Saturday, July 03, 2010

Can YOUR Digital Camera See Buried Treasure?

One of the most exciting recent developments in treasure hunting is aura photography and among the most frequently asked questions is: can my model of camera see auras? We know of a few cameras that definitely photograph auras and hope to add others to our list from the vast number of makes and models out there, once we are certain that they work. Meanwhile, here are some low cost ideas on testing your own digital camera and please let us know if your camera can see buried treasure.

The basic requirements for testing are:
A buried sample of either one ounce (30 grams) of relatively pure gold or two ounces (60 grams) of relatively pure silver. By relatively pure we mean around 90% precious metal so 22 carat gold or sterling silver (92.5%) will be ideal but if using 9 carat gold then you will need around 2.5 ounces (75 grams). Bury your sample in open ground or a planter for at least 24 hours.
Infrared filtering medium in the range 720nm to 1000nm. Digital cameras are extremely sensitive to infrared radiation and have to be fitted with an internal infrared blocking filter to prevent most infrared reaching the sensor. There is much variation in the amount of external infrared filtering necessary to photograph auras. Too little external infrared filtering produces false color infrared photographs and too much filtering results in pitch black images. Auras are photographed between false color and pitch black. The most reliable but more expensive option for testing is to buy either a 720nm infrared filter, or a range of filters, from a camera equipment supplier or Ebay. A minimal cost approach would be to use the black leading ends from exposed processed color film, which has infrared filtering characteristics (one sheet is approx 720nm; two sheets approx 850nm and three sheets approx 1000nm). These are the film pieces that were exposed to light (unless the film was loaded in a dark room, in which case the leading end pieces will be clear) when the film was run out over the sprockets during loading into the film camera. As most popular film is 35mm and some lenses are larger, you may have to mount the film in a slide or between thin card in which a suitable central aperture has first been cut.
Fix your filter material in front of the lens (try snug fit and leaving an air/light gap) then photograph your sample on a warm day, preferably above 13 deg. C / 55 deg. F with the Sun behind you. Adjust the level of filtering until you achieve a dark image that you will need to process with enhance, fix or gamma increase using photo editing software.