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ABPA Photo Well
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Published: 15 years ago
This is a reply to # 654,673

ABPA Photo Well

"Digital photos". Sounds simple, but....

Are these photographic (or laser, or inkjet) prints of digital camera files? Or are you talking about inserting a MemoryStick or SecureDigital card directly into the Photo Well?

The story about some tribe (extinct South-American, African, Aborigine, American Indian, whatever) believing that a photograph captures a part of a person's soul has been around for many decades. Usually it is told with a scornful tone, indicating that these bumpkins have a childish fear of the modern world. And yet, who can say what non-visible energy is imprinted? The vast majority of TV and VCR remote controls use a pulsed infrared beam to communicate with the device. You can stare at the thing all day long, and you will not see anything blinking. But look at the viewscreen of a camcorder while the remote is pointed at the lens, and you'll see the LED light up clear as day when a button is pressed. EEG's and EKG's detect electrical signals within the human body, so by definition the signals radiate as electromagnetic waves. Can you "see" them unaided? Can photographic film capture a static image of these emitted waves in addition to the image of reflected visible light waves? Probably, although commercially available films are certainly not optimized for this. Three different films (B&W, color, infrared) in the same camera with the same lens produce three entirely different pictures. X-ray imaging is an obvious example of photographing not just the invisible, but what once was the impossible.

At first glance, digital imaging is different, which is why I'm asking about it. The "image" stored in a JPEG file has only a vague relationship with the original image. My camera has a RAW output mode, where the output file has 100% of the sensor data. It also has six other output modes, and each one throws away more and more information. In the lowest-resolution, highest-compression mode, the output file size is only 6% of the original. At what point are the non-visible image artifacts lost? Were they ever there, since all digital camera sensors have bandpass filters in front of the sensors to attenuate non-visible frequencies? And even in RAW mode, how are these artifacts transfered? There is no silver halide matrix in the sensor. There is no crystal lattice to crystal lattice transfer, as in photographic printing from a negative. In the same way that a photograph is only a representation of a person, a digital image is only a representation of a photograph. At what point is the connection to the body too processed, to converted, too compressed to "capture the soul"? I wish I knew.

I have not done any digging into digital Kirlian photography. I wonder if there is such a thing.


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