The Ogletree Ghost Photo

Discussion in 'General Off Topic Forums' started by chadbang, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. chadbang

    chadbang Well-Known Member

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    I don't know how many people saw this news story, with so much junk on social media bombarding us. But I have been a long time fan of ghost photographs, from a longing to see a genuine one. Sadly, I've never seen one. The best had long been the "Wem" ghost photo of the little girl in a burning building. Although it was wrong debunked as being an optical illusion of floating ash forming the girl's face, it turns out if was a much more deliberate hoax when a postcard with the girl appeared after some thirty years of speculation.

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    Well around Valentine's day 2017 a very interesting ghost photo made the rounds. It was taking by a little girl as a selfie in the backseat of a truck. http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2017/02/28/mysterious-ghost-man-appears-in-teens-selfie.html

    Three People Appear in This Photo… But Is One of Them a Ghost?
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    GREGORY BURKART

    @G9BurkartMarch 15, 2017
    While on a fishing trip in Tifton, Georgia with her grandparents a few weeks ago, 13-year-old Haley Ogletree decided to snap a quick selfie while she was chilling in her grandfather’s truck. Her brother Kolton, who was celebrating his 12th birthday, had just caught his biggest fish of the day.

    When they returned home that evening, Haley was browsing through the photos she took during the trip… and when she came across the aforementioned selfie, she was shocked to discover someone in the image who wasn’t there at the time.
    Image Credit: Jessica Ogletree via Facebook
    Haley’s mother, Jessica Ogletree, was also startled by the mystery man — who can be seen standing just to the right of her brother (Kolton is wearing a green shirt and crouching down in the truck bed).

    The man seems at first to be just a fellow fisherman, passing by with a casual smile… but if you look closer, it appears that the background trees can be seen through him. Also, if his image had been a reflection on the truck’s rear window, his right shoulder would overlap Kolton’s shirt… but it’s obviously behind it.

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    Jessica posted the image to Facebook, noting that neither Haley, Kolton or their grandfather had seen the man in that spot when the selfie was taken (or at any other point during the trip).

    It wasn’t long before the world latched onto the eerie image — which was initially circulated by WALB News before showing up on countless news feeds, with commenters offering up theories about the spectral photobomber, some of them claiming the stranger is the ghost of a man who had died at the same lake long ago.

    Jessica has since taken the post down, but the debate continues…




    Her brother is behind the truck and seemingly a third figure -- unseen by anyone at a backwoods fishing hole -- passes by the brother: A black man in a baseball cap. This photo was taken in Adel, Georgia by Haley Ogletree. Here is the original as posted on Facebook by Ms. Ogletree's mother, Jessica Ogletree. I believe this is the original size and resolution.

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    Very interesting photo. I hesitate to call it genuine because I don't want to look like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle with custard on my face, but I've done some probing on this photo with Adobe Photoshop and it's a marvelous ghost photo.

    I'll answer to the most common attempts at debunking this photo:

    A) The photo seems purposely framed to highlight ghost.
    Honestly, I've never seen a "selfie" with Henri Bresson framing.

    B) It's a reflection.
    The ghost falls behind the brother's shoulder suggesting otherwise.

    C) It looks like a statue.
    The figure is simply very DARK. There are some anomalies, white spots through the ghost and "shadow" portions of the image. Those areas must be of a such darkness that the pixels on the imager goes into the "flashback" noise of a sensor in darkness, almost like the noise seen in night-vision imagery.

    D) It's the statue of Willie Mays.
    Not. Not unless Willie Mays' baseball jersey had collars.

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    Of course the most common response is "It's Photoshopped." Well, I've worked as a photographer for 45 years and the last 25 of those were working in Photoshop. I've been working as a graphic designer for newspapers. So I know my way around a selection lasso or two.

    This photo was either doctored with more skill than I have after 25 years as a professional or it's not doctored at all -- which is my conclusion. This defies my abilities to see flaws in it. The grain is perfectly matched. I mean perfectly. And where you should see flaws, you don't. People point out areas that looked "burned" -- the kind of dark edge you get masking a photo with an enlarger, but there's no need for that in Photoshop. Was those dark lines are are jpeg artifact brought out by camera sharpening where the brightest and blacked edge of pixels meet. Not to bore you, but a normal artifacts seen elsewhere in the photo.

    So here's some fun stuff. There are a million ways you can analyse an image in Photoshop, but on a whim, I reached for one of the most basic and ...wow.

    I used the "Equalize" command. Here's a definition of the command:

    According to Adobe

    "When you apply this command, Photoshop finds the brightest and darkest values in the composite image and remaps them so that the brightest value represents white and the darkest value represents black. Photoshop then attempts to equalize the brightness--that is, to distribute the intermediate pixel values evenly throughout the grayscale."

    Power Retouche offers a second explanation

    "Basically equalization means that you take a look at the overall impression of the image (its histogram) and accordingly change the values of the pixels so that there is an equal distribution of values across the entire range whether that be 8 or 16 bit. For example, if a grayscale image is predominantly gray with no highlights and deep shadows, equalizing will change the image so that there is an equal amount of shadow, midtone and highlight."


    Here's the entire photo equalized.

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    And here's a blow up.

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    Compare that to a blow up of the original exposure.

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    I'm just saying, this is a very different kind of ghost photo. Now unless this was deliberately hoaxed with great care, tell me this one is a trick of shaow and light and background! No way! There is a man there. A very unusual one. One who lives in shadow or greyness.

    And for one final equalization shot. Here's where I blew up the photo to just the corner of the brother and the ghost and equalized that area. Look how the image pops when that isolated area is equalized.

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    I just can't get my head around this photo. There's just clearly a figure there (in a blue coat?)



    What also intriguing is the blackness of the images. The "shadow" on the brother's back is in somehow a part of the ghost. You can see that only these two areas contain the same noise anomalies of the white "spots." Looking at these areas they have a strange texture.

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    Is a 3D texture? Bumps? Space flux? I dunno.

    Anyway. That's my presentation for now. Any questions?
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  2. BigElCat

    BigElCat AK Subscriber Subscriber

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