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Be aware of your surroundings and note anything that
could cause something to show up in your picture that
you did not see with your own two eyes. Documentation
is vital to taking good shots with good results.

To avoid questionable pictures, when you take them,
make sure there is no one smoking around the area you
are trying to capture. Smoke from cigarettes can
appear as a fog or mist
in your photo. Make sure your lens is clean and free
of hair and lint as these will show up as white
streaks on your photo. Keep long hair tied back or up
out of the way of the camera and its lens. Hair and
lint make strong white streaks. Thumbs and fingers
will show up on the edges of a picture as an orange
light, so watch where your thumb and fingers are in
relation to the lens. Camera straps are another
hazard, these will show up as white images to the edge
into the center of a picture. Camera straps are
sometimes just solid white streaks to loops of white
light. Camera straps do at times have a pattern show
up in the picture if they get in the way. They can
appear as moving orbs or moving white rods <streaks>
this is simply the pattern in the material the strap
is made up of.

Reflective objects can bounce light around and even
back into your camera lens. Make sure when you are in
a room or in an area with these types of objects that
you do not shoot directly at them with a flash. Be
aware of plastic wrappings, shiney surfaces including
glossy painted walls. mirrows, glass and windows. Its
best to stand at an angle to reflective surfaces to
shoot your picture. You dont always have time to do
this so make sure you write down what was in the path
of your flash when you took it to avoid someone
telling you, "thats lens flare, bounced lighting. or
that orb is merely light from your flash reflecting
back to your lens." Never ever point your camera into
the sun as this can damage your camera and your eyes
not to mention you can get lens flare show up as faint
to see through orbs of light to even a solid white
mass of a mess on your photo.

Note weather conditions also...pollen, dust, and bugs
can show up in a photo appearing as a streak of light
or orb. Also moisture in the air can cause orb like
effects. Dusty , delapidated buildings usually have
peeling paint, dust, debris laying around, Just merely
walking can stir this stuff up causing orb like
appearances in your photo so make sure you note those
conditions also. Walking outside can also stir up
dust, ground bugs, and pollen so tread lightly and try
to stay on well worn pathways, which in itself isnt
always possible.

Try to hold your camera as steady as possible and
level..this will help in keeping your photos in the
right perspective and will show relationship to what
your shooting to the areas around you. Often trees,
shrubs and other landscaping can cause shadows to fall
and may or may not appear as that ghostly image you so
want to capture. Its important to note what may or may
not cast such a shadow and remember leaves, clouds and
shrubs with lighting conditions can cause you to pick
out faces or other things that are not there. Its a
common thing to see familiar things in complex designs
of leaves or bushes.

If you are in fog or in high humidity outside,
remember this to can affect your photos..make note of
these conditions also. Light rains, fog, dew are all
causes for small white streaks to show up in your
pictures. Even moonlight can cause an orange look or
cast to your pictures.

I am going to touch lightly on traffic, all to many
times, I've seen someone show me a picture with a
streak of light in it only to find out they captured a
passing cars headlights or tail lights. Make note of
highways or road ways in the area in which you are
taking your photos. Also remember car headlights and
tail lights can also reflect thru windows in a home or
building so make note of this also. Do your homework
so you are not later told that what you think is the
perfect "ghost picture" is no more than dust, pollen
or a passing car.

Granted some things that show up cannot be
explained...check your pictures carefully to rule out
all possibilities first before getting overly excited
just to be disappointed.

This is another big problem, people often run the heat
in their cars during winter months, then take the
camera out of the car into the cold causing the lens
to sweat or fog up, forgetting to clear the lens of
moisture they get orbs or fogs in pictures that they
cannot see with the eye. Make sure your lens is dry
and free from fog.

You can get some pictures in light rain, simply put
your camera in a plastic bag with an opening just big
enough for the lens to show through, this will protect
the camera from getting water into the internal
workings of the camera body. If you should try this in
rain or snow, make note of the weather, and that your
camera was inside a bag of some sort. Make sure you
thoroughly dry your lens afterwards.

This by no means, covers all hazards but does cover
the basics of many camera mistakes. Not all things can
be explained away as light, bounced light from
reflective objects, camera straps, hair or lint, or
even traffic. Just be aware of what you are pointing
and shooting at to avoid these problems. Sometimes, if
you know you are going out on a hunt, its best to get
a feel for the surroundings in daylight, even snap a
few pictures before your hunt to see what the area is
gonna show in photos so you get no surprises when on
the actual hunt.


extra rolls of film or an extra memory card for your
digital camera.
Lens cleaner or contact lens cleaner and a soft lint
free cloth or lens papers.
pocket notebook and pen to document conditions in
which you took the pictures
a small brush that will not shed to brush the lens
lightly with to remove hair and lint, camel hair is

Please if your camera has a strap on it, use it. If
you should trip over something or fall over something
this will keep your camera from flying out of your
hands and getting damaged. If you have a neckstrap
again use it. Accidental drops can damage the camera
and your hunt will be ruined as far as capturing
images. This will also keep your camera strap out of
the way of the lens.


Hold your camera close to your body and pull those
arms in close, this will help eliminate any camera
shake. Hold your camera as steady as possible or use
something to prop it up on. Ive used tree branches, an
occasional headstone although I don't like to do that
personally. Windy conditions can also cause camera
shake so keep it close to you when taking pictures.
It's not necessary to press the shutter release in
jerky motions, this will cause the camera to move
causing image blurs. Press the shutter release slowly
and release it slowly to eliminate camera shake and
blurry pictures.


If an area is to dark and you dont think your flash
will light it up enough to see anything, have your
team buddy <never go alone> hold a flashlight to the
area in which you want to take a picture, this will
light it up just enough with a flash that you can see
the images in your picture. They can stand back away
from you turn on the light and aim its beam where you
wish to take the picture at. Also remember your flash
acts as a strobe light and will either stop or slow
down any actions in your be aware of this
also with things such as with bugs.


Personally, I prefer 200 to 400 asa film for my
cameras. Very seldom do I use 200 or 800 asa. 400 is a
good all round film for many conditions and lighting
situations. There are, on the back of most film boxes,
what the film will do in most conditions, if your not
sure, go with a good 400 asa. I use Kodak Gold 400, or
200 in low light. Many cameras, especially your 35 mm
will not accept infared film, however a cheap polaroid
will accept infared. No special care is needed with
this film BUT it does need to be loaded and unloaded
in complete darkness. I use kodak infared black and
white film with a red filter to bring somethings out
better. Using a red filter i find trees are snow white
and skies and water are black. Color infared is good
but it will change the looks of your pictures making
green foilage magenta and faces green with yellow
lips. It's fun to experiment with but do so before a
hunt if you choose to use infared film.

I hope this helps you improve your picture taking or
gives you a basic idea of what may or may not cause
strange images to appear in your photos. I also hope
this helps to give you a basic understanding of how to
take good productive pictures while on a hunt. Go and
have fun just be aware of your surroundings,
condtions, and anything else that may have an effect
on your photos. Again this is just the bare basics.

K.C.P.G. * Knox County * Illinois * US