In part two I discussed a bit about the new wave of cameras that hit the market allowing people to take better snapshots with less skill needed. This tool loaded onto almost all, if not all, cameras manufactured today. Marketing is the driving factor, and since most people buy cameras simply to take candid shots of friends and family under many different occasions, the people part of the photography world is a main selling tactic. Better people shots means more buyers for your camera.
The end result is of course that instead of making people take the time to learn the art of composition and clarity in photography, all they have to do is push a button and the camera does the work for them. It is great for wedding parties and the baby shower, but for Bigfoot hunting, it causes no end of problems.
Time and time again we look at the digital image on the back of our camera body and are certain we are looking at a Bigfoot. The reality is of course that what we are really observing is a composite image that has been created by the software in the camera of light and dark spaces, lines and dots that it thinks is a face. Since we are looking for a Bigfoot, we think that image is a Bigfoot. If we were looking for Lizard Man, we would think it was a Lizard man. The same rule would go far any sort of anthropomorphic creature we were looking for. If it has a face, then that is what we see in the camera view screen.
The lesson here is that when it comes to equipment, whether that would be a video camera or a still camera, we really should be looking for a camera that has an optical view finder as opposed to strictly a digital screen for setting up our shots. This eliminates that tendency to over-trust the image we are looking at because what we are looking at is the real thing, and not simply that composite image created for us by the camera.
We will still see faces in the shadows of course, because our brains also come with facial recognition software installed by the manufacturer. This is where a couple of terms come into play for we Bigfoot hunters. these two terms are pareidolia and simulacra. They sound rather brainy, and in a sense they are, but they help to explain why we see the things that we see, that really aren't.
Of the two terms, pareidolia is the most used. Unfortunately it is frequently misused, misunderstood, and overused. The term has been around for ages, but for those of us in the Bigfoot genre, it came into popular use after it was used by Ranae Holland in an episode of the hit TV show, Finding Bigfoot. As in many areas of popular followings, whenever a so-called expert emits a fancy term, the adorants of the hero figure latch onto the word and use it unceasingly because it fills a vacuum in their vocabulary. Eventually the term gets worn out and falls into disuse for the most part.
So what is pareidolia? Simply put, and I won't launch into a detailed explanation here, pareidolia is the unconscious act of our minds combining various features into what we perceive to be facial, or other, characteristics. In other words, facial recognition software. We so desperately want to find a Bigfoot that we subconsciously create a Bigfoot out of thin air, sort of, to satisfy that need. We create our own optical illusions to satisfy a need. Where this term gets overused is when we look at a digital image and see these images that others can see.
This is where simulacra comes into play. Pareidolia is entirely from our minds, and has no physical representation in the real world. Simulacra, on the other hand, is a physical manifestation of those images that can in fact be reproduced for others to see, even without direction. Sometimes the image is too subtle for others to see, and become critical of the image. You can take a picture of a particular image that you know beyond any reasonable doubt is a Bigfoot, but nobody else can see it. Why is that.
Well, there are a few reasons for that, and the most common reason is that there really is nothing there to see. There is no Bigfoot in the image. But you know it was there. Pareidolia is driven by our imagination, and sometimes the need to see a Bigfoot will make us see a Bigfoot when nothing is there. We believe it in our minds so strongly that nothing can deter us from our claims.
Very often, someone else has presented a picture or video of what they claim is a bigfoot, but also is a picture of nothing but the forest. That same desire drives us to see what is not there, even though we did not see it in real life, and there really is no Bigfoot in the image in front of us. How do we correct that situation that we seem to get ourselves into so often.
The best way is to make certain of what we see. If you see a Bigfoot in your cameras view screen, then you should also see it when not looking through the view screen. If you can see it in your screen, but not with your naked eye, then you are probably not seeing a Bigfoot. You are seeing a simulacra, a simulated image, and others quite likely will not be able to see a Bigfoot when you show them the picture or video.
This problem also rests in our ability to view things in a three dimensional format. Normal cameras can only perceive and capture two dimensions, width and height, but we humans can also perceive depth of an image as well. I have seen very few purported Bigfoot images that contain all three possible attributes, but there are a few out there.
Next time we'll get into a little bit more about 3D images and how that can work to help you take a valid Bigfoot picture that you can share with others.