What really are ghosts? Some say they are our soul, the spirit, the essence of our existence freed at time of death. Who knows what the correct answer is, I mean, we could discuss theory all day long OR, we can get down to the fact that something is out there in the form of energy. After all, energy is neither created nor destroyed.
I could get into alternate universes; the fourth, fifth and sixth dimensions or hologram theory and physics; though people usually don't want to hear Stephen Hawking's lectures on the universe or deep blue sea quantum physics, I recommend reading up on it. You cannot be an investigator armed with just a camera; knowledge is key to discovering the truth. I always delve into light spectrums, quantum physics, geomatics & quantum geomatics, geology, history, electronics, magnetization and resonance (vibrations). Just because you've captured something, not all is what it appears. My team is tired of hearing about quantum theory I'm sure, they enjoy the possibilities nonetheless.
Once you've used your deductive reasoning and established paranormal activity or unexplainable activity you can delve into several types of hauntings:
1. Residual - the leavings of once occupied area, and like a tape recorder, continue to play over and over again.
2. Poltergeist - This is when objects will seemingly and mysteriously move on their own, either across a surface or flying through the air. Most poltergeist activity has been noted to be attributed to one person subconsciously using telepathic means or inner energies to create these moving objects. Others have been attributed to intelligent hauntings.
3. Intelligent - This is when you have an entity or spiritual energy trying to get your attention, through some sort of communication or reaction by moving an object, such as slamming doors or tossing an object; talking, whispering; any other activity that catches your attention like footsteps.
4. Shadow Beings - These apparitions come in the form of a shadowy figures or dark misty masses and no human-like characteristics.
5. Demonic - Being told to "GET OUT" is not demonic phenomenon; being thrown out of the house, levitating four feet off the group while vomiting peasoup and a feeling of no control IS demonic phenomena. Houses of this nature display foul smells, dangerous poltergeist activity, animal like shapes or figures, growling or hissing etc. WORD OF CAUTION Do not attempt to exorcise or rid the negative energy yourself! You could do more harm to the family and yourself by dabbling. Please contact a professional through your local clergy for the correct methods to get rid of demonic presences.
For anyone who has by chance encountered this type of activity, please remove yourself from the area. If it is you experiencing demonic activity personally, running away will not stop the haunting. You will need an exorcism and can only be performed by a qualified demonologist and Catholic priest.
6. The Doppelganger - Your evil twin and usually the omen of death. Should you encounter yourself someday and this person looks ethereal, the legend goes that you will die.
Now, with all of that said, capturing evidence of "spiritual" energy is extremely sensitive and truly difficult for several reasons, and the best reason is criticism from those not around to witness the capture. A true ghost capture is not something you need to guess at, nor is it something you "think" may be a capture. If you have to contiplate and stare, and stare and contimplate, you don't have a ghost on film.
Wood gradients, television/computer screens, clouds, reflections on windows, enamel-glossed furniture do not reveal spirits - PERIOD! Rain, snow, dust and digital noise from digie cams all cause orb-like captures, and are NOT orbs of the spiritual kind so you can just throw them away.
Mists can be caused from weather, fog, dew, condensation on the lens, camera straps, hairs, smoking, fires etc, and are not necessarily ectoplasm or vorteces. Same goes with some light refractions, camera glares etc. This is an example of what happens when there is moisture in the air at night. You can actually see the dew in the flash at the point of taking the picture and it does look really neat!
Light reflecting off the film and reflecting again off the UV filter back into the lens. It is most noticeable with uncoated filters, fast apertures, and very high contrast sources such as lights at night, or the sun. To reduce it use a multicoated filter or no filter.
Here's what happens: a beam of light from the bright light source comes in through the lens and is imaged as a point onto the film. Some light is reflected off the film and travels back through the lens, and is "defocused" back into a beam on the way. The outgoing beam is at a different angle than the incoming beam because of the reflection. A small part of the outgoing beam reflects off the filter back into the lens, and is reimaged onto the film, forming the ghost. The two reflections cause the reversal of the ghost image about the lens axis.
Because the beams go through the lens at an angle (unless the light is smack in the center) they will be vignetted (cut off) unless the lens is at a wide aperture. The two reflections cut down the intensity of the ghost, so unless the source is very bright compared to the rest of the scene, you won't see it. Essentially there has to be a light source in the frame. Also, if the lens is focused relatively close, the beams will not be collimated and the ghost will be defocused, reducing its intensity.
Unfortunately, night street scenes usually cause the combination of the three offending factors: very high contrast scene with lights in the frame, wide aperture, and distant focus. The other obvious example is haaving the sun in the frame - but there, the lens is usually stopped down.
The cures are:
(1) get a single-coated or better yet multicoated UV filter. Multicoating cuts down the reflection by a factor of greater than 10 relative to an uncoated filter.
(2) Remove the UV filter when in situations like this, with bright lights in the frame.
(3) For those of us into digie cams, make sure you are very aware of external light sources that will create wild ghostly images. Thank goodness that with digie cams, you can easily delete the photo once you know where you've gone wrong.
Now that you know the basics, go out there and be EXTREMELY sceptical! There are only a few real captures out there in the world that cannot be explained by scientific research in one way or another. HAPPY GHOST HUNTING!
For more information on orbs, please visit The Truth About Orbs