Saturday, August 6, 2011

It's Gen. Jenkins...With an AXE!


The photo above was taken during a 2007 HPIR training investigation at the grounds of the Gen. Jenkins Plantation in Cabell County.  You may need to lighten it a tad on your computer, but the image shows what appears to be shadowy figure holding something in its left hand.

Unfortunately, this is one of those photos that IS too good to be true.  Although we had previously captured interesting data from both inside the home and on the property, this photo is just not an example of such.  What appears to be a shadowy figure with a light protruding from its head is actually the result of a VERY slow shutter speed. 

As investigator Danny was photographing the home, another investigator (wearing a headlamp) walked into the shot in front of him, then quickly back out.  The low lighting and slow shutter speed combined to turn our investigator, Steve, into the ghostly image of Gen. Jenkins...with an AXE!  At least, that was what one such guest to our 2007 Zombie Walk info booth was convinced of!  Of course, we cannot rule out that this conviction was the result of the red wine that was served generously at the cafe where we were sitting!

This photo shows the importance of a little detective work, and most importantly, understanding how to read EXIF data from your photos!  Melissa wrote an excellent article on EXIF data which can be found at the HPIR website, but basically, EXIF is a summary of camera settings.  By analyzing this data, we could clearly see the exposure time was WAY too long for such a low light level shot, and thus, our Gen. Jenkins with an axe was "debunked."

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