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Dust or Orbs


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#1 Gallamist

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 12:12 AM

How do you tell the difference between a true Orb and a dust particle on the camera lens?

I have always seen these "things" in photos and for the most part the lens has been dirty or the photo taken in a dusty area.

But when you know the lens is clean and there is no dust or anything how do you tell the difference between an Orb or Dust.

This picture for example.

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Oops posted the wrong pic and guess I can't edit my first post here.

This is the pic I was refering to.

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#2 feusurlaneige

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 01:43 AM

Most of the time it is very difficult to tell the difference because in my opinion dust and spirits orbs can and do look similiar. I always take into account the occasion of the photo, the weather, environment and most importantly if you are at a haunted location I take note of what I feel at the time. I also like to compare other peoples photos taken at the same time ( I usually try on investigations, to get people to shoot in the same area and also I usually take a few shots without moving at the same time for comparision)

When I look at this photo I am more drawn towards spirit orbs here. My reason being just the type of photo situation. There seems to be two spirits here that want to be in the photo. In my experience, when you get family occasions or special events, you quite often get passed on family spirits that want to be around their family and often show up in the photos. I have lots like these at birthdays and christmas.

The thing I can never work out is how I can take a photo in a visibly dusty environment and get no orbs at all with my digital camera. I have got what I believe to be spirit orbs with both digital and 35mm.

I think it good that you posted both the photos. It shows the same orbs there present with the family. If these are spirit who came to visit on a special day then it is unlikely that those present felt the spirits. Spirits who return to share in special occasions rarely make themselves felt like earthbound spirits do. You might notice also that there is 2 spirits here and one is a lot brighter than the other. It is obvious the orb difference in the 2 photos. One spirit has more energy than the other.

Yoiur photos look like a 4th generation photo and I bet it may even be 5th and 6th without you even realising it .

Edited by feusurlaneige, 26 June 2006 - 01:45 AM.


#3 Robert Hawkins

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 11:08 AM

you have to remember more then one thing can cause natural orbs, not just dust, an orb dont have to be either spritual or dust. there is reflection, like you have in both of the photos you posted, moisture can cause orbs, pollen, even using a digital camera with less then 5MP can create its own orbs.

#4 Gallamist

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 09:04 PM

Wow that's for the information!!!

Yes it's a 4 generation photo I took while my gramma(mom's mom) was out. The other people in the pic is my sister, her 6week old baby and my mom.....

I always take photos with my digital at 6MP but, surely you can get dust or reflection with a quality camera and setting tho.

#5 krcguns

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 09:36 PM

Well, here is how I tell them apart:

Dust orbs...normally are thin, whispy and mostly transparent. A ring around them is also a give away that they are dust/pollen, etc.

Paranormal orbs are much more opaque and appear three dimensional. They do not have to have a tail on them but sometimes do. They will get the tail from motion.

As far as cameras go any digital will easily highlight the particles in the air. That is what they do best...bring out everything causing many more dust orbs.
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#6 Robert Hawkins

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Posted 26 June 2006 - 11:16 PM

you have to remember more then one thing can cause natural orbs, not just dust, an orb dont have to be either spritual or dust. there is reflection, like you have in both of the photos you posted, moisture can cause orbs, pollen, even using a digital camera with less then 5MP can create its own orbs.

what i mean is that under 5 mp the digital camera itself can create an orb out of nothing, due to the light not hitting the lens properly.. not talking about how it reflects the light.

#7 TiffanySEOP

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 06:48 PM

Something to keep in mind if you are trying to prove scientifically that there is something to your orbs, is that its easier to convince most investigators of the legitimacy, is if they are seen to be passing through something (door, wall, etc.) or behind something.

Dust is shown as an orb if it is too close to the camera lense and catches the reflection of the camera flash. If we see it passing through an object or behind something, then it is obviously too far to be dust and we all know that dust cannot pass through objects! So we will look at it, as having some kind of energy form.

Hope this helps!

#8 lorddraven2000

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 07:17 AM

Also try to have other evidence to back up the orb. Cold spots, meter readings etc will all help support it. I find that roughly 80% of orbs are air born contaminates or reflective in nature.

