Friday, August 30, 2013

Photography of Whispers

I've got news for you: the world we see around us is not real. It is the bedtime story our brains have assembled for us from the billions of pixels of confusing, colorful, chaotic raw data gathered every moment through our eyes. The brain organizes these pixels into pleasing pictures, and then it tells you what these pictures mean, and then it orders you how to feel about them, and then you feel those feelings and call it “having an objective grasp of reality”, when in fact your brain has constructed the entire spectacle for your pleasure, comfort and security. You see what it tells you to and overlook what it tells you to; and it works very hard to show you only what you expect to see.If you want to see the unexpected, you can rarely trust your eyes. 

But you can always trust your camera. 

Unlike your eyeballs, a camera will actually give you the “objective snapshot” of reality you’re looking for. That’s why phenomena show up in a photograph that you’d repeatedly miss on your own, even if you were standing in the same room with them for an extended period of time. Oh, your eyeballs would pick them up. But your brain would repeatedly shoot down the data as soon as it was received. The message would never get to command central.

Which brings us to the subject of orbs.

Orbs are a specific visual phenomenon which photographers have been observing in their pictures since cameras were invented. As the name suggests, they are faint spheres of light which vary in size from a few inches in diameter to as much as a foot. Believers in the unseen like myself interpret them as a sign of paranormal activity. More specifically, we think they indicate the presence of spirits.

Orbs show up where you least expect them. I’ve photographed graveyards at night and not gotten a single orb. Then a casual snapshot of my grandmother’s kitchen yields not one, but six, floating in different locations around the room. (My mother is always so dismissive of Naani’s assertions that her dead sisters and brother regularly hold conversations with her. Maybe it is time to rethink that, mother.)

Recently, two unusual things have been happening. First, my neighbor’s dog, a beautiful Golden Retriever who adores everyone, has started barking at me whenever I come near him. He’s not even looking at my face. He’s barking at something just over my left shoulder. His eyes are always fixed at this point in space just to the left of my head.

Second, I’ve been taking more selfies than usual. (I know, I know. But all my facebook profile pictures are really embarrassing—I think my mouth is open in every single one).

And for the past two weeks, in every single photograph of myself that I or someone else has taken, there has been an orb floating just to the left of my head, slightly above my ear.

I think I have a stalker.

No comments:

Post a Comment