Why Are Photos of Paranormal Activity Always Grainy?

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Why Are Photos of Paranormal Activity Always Grainy?

#1  Postby petwo » Jun 03, 2012 4:23 pm

Despite all the advances in photography and the fact that nearly everyone on Earth may be equipped with at least a cell phone camera I can't ever recall seeing at least one good shot. This is going to sound a bit like cryptozoology, ufology, and all paranormal studies combined but it seems that searching for the one good non-grainy photograph is a paranormal activity in itself :plot:. It should be the holy grail for all mystics, supernaturalists and believers in the occult/mysterious to produce one genuinely clear photo that could prove me wrong? Difficult as that might be, it is even more difficult today with photo shopping in vogue. How would you prove a photo genuine to a bunch of skeptics?

In some ways the same thing could be said about hunters or people with guns. Can't anyone shoot straight out there? You see aliens and Bigfoot but are unable to bring one down despite all the improvements in weaponry. Nobody it seems can take a clear picture or shoot unerringly when confronted by these creatures. Do mysterious creatures use an invisible force field to protect themselves or are the effects of alcohol consumption that great?
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Re: Why Are Photos of Paranormal Activity Always Grainy?

#2  Postby Sovereign » Jun 03, 2012 9:25 pm

Well if they were actually honest, we wouldn't have this thread to begin with.
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Re: Why Are Photos of Paranormal Activity Always Grainy?

#3  Postby Calilasseia » Jun 03, 2012 10:07 pm

Indeed, it hardly takes a genius to pre-focus a camera, be it a still or video camera. Apparently none of the people involved have heard of the term "hyperfocal distance", which is the setting for the camera lens that allows a large depth of field.

However, in the days when you had to use film, one problem that contributed to grainy photographs was the fact that if you're using a camera in the dark, this places physical limitations upon what is possible. If the camera is being operated in low light, then you have the following options:

[1] Illuminate the subject with a flashgun. Not sure how you'd go about illuminating ectoplasm. :mrgreen:

[2] Use a slow shutter speed. If your subject is moving, however, you end up with a blurred image. See, for example, all those photographs of light trails from car lights taken at night using B-stop, or star trails in astronomical work.

[3] Try and get round [1] and [2] above by using fast film emulsions. This is where the problem starts, because, for example, ISO 3200 film is much more grainy than, say, ISO 200 (the usual stock of film I used to use in my 35mm days for insect work outdoors). The resulting prints from ISO 3200 negative film are visibly much more grainy than prints from ISO 200 negative film.

Even if you have some competent photographers on the case, who know about hyperfocal distance pre-focusing, and can operate the equipment without knocking things over or screwing up settings the moment something exciting is happening (this is one reason why it takes training and practice to be, for example, a good cameraman shooting footage in a war zone), then the moment something exciting is allegedly happening in some haunted house, it's usually taking place in the dark, requiring high ISO number film stock, which is grainy to start with regardless of the subject. Art-house photographers used to use this graininess deliberately for effect, especially if they were shooting low-key film noir type subject matter, but I digress.

This, of course, doesn't apply to digital cameras with CCD chips, which can operate in low light without grain effects coming to the fore, because a high-quality CCD chip of the sort seen in, for example, a high-end Nikon DSLR, is capable of registering photons with very good sensitivity. What's likely to get in the way here is software that seeks to eliminate pixelation noise at low light levels, which you need if your image isn't going to end up with lots of sparkly pixels that aren't actually a part of the image.

However, even given these technical issues, the failure of any 'paranormal researcher' to produce just one unambiguous image that withstands critical scrutiny, almost certainly has more to do with the fact that 'paranormal' phenomena are quite likely as much a figment of the imagination as Zeus and Apollo. :mrgreen:
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Re: Why Are Photos of Paranormal Activity Always Grainy?

#4  Postby monkeyboy » Jun 03, 2012 10:48 pm

:this:

I have a Canon EOS 500 and absolutely no technical knowledge of cameras and yet am able to take everything from close up shots of bugs right through to high speed motor sport in razor sharp detail. I can digitally zoom my 15megapixel photos to such a high standard it hurts my brain and yet nobody has been able to capture a decent shot of something the eye can allegedly see on a decent photo? That's amazing because my camera can certainly record things in better detail than I can see them at first glance. Kind of almost makes you think that it's people's imaginations the cameras can't photograph or something.
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Re: Why Are Photos of Paranormal Activity Always Grainy?

#5  Postby Fenrir » Jun 03, 2012 11:28 pm

The fundamental woo particle is conceptually very large so accumulations of such will always appear lumpy. The graininess of documented observations of woo is therefore incontrovertible evidence of its existence.

