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How can you tell the difference between an orb and dust?


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#1 QuietQuilt

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 08:19 AM

With so many of us catching orbs in pictures, many must just be dust. So how can you tell the difference?

For example, 2 years ago, my husband and I were in Key West and went to see Fort Jefferson on an island off Key west (named after turtles, I for get the exact name) and I took pictures with my digital camera all day, with no orbs until I took one picture of my husband in the Dungeon where many men had died. This picture had tons of what appeared to be orbs. Not one other picture had an orb in it. So I assumed that the picture did catch orbs.

However, now we have just taken christmas pictures and there seems to be the same orb like bubbles in the picutres here and there in our house and my mom's. There is no activity in our home and I feel very comfortable so I doubt it is orbs.

So any one out here know how to tell the difference between dust, (which I am sure to find plentyful in my house!) and real orbs?



#2 DrObvious

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 08:59 AM

"Orbs" are many things: dust, pollen, moisture, bugs, and many other naturally occurring items......

Typically they are very close to the camera lens and reflect the flash, which creates the "orb". Some in the paranormal community believe these are spirits, but talk to a pro photographer and they will tell you the real cause....

They are not paranormal.
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#3 EasternNY

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 10:35 AM

With so many of us catching orbs in pictures, many must just be dust. So how can you tell the difference?

For example, 2 years ago, my husband and I were in Key West and went to see Fort Jefferson on an island off Key west (named after turtles, I for get the exact name) and I took pictures with my digital camera all day, with no orbs until I took one picture of my husband in the Dungeon where many men had died. This picture had tons of what appeared to be orbs. Not one other picture had an orb in it. So I assumed that the picture did catch orbs.

However, now we have just taken christmas pictures and there seems to be the same orb like bubbles in the picutres here and there in our house and my mom's. There is no activity in our home and I feel very comfortable so I doubt it is orbs.

So any one out here know how to tell the difference between dust, (which I am sure to find plentyful in my house!) and real orbs?



As a follow on to DrObvious, the difference between your dungeon and other Fort pictures may simply be that it required flash (and also no zooming). I and my family were on a Ghost Tour in Salem MA a couple years back and my daughter and I, each with separate cameras, took pics at the hot spots (Old Salem Jail, Howard St. Cemetery, Joshua Ward House) and her pics had orbs, while mine had none or few; and that's the same shot, and the same time, both with flash and no zoom. The difference was the camera. Also, I've always found it odd that all the talk of paranormal orbs started with the proliferation of digital cameras. You would think orbs would occur with the same frequency with film cameras.

#4 QuietQuilt

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 02:52 PM

As a follow on to DrObvious, the difference between your dungeon and other Fort pictures may simply be that it required flash (and also no zooming). I and my family were on a Ghost Tour in Salem MA a couple years back and my daughter and I, each with separate cameras, took pics at the hot spots (Old Salem Jail, Howard St. Cemetery, Joshua Ward House) and her pics had orbs, while mine had none or few; and that's the same shot, and the same time, both with flash and no zoom. The difference was the camera. Also, I've always found it odd that all the talk of paranormal orbs started with the proliferation of digital cameras. You would think orbs would occur with the same frequency with film cameras.



Do you think it matters where the light is when you take the picture. In the one I took in the dungeon, I think the light was coming from behind me. Maybe that makes a difference. Also, why would our cameras catch orbs but we not be able to see it with our naked eyes? Maybe they really dont exist... bummer.

#5 DrObvious

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Posted 30 December 2010 - 03:18 PM

Do you think it matters where the light is when you take the picture. In the one I took in the dungeon, I think the light was coming from behind me. Maybe that makes a difference. Also, why would our cameras catch orbs but we not be able to see it with our naked eyes? Maybe they really dont exist... bummer.


You can see them.....

When the sun shines through a window, what do you see? Dust flying around.....

Do you think the dust is still there on cloudy days?? Why don't you see it??
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#6 EasternNY

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 12:12 AM

Do you think it matters where the light is when you take the picture. In the one I took in the dungeon, I think the light was coming from behind me. Maybe that makes a difference. Also, why would our cameras catch orbs but we not be able to see it with our naked eyes? Maybe they really dont exist... bummer.


To have orbs appear in digital pictures, it appears flash close to the lens is essential. I've seen some "orbs" in my photos more often when a constant light source is in front periphery of the camera (sun shining thru a side window) or reflective surfaces (windows, mirrors, polished surfaces, note that stone with a protective coating is reflective).
I have never seen an orb in a non-flash photo.

Our eyes don't catch them because they are manifested as a reflection off the camera lens (this is my theory, anyone correct me if I'm wrong). If you watch nighttime TV sports, you often see "orbs" in the view when the camera is pointed towards teh stadium lights. As the camera moves, the "orbs" move in relation to the light source and camera angle. Human eyes wouldn't pick up "orbs" since we neither have flash, and likely our corneas and lens would not produce the reflection producing the orb.

Another factor is likely the difference in how an image is captured between a film camera and a digital camera. The flurry about orbs being ghosts proliferated with growth in digital photography. These orbs got misinterpreted as paranormal only because they hadn't been explained. Controlled experiments were done which showed how dust produced orbs. You'll notice that Ghost Hunters rarely show orbs as evidence. The closest thing to an orb that the human eye may detect is a firefly. I used to live across from a cemetery (no activity found, nor did I look for it), and fireflies were common there and in mine and others yards on humid summer nights.

You might try doing an "ask.com" search on "what produces orbs in digital photographs" and you should get some sights with good scientific answers.

#7 rbredmond

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 09:11 PM

[quote name='QuietQuilt' date='30 December 2010 - 08:19 AM' timestamp='1293715173' post='6895171']
[font="Georgia"][color="#000080"]With so many of us catching orbs in pictures, many must just be dust. So how can you tell the difference?

Good question!

Generally, spirits orbs produce their own light, dust, pollen, etc., does not, HOWEVER, ambient light from cameras or outside sources can illuminate dust, pollen, etc., itself. That makes accurately calling an orb a spirit a very difficult thing to do, because ambient light is difficult to control as it illuminates dust, pollen, etc., which is why every reputable paranormal investigator I know tosses out evidence about orbs - because it's just too hard to definitively say it is a spirit orb - and when in doubt, toss it out.

Additionally, electrical energy itself can produce electrical orbs that have nothing whatsoever to do with spirits. I grew up in an old house that had no lightning rods and had very old wiring. We clearly and visually saw orbs all the time - until the wiring was replaced and lightning rods were installed.

Because of these things, I no longer pay any mind to orbs at all anymore. After all, if one films someone brushing their hair in a dark room, they can get orbs.




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