It’s an imaging technology that you’ve probably never heard of, but it’s been around as long as the mood ring: Aura Photography. Invented by Guy Coggins in 1970, he claims that Aura Imaging can depict what a psychic might see—the color of your light, or aura (essentially your disposition).
The “aura photos” are captured when the subject places his or her hands on sensors that read biofeedback (temperature, electric signals, etc). The then camera translates that data into color information. Or, as explained on his website: "Through a patented operation, these parameters are projected as a radiant, colorful aura field around the body onto the Polaroid film, along with the image of the person.”
There are different traits assigned to each color, for example: orange is creative and artistic, green is strength in healing and teaching, red is a force of will, and blue/violet is “mystical and unifying.” It’s more than enough to make any cynic a little skeptical, especially considering there are no negative connotations to any color readings.
Still, it’s interesting quirky camera concept, that has found new life 40 years later, as photographer Catlo Van de Roer stumbled upon it. His most recent photo project and the subject of his forthcoming book Portrait Machine Project contains aura images of artists and authors such as filmmaker Miranda July (blue violet) and controversial author James Frey (red orange).