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What every ghost hunter / researcher needs to know

Since we receive literally hundreds of orb submissions each month, we thought it appropriate to run another lesson on this widely controversial topic. As one who has studied orb photos for the past eight years, I can safely state that almost all orbs (within photos) should NOT to be considered supernatural. Most are due to the conditions at the time or even the camera being used. Digital cameras are notorious for converting dust and other airborne particles into orb shapes in photos through lens refraction.

Here's a statement we produced three years ago
concerning orbs appearing in photos. Nothing has changed:

Just so you know, dust and foreign particles up close to the lens can & will create the image of a false positive orb. These false anomalies will usually have a cell wall and a nucleus. Other false anomalies will be faded and usually appear with a multitude of orbs of various sizes. Digital cameras are notorious for creating false positive orbs/globules. If you have dozens of orbs in a single photo, it's usually considered dust or moisture. If the orbs have what we label an outer cell wall and or substance "guts" they are considered a defect within your camera. Different cameras can create their own unique orb substances. And a defective aperture not closing tightly or correctly will cause strange shaped orbs to appear. Diamond shapes are also false positives. There are many things to consider when it comes to orb photography. But if nothing else, remember these guidelines, very few orbs are actually true. And above all else, there is no conclusive way to authenticate an orb photo.

When considering an orb photo for authenticity consider the following:

1. It should have the appearance of motion.
2. Semi-round or oval shaped.....not perfectly round. 
3. Should NOT have a nucleus or cell wall.
4. If you are constantly getting orbs in your pics, it is dust.
5. If there are several orbs in the pic it is considered dust.
6. If the orbs are diamond or oddly shaped, it is a defective camera.
7. If the orbs are especially faded they should not be considered.

In order to set the record straight, we list several examples below:



  This chart for use in analyzing orb types
Click on the thumbnails below in order to see them enlarged.
The below effects are not caused by what some may term "super-charged orbs". We're not even sure how that the term is even relevant. But rather, it's a combination of motion blur and light. At night, a light source or reflective surface will streak but yet usually leaving the rest of the photo in focus. In the first two photos it's obvious where the light source is. Sometimes it's not so obvious.
Photos 1 & 2 are dust, photo 3 is also dust but displaying color. Dust orbs can appear in various colors but it should NOT be used as an indicator for authentication. Photo number 4 was obviously taken through glass. The one interesting thing about orb cluster photos is that you will see hundreds of orbs in a single photo but not a single one will be dimensional, meaning partially hidden behind something in the photo. That's because they are all directly in front of the lens... meaning their true form is dust, rain, mist, pollen, etc.
Photos 1 & 2 are produced because of a faulty camera aperture. There were others in the photos as well but we cropped them out in order to focus on the clearest image in each photo. When this occurs, the shape will appear repeatedly. Photo number 3 is the effect of light filtering through some type of glass and creating this prism effect. And the last photo (no.4) is simply lens flare.
The sun or a strong light source will create purple or blue anomalies that are often mistaken for an orb. Even the flash bouncing off of an object such as a tomb stone can produce this effect. These are definitely not orbs. Sun glare can create any color in the spectrum, but purple & blue are the most common. 
Something up close to the lens at the time of the flash will often display streaks and snake-like images. They are often mistaken for what some describe as vortices and orbs in motion. When in reality, most often it is simply something in front of the lens. Common objects would be hair, clothing fibers, camera straps, spider webs, etc. Photo number 2 is believed to be a web and the third photo is a camera strap. I know no. 3 is a camera strap because I saw both photos submitted and the second photo left no doubt. Photo no. 4 is most likely lint, not dust.
Here are more anomalies produced by an object or fiber in front of the lens at the time of the flash. No. 1 is most likely something thrown in the air at the time of the flash. Photo no. 2 is most likely hair. The bottom of the hair strain is further away from the lens creating a narrower look. Photo no. 3 is believed to be fibers from possibly a sweater or something similar.
These are the type of photos you get when taking pictures during rain or misty conditions. Often times rain orbs will give the appearance of shooting upwards. But don't be fooled, it's nothing supernatural.
All of the below orb photos are considered (by us here at Ghoststudy) to be created by a defect in digital cameras. None are considered to have a supernatural origin.




Contenders to be considered as possibly true spirit orbs


Spectacular display of dust orbs


 Submitted by:  Jim & Darkangel - January 2006
 Thanks Dark Angel for your help with this!  : )


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