Haunted Savannah

A discussion of tours and ghosts written by the author of best-selling local book 'Haunted Savannah' and noted speaker at Ghostock II. His work has been featured on the Travel Channel, ConnectSavannah, the Savannah Morning News, WSOK Radio, and the New York Daily News.

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Name:
Location: Savannah, Georgia, United States

I'm a tour owner, tour guide, author and painter. My tour has been featured on the Travel Channel, the Savannah Morning News, ConnectSavannah, WSOK (Savannah) radio and the New York Daily News.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Orb Photography

(click on the photo to enlarge)

I recently received this photo, from amateur ghost hunter Marie (pictured in the center of the photo, holding an EMF reader), which was taken on tour this was taken at the Moon River Brewing Company). There are several so-called orbs present in the photo, both between Marie and myself (yep, that's me, with my ever-trusty Savannah Fest beer) and down the hallway.

Marie and I had a long conversation via email regarding orbs. I get a lot of questions regarding this phenomenon, so I thought I'd address it here.

I cannot say for certain what an orb is, definitively. But for a novel approach let's focus on what an orb is NOT, for a change. Many people claim that they are electromagnetic spirit energy manifesting or being captured by the camera. I for one discount this theory for a number of reasons. Please notice Marie's EMF reader. It isn't going off. If this was some sort of energy source, her EMF reader would be going crazy, but it isn't.

I also don't believe that these are some sort of electromagnetic phenomena because there isn't a substantiated method for proving that ANY electromagnetic field can be captured on traditional or digital film that way. If that were true , any photo of a human being would be covered in orbs, not even mentioning every electrical outlet, refrigerator or fuse box captured on film.

Conversely, many skeptics say that these are reflections on the lens, moisture or something airborne (pollen, dust, etc.). I don't believe this to be true in every case, because orbs show up in both conventional and digital photos, and in all conceivable lighting condition, flash or no flash. There are also photos of orbs which appear *behind* solid objects. That'd be one big piece of dust!

So what do we know about orbs? We know that *something* strange is going on, but we don't know exactly what. Some of these orb photos are explainable, but not all.

And it is VERY interesting that many seem to be showing up in areas reputed to be haunted.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Llamnuds said...

{Skeptic mode on}
In paragraph 5 "Conversely..." you state that orbs show up whether a flash was used or not. If an orb shows up in a picture where flash of some sort was NOT used it is not possible for it to be caused by particulate matter or airborne moisture.

Also when orbs caused by dust etc appear behind solid objects it is not because they actually are behind the object, in fact they are quite the opposite, they are very close to the lens. So close in fact they become out of focus - giving the characteristic orb disc. They only look like they are partially obscured because the optical density of the (out of focus dust) disc at the point in the image where it meets the solid object is not sufficiently great to affect the image enough to be visible
{Skeptic mode off}
;-)

3:36 PM  
Blogger Jamie Caskey said...

I'm sorry, I don't buy that, at least not in every case. Let's use an obvious parallel: let's say I have a speck on my glasses, one that is so close it is out of focus. If I look at a dark object, I'm still going to see a speck or out-of-focus orb regardless of the density of the speck in question.

The trick is to flip the photo over into a negative image. You can usually see if the object's color density is being affected by the orb, or if it is truly behind the object.

6:09 AM  
Anonymous Llamnuds said...

I'm not suggesting that it's the physical density of the speck that matters, if I'm reading you right. But moreover the apparent density of the disc the speck creates when it is out of focus, this is called a circle of confusion and is used in standard tests for determining depth of field. I’d very much appreciate it if you could point me in the right direction to find some examples that you consider demonstrative with regards to the two phenomena you cite above? (i.e. No-flash orbs, and partially obscured orbs.) Do you have any yourself?

11:56 AM  

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