Monday, 27 October 2014

Daylight orbs

Leaf orbIt's getting difficult to find any ghost enthusiasts who think orbs are paranormal any more. The general public, on the other hand, seems as enthusiastic as ever about them. I think it's mainly people who are seeing them for the first time in their photos and don't know what to make of them.

My interest in orbs, nowadays, is mainly about trying to photograph unusual examples. This photo (right), for instance, shows an orange daylight orb. The photograph was taken without flash. Though you can certainly create orbs with flash in daylight, it is not usually required as a light source. Ordinary sunlight will do, as here. Note how the orb here is not a classic circular shape.

Below there is a second photo taken of exactly the same scene less than a second before (below right). It shows a more conventional circular orb. I cropped both photos the show the orbs more clearly. They cover exactly the same scene. You can see where they overlap in the top right of the upper picture the bottom left of the lower one.

Leaf orbI think both orbs are probably created by the same object. I think that because there is exactly one orb in each photo and the objects I was photographing were drifting in a strong breeze diagonally from right to left across the frame. In any case, both orbs were caused by the same type of objects, namely falling autumn leaves.

I think the orbs are a different shape and colour because the leaves were rotating as they fell. So the upper orb is not circular because it actually consists of multiple overlapping orbs. This happens when an object is large enough to have multiple highlights, each creating their own orb. In the second photo there is just one orb and it is much brighter. I think this leaf had a single strongly reflective highlight when in this stage of its rotation. I would guess the leaf has its edge towards the camera for this shot. In the other shot I think the leaf was more flat to the camera, hence showing multiple highlights.

So we have another possible cause of multiple overlapping orbs in addition to insects, large water droplets and some large dust fibres (see the video here).

I am also interested in illustrating aspects of the orb zone theory. For instance, there is a video here showing orbs 'popping' out of existence. In reality, they are leaving the orb zone. And there's a video here showing dust actually turning into orbs. It is easy to discuss the orb zone with diagrams but videos are better at actually demonstrating how it works in practice. This leaf orb example shows there are still new things to learn about orbs.

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