Friday, August 24, 2007

there is a light and it never goes out

Photography is particularly conducive to a certain kind of fraud. These days, of course, there's photoshop, but photographs have long been the medium (as it were) of choice to capture ghosts, in part because it's so easy, though reflections or double exposures or blurred focus, to appear to raise the dead. The paradox is that photography, which seems to promise a representation of the world as it actually is, can be just as unreliable as memory or imagination. That tension gives an extra frisson to photos like Duane Michals' spooky little vignette The Bogeyman, in which a too-curious little girl is about to fall victim to the forces of darkness.

Looking through my own photos, I found that one that, if you squint your eyes and suspend your disbelief, opens a window into the spirit world. In the picture, it's broad daylight, but two beams of light emanate from two headstones, looking for all the world like ghosts escaping from the grave.

17 comments:

slouching mom said...

WOW. That is...spooky.

Bon said...

and beautiful.

Julia said...

Are you angling for a new career in the paranormal detective field?

The picture is beautiful.

Suz said...

That photo is gorgeous.

During a "ghost tour" of Charleston, we caught an "orb" on our digital camera. I've never known what to make of it. I know that there is a scientific explanation out there, I just don't know what it is.

painted maypole said...

your pictures are always amazing.

Emily said...

Beauty!

I have never thought that the souls of people reside in the tomb or dirt that we place them in when they have left us.

Kate at sweet salty said that she coos at her sweet Liam every night to "wish him free." I imagine this is where we go...this endless freedom...grace reserved for the more perfect versions of ourselves.

furrow said...

Cool. It took me a moment to see that.

You know, they also sort of look like twin R2D2s shooting laser beams.

meg said...

This is pretty spooky. Great photo, as always, though!

MB said...

Okay, the Boogyman freaked me out.

I have a picture I took of Gracie last Easter. She's outside, looking up at the sky and the wind is blwoing her hair. I fell in love with it and then had it printed. I didn't notice until the printed copy that there is a purple orb above her head on the left. It's on the digital version also.

I know there is a huge debate over the orb photos and what could or could not be real, but I have to say, it's Audrey. It has to be.

Elizabeth said...

Mysterious and lovely.

Monica said...

Coincidence? Dismissed as chance? I hate things like this because it creeps me out. The freaky and paranormal always scare me more than "slasher" movies and such. Fear of the unknown, otherworldly. Like the Ouija (sp?) board we played in middle school. Even though I think it was made my Milton Bradley or some other generic game company, this girl down the street told us later that we had, "spiritual entrapment". Ugghhh. But I do believe in spirits, but mainly good ones.

thirtysomething said...

Wow. What a mysterious photo, and I think I see what you are referring to. Love it.

My Reality said...

You don't even have to squint to see it.

Christine said...

oh, you. those two small, sweet lights.

LeRoy Dissing said...

I wonder if you would be able to see the same light if taken from another angle, like from the front of the stone?

Goddess's Mummy said...

again, sorry for the late reply... the very belated reply, but the two lines of light on your photo.. could the be, perhaps, the sides of other graves with the light reflecting off it? Its not that i'm a skeptic, but that is what i see.

niobe said...

Goddess's Mummy: Oh, I'm sure it's a trick of the light. But I loved the spooky way it looked.