The purpose of this video is to demonstrate a few examples of what to look for when reviewing paranormal evidence and how light can play tricks on our minds and sight. The examples here will not apply to every case. They’re intended as possible things to be aware of when reviewing video evidence. Ultimately, the investigators will make the final call, as the circumstances in each investigation will be different.
Hello, and welcome to the first of several tutorials I’m hoping to do with the paranormal, starting with Video Light Anomalies. Most of you probably know me as Wulf from Paranormal Footprints dot com or the Paranormal Parazone on Facebook.
In this video I’ll be demonstrating a few examples of what to look for when reviewing paranormal evidence and how light can play tricks on our minds and sight. The examples presented here will not apply to every case. They’re just things – possible things – to be aware of when reviewing video evidence. After all, each investigation will be different and only the investigators themselves will know the circumstances surrounding the anomalies to make that final judgement call.
In this video, I will be demonstrating “streaking”, “panning”, “shadowing” and “strobing”. These aren’t professional terms, they’re just terms I personally like to use to describe these particular effects.
Streaking (Light Streaks)
The first section is “streaking” (or “light streaks”). This is actually the light in the stove. Look what happens when the camera moves and I’m not moving it very fast. This also occurs commonly with photographs, depending on focus mode, shutter speed, aperture and ISO settings. Even a pinprick of light, such as the ones on video cams, can cause the streaking, despite best efforts to keep it still and out of view.
Here is another example, this time the lights on the modem. And here’s the modem with simulated infra-red.
The next section is “panning”, which refers to the rotation in a horizontal plane of a still camera or a video. When the camera pans, especially quickly, odd shapes not immediately identifiable can occur.
That’s the curtain! It did catch me off guard when reviewing the video until I realised what it actually was.
Shadowing (Spatial Shadow)
The next section is “shadowing” (or “spatial shadow”). This is where a light source casts anomalous shadows often mistaken for something paranormal.
An example, shown here, is where multiple light sources such as flashlights converge. Here, I’ve used a regular pen flashlight and the LED lights from the old webcam, pointed at the same direction. As you can see, the shadows elongate and form strange shapes. This is more common at close range, but also occurs beyond the light’s range.
The final section is “strobing”, which is where light produces short-duration higher-intensity burst pulses [sic. this should be “bursts and pulses”] in relation to the video lens and, as the light moves across a flat surface – such as a wall – it sometimes looks as though it’s pulsating and moving. Sometimes, the light’s intensity at the epicenter of a focus point kind of expands outwards, dissipating and creating an illusion of movement.
This is a common factor with flying insects. Light bounces and bends and reflects, so the insect itself becomes the light’s focal point, distorting and producing an anomaly mistaken as [sic. should be “for”] orbs.
One other effect light has is to warp objects really close to the lens of the viewfinder. This is the cord from the webcam dangling right in front.
And here’s the same thing, but with the brightness set to high.
Sometimes, this can be mistaken for things like “vortexes”.
And so ends the Video Light Anomalies Tutorial. Its main goal was to show some of the ways light can interact with the surroundings to produce anomalous results often mistaken for paranormal. I’ve also seen some of the effects reproduced in this video appear in infra-red mode, though not so much in full spectrum.
The effects in this video are not in an investigational setting, but are rather in a simulated environment. With the right equipment and the right environment, I might be able to better demonstrate how the interplay of light, including in some cases infra-red, sometimes appear on video. But it gives some idea of what to be aware of when reviewing the evidence afterwards.
In the next tutorial, I’ll be attempting to recreate some “parlor tricks” to simulate poltergeist activity.