Great resource about WHY those orbs are not spirits!

~We didn’t write this, but by golly it’s a GREAT lesson on why your pics are not ghosts :)


Just because it’s called Ghosting doesn’t make it paranormal

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I have been becoming so frustrated lately seeing all sorts of photos on Facebook of people claiming they have caught an orb or some sort of spirit on camera.  I am going to be completely honest, 99.9% of the time, you haven’t.  The other 0.1% of the time it merely means it cannot be explained.  This does not mean it is paranormal, just that you cannot explain it.  In fact we cannot definitely say that a spirit has ever been caught on film.  There are certainly some really interesting photos out there, but are they truly paranormal?  Again you cannot definitively say.  The more frustrating part is that when I politely try to tell someone that what they have captured actually has a natural explanation, they get very defensive and take it personally and sometimes it starts an argument.  Anyone that knows me knows that I absolutely hate confrontation.  It gives me massive anxiety and I usually back down because I have an abnormal need to please people or have them like me.  So in a bid to try and help this situation, I want to try to help without upsetting people or getting kicked out of Facebook groups for commenting on a post.

Over the last 12 months I have studied and completed Certificate 4 in Applied Photography and really thrown myself into the craft of photography.  A lot of this meant instead of just picking up a camera in auto mode and shooting whatever, I have learnt not only proper ways to compose a photograph, but also how a camera works and what sort of things can affect your photos and cause strange things to pop up.  This has been such a beneficial tool when it comes to analyzing photos for paranormal investigation.  Unfortunately for a lot of people it means I am much more well equipped to debunk a photograph, but I feel that if I can explain certain things in really simple terms and help people gain a better understanding of photography without having to study like I did.  This then will help them to become better equipped as paranormal investigators in not only analyzing photos but taking them as well.  This is going to be purely focused on regular photography with digital SLR cameras and mobile phones which is what is used to take the majority of photographs that an investigator is presented with.  Ghost apps and faked photos and photoshop aside this is concentrating on un-altered photos.  This is not going to cover converted IR or full spectrum cameras etc that more seasoned paranormal investigators use because that is not my specialty.  We will stick to the spectrum of light that regular cameras can see for now.

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Just when you think you have a great shop, you end up with this green dot. It is not paranormal, it is the light from the light source (in this case the lamp in the room) hitting the lens at an angle.

So let’s start really slow and simple and tackle what prompted me to want to start this series of blog posts.  Ghosting.  Funnily enough ghosting has nothing to do with ghosts.  It actually has to do with that pesky green dot that shows up in photos.  It’s even more than just a green dot it is sometimes a line of several transparent orbs that photographers refer to as ghosts and they are not speaking literally.  Some people claim it is a spirit and even fairies also seems to be a popular one.  When you are looking at dust orbs, there is normally quite a few of them in the picture so they are easy to debunk.  Because only one or two of these guys appear in your photo, sometimes people get excited and lean toward the paranormal side.  Sorry guys it is not paranormal.  Bummer I know.  Have you noticed that whenever this green light or one or two transparent orbs pop up in your photos there is usually the sunshine beaming down or a bright light shining in a room?  Do they have a connection?  Absolutely yes they do.  I find these orbs so very annoying.  In a lot of the photography I do, I like to try to use light already in a room or outdoors as a filler as I am not a big fan of flash photography and I avoid it where possible.  This means I always have a bright light source in my photos so these guys show up a lot.  Either that or there really is a green orb following me around and photobombing all my shots.  It’s the green ones that I have seen pop up on Facebook a lot lately with people claiming they have caught something.  I suppose the transparent orbs are more obviously caused by the sunlight and there are usually several of them so when people see a single green orb in a photo they are surprised, confused and excited.

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It’s not just green dots that are caused by this reflection. Transparent or slightly colored orbs (there is usually more than one) are also caused by this form of lens reflection.

So why does the light cause this green dot or green orb to appear and ruin our photos?  In a really simple nutshell, the light is hitting the lens at an angle and is bouncing between the elements in your lens causing a reflection.  Yes it happens with mobile phone cameras as well.  Even a simple digital camera can produce this as well – pretty much anything that is a lens will have this problem.

