Orbs are thought to be small collections of energy that can signify the
manifestation of a spirit. Many investigators, both experienced and
amature, can be fooled by orbs in a photograph that appears due to
natural causes. Below are a few things to look out for when you find an
orb in a photo.
1. Refraction of a dust particle.
Often the tiniest particle of dust will reflect the flash of your
camera or the infrared light of a digital camera producing a stunning
orb that most investigators would drool over. Now, the most popular
excuse for claiming that it is not dust is; "But, all the other images
had no orbs in it. Only this one". Well, that is because it was only
one particle of dust and it is most likely still there in the other
photos but it is just not at the right position or angle to reflect the
light of the camera flash again.
So, the question remains, how do we know when it is dust and when it is
a true orb? Dust tends to refract in a perfect circle with little
"noise" in it and no border. By this we mean that the orb does not look
like a cell under a microscope. Its make-up is pretty much a solid
color without a defined border to it.
2. Refraction of moisture.
This is a little bit easier to spot. An orb caused by moisture will
tend to have angular sides to it and its make-up tends to fade from
solid to transparent. Once again it has no border. And like the dust
particle, moisture can appear in one photo and not in another that was
taken immediately afterwards.
The larger the moisture the less angular it will look. A picture of
rain drops will yield very little angularity at all. In fact it will
produce small solid looking object that can easily be mistaken for
orbs. A fine mist will produce angular sides.
3. Reflection of an object.
Ok, I must say that this is the most common mistake made and usually
the easiest to spot. If you have an image with multiple orbs in it and
one is more intense than the other, then, chances are, you have a
When light reflects off of an object it produces many
circular "flares" in an image. These vary in intensity and are usually
located within a straight line emanating from the source, which is
usually some small object in the background that is overlooked by the
investigator when reviewing the image. The objects can range from a
small ring on a nightstand to the varnish on a table or door.
If you have Adobe PhotoShop, you can take an image like this, run its
gamma to near max and you will see that the orb will have the same
gamma signature as the object from which they are emanating.
Many times, espically when shooting outside an insect is caught in the
shot. This can cause a reflection that creates an orb in the photo.
Usually the inside of the orb is cluttered with lines or a shape and
others the shape of the orb itself is more globular than an circular.
5. True paranormal energy.
Now we're talking. Once you have eliminated the above possibilities, it
is time to take a good, long, close look at the orb itself. What you
are looking for in "orb" activity is a solid object that emits its own
light. It will usually show up on film looking like someone just threw
a ping-pong ball across the screen. If the orb has signs of movement,
such as a blurred trail behind it, then you've got some rather solid
The other characteristic of orb activity that we consider is the
coloration of the orb. True orbs are colored in the "cool" end of the
spectrum, namely white, blue, or green. Any orb activity that shows up
as red, orange, or yellow, it typical of dust, light refraction, or
But remember, and orb is just a collection of energy not the
manifestation of a ghost. While orbs are usually present during
paranormal activity, you can have orbs show up without paranormal
"Orbs" are a natural phenomenon and can be witnessed with little
difficulty in parts of up-state New York as well as other regions
around the globe.
So, next time you are flipping through your case pics and find a big
white orb staring you down, take the time to really analyze the
picture. Find the orb's true origins and then present it to the world
and be confident that your credibility will remain intact.
For the believer no proof is necessary, for the non-believer no proof is
possible(Stewart Chase 1929)