted.
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#2
This is really a good summary of what to know when examining exif or looking at a picture for evaluation. With your permission, I'd like to forward this post to all the members of my team, as they aren't all members here. Great information!
“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” ~Philip K. Dick

http://paranormalinreview2.zohosites.com/home.html

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#3
(05-04-2011, 08:28 AM)scarygirl67 Wrote: This is really a good summary of what to know when examining exif or looking at a picture for evaluation. With your permission, I'd like to forward this post to all the members of my team, as they aren't all members here. Great information!

Sure forward away.... I'd like to see more people understand what causes what in pictures.
Belief bias occurs when we make illogical conclusions in order to confirm our preexisting beliefs. Belief perseverance refers to our tendency to maintain a belief even after the evidence we used to form the belief is contradicted.
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#4
Great Information! I haven't really taken pictures with intent of seeing ghosts in the pictures, I have always used a digital video camera on my ghost hunts. If I was ever to see a ghost I would like some video footage instead of pictures. Some of the information still applies to video though.

"Beware the man of one book."
— St. Thomas Aquinas

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
— Aristotle
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#5
You have no idea how excited I was when I (a) finally figured out where the exif information was located and (b) got even an inkling of what any of it meant! Taking a class helped, but honestly..I don't think I would have known the right questions to ask if it hadn't been for some of the stuff I've learned here at Talk Paranormal.

(I CANNOT hold a camera still to save my life! Gimme a tripod!!)
“Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.” ~Philip K. Dick

http://paranormalinreview2.zohosites.com/home.html

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