Karin Stewart has written an entertaining and intimate book about her experiences photographing the paranormal in My 9 Photo Stories of the Paranormal. Her slim book is a compilation of stories explaining the situations in which each photograph was taken and the accompanying shots, which often contain orbs or other odd distortions that she believes may indicate paranormal activity.
Ghosts, dancing orbs, zooming spaceship lights and energy fields are often the stuff of serious study and speculation. In this presentation, though, Stewart is more entertaining then studious. She includes snapshots of her friends, some to show them “reacting” to mysterious happenings, others for use as “control” photos, demonstrating that her lenses are clear and distortion free. Along with the paranormal, she (strangely) includes photographs of the completely normal: elephants, bears, eagles, ducks. The book’s design further contributes to the informal feel: most photographs are tilted and bordered in scrapbook fashion, and the type font is large enough to be read from several yards away.
It would take expert analysis of Stewart’s raw digital files to see if any tampering or enhancing has been done to the images. But Stewart is so open and honest, that seems doubtful. She isn’t out to prove or disprove anything. She simply presents what she has found. While some of the images truly are mysterious, others appear to be flukes that have occurred when light reflected off particles or entered a camera lens from a strange angle. One bothersome note is that no metadata is supplied with the images. We never know what kind of camera or lenses Stewart used.
While intriguing and fun to consider, My 9 Photo Stories of the Paranormal is published in a casual format that seems meant more for sharing with family and friends than for circulation in the wider world.
Also available in hardcover.