Batteries and Burials

I haven’t written about it before, but it happened again this week.  My camera batteries have short lives in cemeteries. 

I frequent cemeteries both for my genealogy research, taking photos of tombstones to support my data and to post on sites like Find-a-grave.man_camera

About ten years ago, I learned that I always have to take three full sets of batteries with me on these excursions.  Why?  Reality TV shows say that ‘ghosts’ use the energy in batteries in an attempt to contact the living.

They don’t manifest or contact me as I stroll through graveyards but batteries that were fully charged and functioning when I let home earlier in the day, usually seem to loose all of their charge within minutes of any cemetery based photo shoot.

The second and then the third set are always required to complete the photo session on the day. 

Of course, the same ‘dead’ batteries show 3/4 or more charge when I check them later in the day.   No, they aren’t showing the residual recharge phenomena that is common to any battery, they actually have three quarters or more of the expected amp-hours available for use as long as the setting isn’t in or near a cemetery.

When I started taking photos of tombstones, I thought that the rechargeable batteries I’d purchased were bad, so I bought more from different manufacturers.  That made little difference.  They all ‘died’ within twenty or thirty shots of tombstones.  Of course, the same batteries in the same camera using the same settings would take hundreds of photos in any other location later on the same day.

I’ve found that the Eneloops rechargeable batteries by Sanyo, last longer both per charge and enjoy many more recharge cycles in their lives than any other brand, but even they fall prey to the cemetery energy sink vortex that I encounter in my travels,

“Aren’t you scared?” ask the youth in our family when they hear this story.  “Are you kidding me?”  “That just makes the cemetery visits even more memorable.” 

What is draining the charge or at least blocking it while they are physically located energy dropinside certain coordinates on a map?  I don’t know and I don’t care.  It is just part of the ‘experience’.   I do get a little miffed when my video camera turns off repeatedly for no reason from time to time.  I hate making the effort to visit the graves of ancestors to create mini-movies about them for our grandchildren, only to find that the camera has turned off without me knowing it from time to time. 

At first, I thought it was due to the fat fingers of the operator, but have found that like my digital cameras, the normal rules of physics don’t necessarily apply when the camera is within certain coordinates on a map.

In any other setting the problem never happens, once again with the same operator, the same battery charge and the same settings.

Oh well.  The 2nd and 3rd takes are probably better than the first one was anyway..

How about you?  Are you also a ‘missing electron’ veteran thanks to your camera safaris to graveyards too?   If so, be glad.  It does make the outing more memorable doesn’t it?

Copyright (c) Lee Drew 2012-05-29 08:00:00
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About lineagekeeper

Family history research is a favored avenue of relaxation. It is a Sherlock-like activity that can continue almost anywhere at any time. By leveraging a lifetime involvement in technology, my research efforts have resulted in terabytes of ancestral data, earning me the moniker of Lineagekeeper. And yes - We are all related to Royalty.