The unnatural properties of porridge confirms this.
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Re: Why Are Photos of Paranormal Activity Always Grainy?

#6  Postby Onyx8 » Jun 04, 2012 12:30 am

According to Mitch Hedberg it is because Bigfoot actually IS blurry, which is much scarier having an out-of-focus monster out there.
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Re: Why Are Photos of Paranormal Activity Always Grainy?

#7  Postby Wiðercora » Jun 06, 2012 5:34 pm

Authenticity is not realistic - by which I mean people have come to expect pictures and videos of ghosts and bigfoot and so forth to be grainy and out of focus (probably because so many pictures were from an era when photography was still in it's infancy).

So now, if a photograph is actually sharp and well exposed people assume it's been photoshopped or edited in some fashion. Above all, these people are businessmen and showmen and they have to make money, and they can't do that if everybody thinks they're manipulating their images.

That's what I think, anyway.
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Re: Why Are Photos of Paranormal Activity Always Grainy?

#8  Postby MrFungus420 » Jun 07, 2012 6:29 am

Because it is easier to fake a shitty photo.
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Re: Why Are Photos of Paranormal Activity Always Grainy?

#9  Postby petwo » Sep 08, 2012 12:18 pm

Would a believer be so influenced as to think that all paranormal activity occurs in an indistinctive haze because of the preponderance of photographic evidence that supports the idea? Although most if not all photographs are blurry and grainy it is my contention that they have formed an indelible impression in the minds of believers. So much so that the vapoury condition is considered a genuine aspect or characteristic of paranormal activity. Thus grainy photos are the norm, not unusual or unexpected, actually representing the true nature of the paranormal world.
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Re: Why Are Photos of Paranormal Activity Always Grainy?

#10  Postby John P. M. » Sep 08, 2012 12:21 pm

Some comic relief:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMm1YTd8lHM[/youtube]
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Re: Why Are Photos of Paranormal Activity Always Grainy?

#11  Postby chairman bill » Sep 08, 2012 12:32 pm

Photographic proof that ghosts always appear grainy & indistinct. This was taken on a Nikon D700, clear & convincing evidence that however good the camera, ghosts produce a reality-distortion field that impacts the image in this way. What other explanation could there possibly be?

Ghost.jpg
Ghost.jpg (338.14 KiB) Viewed 4333 times
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Re: Why Are Photos of Paranormal Activity Always Grainy?

#12  Postby petwo » Sep 08, 2012 1:04 pm

chairman bill wrote:Photographic proof that ghosts always appear grainy & indistinct. This was taken on a Nikon D700, clear & convincing evidence that however good the camera, ghosts produce a reality-distortion field that impacts the image in this way. What other explanation could there possibly be?

Ghost.jpg


I'm convinced. I have the same camera.
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Re: Why Are Photos of Paranormal Activity Always Grainy?

#13  Postby chairman bill » Sep 08, 2012 1:07 pm

Do you have the same ghost?
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Re: Why Are Photos of Paranormal Activity Always Grainy?

#14  Postby petwo » Sep 08, 2012 1:38 pm

Several have I seen, eerily similar
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Re: Why Are Photos of Paranormal Activity Always Grainy?

#15  Postby chairman bill » Sep 08, 2012 1:41 pm

petwo wrote:Several have I seen ...


Are you related to Yoda?
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Re: Why Are Photos of Paranormal Activity Always Grainy?

#16  Postby devogue » Sep 08, 2012 1:41 pm

Cynical bastards. :nono:
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Re: Why Are Photos of Paranormal Activity Always Grainy?

#17  Postby monkeyboy » Sep 08, 2012 2:10 pm

chairman bill wrote:
petwo wrote:Several have I seen ...


Are you related to Yoda?

Beat me to it!!
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Re: Why Are Photos of Paranormal Activity Always Grainy?

#18  Postby Scot Dutchy » Sep 08, 2012 4:26 pm

With digital camera's you can just change the ISO rating to anything you want.
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Re: Why Are Photos of Paranormal Activity Always Grainy?

#19  Postby twistor59 » Sep 08, 2012 5:26 pm

Wasn't there some newspaper that recently published a story some chavs had come up with about seeing a ghost on a photo they took in their gardern? Fine story except the ghost was one the the standard ones from the iPhone ghost app.
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Re: Why Are Photos of Paranormal Activity Always Grainy?

#20  Postby Spearthrower » Sep 20, 2012 6:51 am

Why Are Photos of Paranormal Activity Always Grainy?


It's the nature of the phenomena - they cause photoreceptive devices to malfunction temporarily.
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