Haunted Chicago

Picture Taking Tips

This section explains some of the do's and don'ts when taking photos, and also helps in the process of eliminating naturally explainable results.


Common sense goes a long way here:

1) Hold your breath when breath is visible. Sometimes breath will show up in photos even when it's not visible in the open air. Exhale into the beam of a flashlight to make sure. Breath will look hazy and whitish in flash photos.

2) Keep your fingers, straps, and other loose things out of the way of the lens. If you aren't using an SLR, you might not even realize that something was in the way. Just be careful. Straps will show up looking like what some "investigators" call vortices. They look white and out of focus up close, you may even see the woven quality depending on the strap. Fingers also show up white and blurry on the edge of photos if you're clumsy.

3) Don't use digital cameras. They have been known to produce false-positive results, and even if you get a full-bodied apparition, there will be no negative to compare to and your name will become associated with the word Photoshop in Paranormal circles.

4) Don't take photos in the rain unless you see Res Mary herself. You WILL get water spots, and there will be no way to distinguish natural from paranormal and you WILL be disappointed.

5) Take LOTS of pictures and expect to get less than 1% positive results. Any more than this and you should be looking for another explanation.

6) You probably shouldn't smoke [during investigations].

7) There is only one thing that can produce positive photographic results, that is something paranormal. In order to conclude that you captured something paranormal, you must first rule out the following: breath, bugs, film defects, fingers, fog, friends, human error, leaves, lens flare, light leaks, lint, mist, processing errors, reflectors, scratches, shadows, signs, smoke, straps, time exposures, water drops. "Rule out" means if there is even a little doubt, don't assume it's unexplainable. More to come shortly.


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