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Mon, Aug. 1st, 2005, 09:14 pm
Do you believe in ghosts?

The IT administrator at my work recently went a conference down in Hobart, Tasmania. While there, he visited Port Arthur and took their ghost tour. Port Arthur was an infamous convict colony, renowned for it cruelty; a fertile territory for ghosts. He said he got some anomalous effects on some of the photos on his digital camera. I scoffed, but I admit some of the photos left me a little spooked. Most of the photos were taken with no one in front of him. The scene was completely dark, illuminated only by the flash. No one saw anything out of the ordinary at the time. He used the same camera at Parliament House in similar lighting and got nothing unusual. The photo I'm presenting here is one I found particularly eerie, but is a representative sample of what he got. It is exactly as it came off the camera except for resizing to be more web friendly.

The full size version is available here if you're curious.

Mon, Aug. 1st, 2005 02:39 pm (UTC)

You don't have permission to access /firelight/personal/marko_the_rat/P7280411.jpg on this server.

Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

Mon, Aug. 1st, 2005 08:50 pm (UTC)

That bloody Cyberduck did it to me again! It should work now. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Mon, Aug. 1st, 2005 10:19 pm (UTC)

Yes, it works now.

Mon, Aug. 1st, 2005 03:06 pm (UTC)

I dunno whether to believe in ghosts or not, but the pic definitely looks interesting. I suppose to believe in ghosts it's just something that you have to really see with your own eyes before you'll start believing.

Mon, Aug. 1st, 2005 11:47 pm (UTC)

I've read a couple of things like this around that area and though I can't exactly say I believe in ghosts I'm noticed suprized either. Either way the picture is just cool!

Tue, Aug. 2nd, 2005 01:29 am (UTC)

I was told that digital cameras are not good for taking pictures of unexplained phenomena. I guess the person who told me that was wrong.

Tue, Aug. 2nd, 2005 08:22 am (UTC)

Maybe not. My IT administrator showed his photos to the tour guide and she said those effects seem to happen more commonly with film based cameras.

Tue, Aug. 2nd, 2005 02:07 am (UTC)

I do believe in ghosts. Though the skeptic in me does not believe that everything one imagines is a ghost truly is one. Occam's Razor and all that. But sometimes, yeah.

Tue, Aug. 2nd, 2005 02:08 am (UTC)

Is that the moon in the upper left corner of the picture? Above that last window on the far left?

Tue, Aug. 2nd, 2005 08:19 am (UTC)

I checked and no, it is not. We don't know what that is either!

Tue, Aug. 2nd, 2005 08:41 pm (UTC)

How long is 'recently' when the IT guy visited? The last new moon was on the 1st week of July (6th July).

Tue, Aug. 2nd, 2005 09:04 pm (UTC)

There was no full moon that night. This was last Friday.

Wed, Aug. 3rd, 2005 10:58 am (UTC)

Hmn, I've read in a few places that paranormal activity is usually captured (because it increases) the night before/during/after a Full or New moon, and last friday would've been the last quarter, right in between.

I think your friend is exceptionally lucky to catch shots like that on a digital camera during an 'off peak' time (to coin a phrase).

Thanks for sharing ^^

Wed, Aug. 31st, 2005 03:39 am (UTC)

I'm a bit of a sceptic, and have some theories about what it could be.

The dot in the top left is most likely caused by reflection from the flash, and could be a drop of rain or something similar. Try taking a photo at night in the rain with a flash and the effect shows up quite a bit.

As for the streak of light across the middle of the photo, I'm guessing this was a point of light drawn out by the exposure of the photo. The file information says 4 second exposure, though I very much doubt it would have been that long with the flash. Even at far shorter exposures this effect shows up quite clearly. This is effect you would have more likely seen before, such as long exposures of city traffic at night or stars in the night sky, though the question is what is the light from?

I don't know, so I guess it does seem a bit eerie. I could try guessing someone happened to wave a cigarette past the camera as the photo was being taken. Or maybe there is a light in the photo and the light streaked as the camera may have moved while being held, though alternatively be a reflection of the flash and not a light source, though I can't see what it could have reflected off. So many possible explanations.