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This diagram very simply shows you how this can happen on both digital cameras and mobile phone cameras

You will notice that the orb (no matter what color it is) is always in line with a light beam.  This is always a key indicator and one of the first things you should look for when analyzing photos.  So how can we avoid picking these up?  You can never completely eliminate the possibility that you will catch one of these pesky guys in your shot, but you can weigh the odds in your favor by adapting a few tricks when you are taking your photos.  So if you are at a location snapping away, there are a few simple things you can do to avoid this happening.

If you have a DSLR camera, use a lens hood.  The bigger the hood, the less of a chance there is for the light to bounce off your lens at an angle.  If you don’t have a lens hood or you are using a phone or a digital camera, out your hand over the top to shield the light.  Be aware of where the light source is coming in.  If it is on your side, the more of a chance it has to bounce off the lens or again shield the lens with your hand in the direction that the light is coming in.  If you are using a DSLR camera, a UV filter on your lens can also work against you in this instance and you might want to take it off.  The good thing is that ghosting is picked up by your viewfinder or your screen so you should be able to see it before you snap the photo.

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There are some precautions you can take to try to avoid these ‘ghosts’ appearing in your photos. From a non-paranormal perspective, they are extremely hard to edit out in post-production

There you have it!  It is actually a really easy concept to get your head around and it is easy to explain to people.  For some just knowing it is lighting bouncing off the lens at an angle is enough while other people do need the more complicated diagrams and want to start talking about elements inside the lenses and yeah I am tuning out just thinking about it as well.  It is also worth noting that Ghosting is actually a term used in photography to cover a form of motion blur as well (something I will cover in another post) but this particular form of ghosting is a type of lens flare.  Light is the number one thing to take into consideration in photography.  It controls everything so we need to understand the effect it has on our photos.  When we fully understand the effect that light has on photos, we can debunk 99.9% of genuine photographs that cross our path.  Hate to be the buzz kill.

~We didn’t write this, but by golly it’s a GREAT lesson on why your pics are not ghosts :)



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2 Responses to Great resource about WHY those orbs are not spirits!

  1. Jeff Whitt says:

    I had no idea any if this was going on.

    I am a musician & have been recording an album and playing all of the instruments in my home studio. I live jusy a few miles away from the Giant Sequoias in Central California.

    Last year, 2016, in an early autumn, i walked out of my carport and into the area just outside ( i’m on 5 acres of land up here )…i was amazed as my dog buddy and I were suddenly in the presence of a few glowing spheres.
    They were moving in an almost playful way, kind of jumping with an incredible light & airy feeling. I didnt have camera phone, and it was around 10 pm, so i went inside and got my camera. I took pictures and was surprised as they moved past me, back and forth.

    I had always been a believer of synchronicity, have had some near death experiences and really do have daily occurrences where my mind is in many different planes of conciousness Even now im feeling a rush of adrenaline. At the age of 48, being a 6ft. man, i had some strange emotions, being frightened was one of them & these spheres were very small. I saw around 10 total & none were larger than a foot in radius.

    I did take some pictures, showed them to my mother and aunt, although the one thought that kept coming back to me was that if this was to be my new experience it would change me forever.

    I didnt know if that was something i wanted to have in my life experiences from then on.

    I saw a documentary today on Orbs, & it was basically talking of my experience almost identically.

    I called mine spheres. Spheres, Orbs, whatever you wan to call them, my experience was real & I would definitely enjoy having these spheres visit me again.

    I will go forward with courage like i have always done. Any other way is stopping my worlds growth.

    Anyone who wishes ti share with me, feel free to contact me.

    • Interesting story – and I’ll bet startling at the time!
      Always be cautious with the ‘invisible’; some can be dangerous. Therefore, we advise to NOT verbally invite anyone or thing to visit you again.
      However, if it does happen (naturally), just say, “Only those of love are allowed near me.” and see if they stay! :)

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