#9 krcguns

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 09:37 AM

Also try to have other evidence to back up the orb. Cold spots, meter readings etc will all help support it. I find that roughly 80% of orbs are air born contaminates or reflective in nature.


Heck I think that number is even higher than that
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#10 Grim Undertakings

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 10:50 AM

I agree with Krc. I think the percentage is a lot higher. Krc summed up orbs really well in his first post, and I try to go by the same guidelines myself. I think the excitement of orbs is beginning to die down. I, personally, tend not to get that excited about orbs as much as I used to.

When orbs show up in my pictures now I just make note of them. I don't say "dust" or "ghost", I just record "orb noted" even though I realize that they are orbs caused by environmental factors. But I wouldn't put them up on a website. Unless, of course, it's something really odd, which seems to be a rare occurence.

This is where the frustration with orbs lies. True ghost orbs do exist. The problem is they resemble environmental orbs so closely. It's good to see though that we're all finally starting to develop some guidelines as to what to look for when it comes to orbs.

As for the photos posted, I would have to say that they are caused by particles in the air. :whee:

#11 feusurlaneige

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 06:14 AM

I'm wondering if any experiments have ever been done to ascertain exactly how far a speck of dust or moisture has to be to cause a orb. I know when dust is further away it starts to look just like a dot and not an orb. It would be really good to have some sort of figure in centimetres or inches.

#12 Laurie Ann

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 07:15 AM

~Cute pictures!!! I know that I've taken pics with dusties in them before, but they seem to only come around when it's pics of the kids. These dang dusties have a mind of their own!LOL!!! I wish someone would do an investigation of distance (if it hasn't been done already). All my pics, the orbs (a.k.a dusties) are very transparent...so yep, dust. But they all look the same close up & far away. I liked these pics posted because it gives 2 different views. What a cutie little baby, too!!!
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#13 Grim Undertakings

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Posted 10 July 2006 - 11:00 AM

I'm wondering if any experiments have ever been done to ascertain exactly how far a speck of dust or moisture has to be to cause a orb. I know when dust is further away it starts to look just like a dot and not an orb. It would be really good to have some sort of figure in centimetres or inches.



This is an excellent idea. I've taken video footage of a lot of dust (the kind where you can actually see the air currents because there is so much. It's cool because it sort of looks like you're filming underwater)
and then there's the dust that only appears every so often alone, but you realize it's dust. This I always find odd because why only one if there is so many particles of various types in the air.

This may be a difficult task, but maybe one all us should keep in mind when we're filming. If we can get some sort of grasp on the particle aspect, it will surely make ghost research more solid and airtight. I look forward to this as it will create more of an understanding in regards to orbs and hopefully we'll see less of all orbs being classified as being paranormal in nature. :P

#14 SPIRIT66

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 05:21 PM

Our team doesn't like orbs all that much. But let me tell you how I can sorta tell the difference.

Remember dust orbs are normally close to your lense. Orbs can be a multitude of different natural reasons...dust, dirt, humidity, dander, rain, snow, basically anything in the air flying around. Once you shoot a photo with flash you illuminate it. If you don't use flash you tend to get less orbs that are natural reasons. Paranormal orbs have their own energy to them so if you get an orb when not using flash it's most likely something to look closer at. If it's a true Spirit orb it won't need flash to illuminate itself.

Now, natural orbs tend to be transparent, where you can see thru them. They don't have depth or dimension to them. They look basically flat and transparent.

In our experience most of the orbs our team has photographed can be explained in one reason or another. It could also be glare off a mirror or picture...or a spot of dirt on your lense.

The best way to eliminate video orbs is to place your IR lights away from your video camera lenses. We tried it both ways and found we got alot of orbs when the IR lights were right up with the lenses then down below or away from the lenses. If you are videotaping try doing that with the IR lights. Don't use the cameras IR lights...use external ones.

#15 Axman

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 02:18 AM

Most particle orbs have a dot in the center and the telltale concentric diffraction rings radiating from the center. I usually explain those rings looking like a cross section of a tree, showing the growth rings.
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