Photographic Evidence of… ?

And now for some­thing a lit­tle different…

A few months ago, my wife, sis­ter, and I attend­ed a memo­r­i­al ser­vice for my grand­ma. It was tru­ly a cel­e­bra­tion of her life, and so I am not both­ered to say that I had a great time there with my family.

I also took a lot of pho­tographs — “a lot” being as many as my super cool 3.2 megapix­el Sony Cyber­shot with bot­tom­less 16 megabyte Mem­o­ry Stick can han­dle. Embar­rass­ing gad­getry aside, I was able to take some great pic­tures, pic­tures which you can check out, if you want.

Now, while you’re check­ing those pic­tures out, note two things: They are num­bered in the order I took them, and that it should be fair­ly obvi­ous that I have not done any retouch­ing. The pic­tures appear just as they came off the cam­era — no lev­els adjust­ments, no resiz­ing, no crop­ping, no anything.

That said, pay espe­cial­ly close to the pic­tures DSC01350.JPG and DSC01351.JPG toward the end.

Here they are for ease of ref­er­ence; unfor­tu­nate­ly, I had to resize them to fit here, but if you click them, you’ll get the full picture.

attendees of my grandmother's memorial service

attendees of my grandmother's memorial service

I linked those to the pic­tures as they appear in the album con­text; if you would rather view the files direct­ly, here are the links: DSC01350.JPG & DSC01351.JPG

Did you see it?

In each pic­ture, there is a cir­cle of … well, a cir­cle of an uniden­ti­fied some­thing. I’ve spent a lit­tle time try­ing to fig­ure out exact­ly what caused that to appear in the pic­tures, and this is a sum­ma­ry of what I know:

  • 31 sec­onds elapsed between DSC01349.JPG and the first image above.
  • 17 sec­onds elapsed between the two above images.
  • 20 sec­onds elapsed between the sec­ond image above and DSC01352.JPG.
  • Times and oth­er details about the pic­tures can be ver­i­fied by check­ing out the images’ Exif infor­ma­tion.
  • The two images in ques­tion above were tak­en at the same table.
  • In the first image, the pri­ma­ry sources of light­ing were dim, yel­low ceil­ing lights and win­dows to the left.
  • In the sec­ond image, I had turned away from the win­dows; the pri­ma­ry light­ing would only be the windows.
  • Oth­er pho­tographs in the album were tak­en from the same gen­er­al area in the same light­ing but do not exhib­it any­thing at all like the cir­cles in ques­tion above. (Com­pare images which con­tain the same com­put­er desk or paint­ing of a woman wear­ing a dress in the background.)
  • It is high­ly unlike­ly that the cir­cle was on the lens or any part of the cam­era itself. It is in a dif­fer­ent loca­tion rel­a­tive to the edges in each image.
  • In the sec­ond image, the cir­cle has the illu­sion of being near­er to the cam­era because it appears in front of a clos­er sub­ject and the cir­cle itself has a slight­ly larg­er diameter.
  • Fid­dling with the bright­ness and con­trast of the images, the cir­cle appears to have a con­cen­tric cir­cle (or per­haps spi­ral) design in the first image which is not present in the second.

So what are the cir­cles? The only thing that seems at all plau­si­ble is that it is some sort of lens flare; how­ev­er, that seems very unlike­ly due to the dif­fer­ent angles the pic­tures were tak­en from and the fact that oth­er pic­tures were tak­en in the same gen­er­al area with­out any notice­able light anom­alies. For it to hap­pen twice in a row like that seems very improb­a­ble, though cer­tain­ly not impossible.

If you’re wait­ing for me to bring up some sort of “ghost the­o­ry,” I won’t dis­ap­point you, and will con­clude with thoughts con­cern­ing it:

  • I believe that our world is far from mere­ly phys­i­cal and that an unimag­in­able super­nat­ur­al world over­lays ours, and that this super­nat­ur­al world is pop­u­lat­ed by a vari­ety of crea­tures — angels, cheru­bim, demons, Satan, and so on — which gen­er­al­ly go unseen.
  • I believe that these unseen crea­tures can and do “inter­sect” with the phys­i­cal world, and that quite often we inter­act with some of these crea­tures with­out ever hav­ing real­ized it. Paul referred quite plain­ly to “enter­tain­ing angels unawares” in Hebrews.
  • I do not believe that the imma­te­r­i­al part of humans lingers on Earth for any length of time after pass­ing. I believe at death the imma­te­r­i­al por­tion of man is either tak­en to Heav­en or Hell based sole­ly upon that per­son­’s rela­tion­ship to Christ.
  • I believe it is pos­si­ble — though quite unlike­ly — that tech­nol­o­gy may be able to ran­dom­ly catch a glimpse into this unseen world where­as our human sens­es would be blind to them.
  • While it would be quite cool indeed if that is what appears in the images above, I’d be hap­py with any sort of nat­ur­al expla­na­tion that takes into account all of the known fac­tors list­ed above.

If you have any ideas in addi­tion to what I’ve said already, feel free to share them.






7 responses to “Photographic Evidence of… ?”

  1. Senior Avatar

    I won­der if the ori­gin of the spot might be the art­work in the back­ground of the first pic above. You have a close up of it in pic #1339. Those pics were tak­en at just the right time and angle for the sun to be catch­ing that art work at just the cor­rect angle…

  2. Rick Beckman Avatar

    Not as creepy as a mali­cious spir­it, per­haps, but that stained glass work cer­tain­ly had a creepy side to it!

    It’s pos­si­ble for that to be the case, but in the sec­ond pic­ture, it looks as though I’ve turned too far away from that par­tic­u­lar work for it to have an effect — espe­cial­ly one so sim­i­lar to when the art was well with­in the cam­er­a’s view.

  3. Senior Avatar

    Yes, but optics is fun­ny stuff. I bet if we could be back there on the same day of the year with the sun and the art in the same spot.….

  4. Tammy Avatar

    Rick, if I’m not mis­tak­en you have a Sony cam­era? I have 2 Sony’s which both have a AF Illu­mi­na­tor. I often get the same kind of spots on my pic­tures from this.

  5. Rick Beckman Avatar

    Wow, you’re mem­o­ry is good! Yeah, it’s a Sony Cyber-shot — not exact­ly state-of-the-art, but it works fine for my needs, I suppose.

    I don’t use the AF Illu­mi­na­tor, though; I turned it off long ago because it seemed to annoy any­one I was tak­ing a pic­ture of — did­n’t seem like the best way to get a smile out of people.

  6. Tammy Avatar

    Good mem­o­ry but still no explanation.….
    On a total­ly dif­fer­ent subject.…
    How did you and Ali­cia like Sweeney Todd the play? Rob and I went last night and both real­ly liked it (great seats btw 3rd row orch). Although, I will say it is not very close to the top of my list (Wicked) it is also very far from the bot­tom (Urine­town).

  7. Rick Beckman Avatar

    Well, hav­ing seen John­ny Dep­p’s movie ver­sion, I had a good idea of what the plot of Sweeney Todd was; had I note seen it, I prob­a­bly would have been just a tiny bit lost watch­ing this par­tic­u­lar play ren­di­tion. It was very well done, but the way that the same set and props were used for the entire thing seems like it would be a bit con­fus­ing to some­one unfa­mil­iar with the story.

    Plus it seemed a bit weird how they had dif­fer­ent char­ac­ters inter­act­ing at var­i­ous points in the play — talk­ing to each oth­er but not being any­where near each oth­er or even look­ing at each oth­er, for instance.

    Had I been blind­fold­ed and was just lis­ten­ing to it, I’d have no complaints. :)

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Rick Beckman