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Question about Super 8 film anomaly


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#1 Tom Grotenhuis

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Posted 24 September 2007 - 11:52 PM

Hello (first post)... strange question here for you filming veterans- I have a friend who is into the metaphysical, Chi Gung/Qi Gong, meditation and that kind of thing. In a conversation recently he talked about his belief that the human body has an aura and that it can actually be detected optically in a number of ways, one of which was to film a subject under very low light conditions using an old super 8 type film camera, then played back on an ordinary TV. He said the body's aura is a faint white light that can actually be seen under these conditions with this specific kind of camera/film, as a thin white 'brightness' or glow around the subject (people only), again only under low light conditions.

Have any of you worked with super 8 type film cameras and noticed an anomaly like what he's talking about- or is he full of it? I did a google image search and indeed did see a still frame in low light super 8 film where a guy had somewhat of a halo of light around him but didn't know what to make of it. I am new to this, and any help would be appreciated!

Thanks in advance for your thoughts

Edited by Tom Grotenhuis, 24 September 2007 - 11:53 PM.

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#2 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 08:37 AM

I heard about that as well :rolleyes: , but regarding people who achieve such auric photochemical reproductions using other media: I encountered 1960s 35mm photo and current Polaroid 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 medium format packfilm so-far on my hear-say list.

There is a "medium" here in London who earned a decent living using Polaroid SX-70 to make photographs of people who's aura appear after she turbofaned or blow-dried the developing Pola. The color that aura has apparently says something about the character and persona you are. The BBC inserted a not-too-serious sub-plot about her in one episode of "Home Front" some years ago, with Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen and Diarmuid Gavin undergoing auric analysis to come up with a color scheme for one of their house/garden projects.

As Polaroid discontinued SX-70 two years ago, I think she had to move to 600 film. Not sure if that changed her auric abilities in any way ;)

So far, however, reviewing 25 years of Super 8 filmmaking under (occassionally) crappy light, none of the actors had her/his auric shining banned on Kodachrome, Plus-X or Vision2 yet. Sorry to be dissapointing here.

Although... Jack Nicholson in "The Shining", in the scene where he...
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#3 Kevin Olmsted

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Posted 25 September 2007 - 01:06 PM

Aside from the Poloroid photography method mentioned by Michael, Kirian photography is the other most popular method for getting 'aura' photographs I can think of. It involves having the subject touching conductive metals which connect to the camera somehow and the electrical current from the body affects the film.

I think both methods are bunk. It is superstitious people who don't understand the chemical, technological and sometimes environmental processes that affect photography (motion or still). They see an anomaly on film and assume it HAS to be something supernatural. These are the same folks that photograph dust particles in the air and swear they are seeing orbs or spirits.

The fact that the woman in Michael's post had to alter the process of the film development only proves further that the resulting 'aura photos' are likely the result of a chemical, not supernatural, anomaly.

Mind you I'm only hazarding theories here. I've had occasional odd halos appear on my Super 8 film but subjects were usually backlit or had a variety of gelled lights on them.
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