Monday, 27 April 2015

Orbs that really ARE behind other objects!

Orbs behind branches Spot the difference! These two photos, of the same scene, were taken around 0.2s apart. The camera has, nevertheless, moved slightly in that period, as you can see by comparing the tree branches. But look at the orbs. Some of them appear to be partially obscured by the branches.

I have stated elsewhere that orbs that appear to be behind other objects in a photo are not (see here). That's because the objects producing the orbs, such as dust particles or insects, are very close to the camera. And it's true for the vast majority of photos where orbs appear to be behind objects. They look as though they are behind because they blend into the background.

But here is a highly unusual case that is an exception to the rule. These orbs really ARE behind the branches. Where they appear to be partially obscured it's because they really are behind the branches. How is that possible?

Orbs behind branches 2In the orb zone theory (see here) orbs are out of focus highlights of objects very close to the camera. They show up because they are strongly illuminated, usually by a flash. But the bit about being close to the camera is not crucial, just the usual arrangement. You could have an orb zone remote from the camera. So long as it contains out of focus highlights and strong illumination, it will work. And that is what is going on here.

The branches in the photo are in the foreground and in focus. However, the background is out of focus and illuminated by strong sunlight. It is a river. The orbs are out of focus highlights in a stationary mat of algae sitting on the surface of the river.

If you look closely you'll see that all the orbs move slightly between the two frames. The move slightly to the left. The highlights causing the orbs are not really moving. It is the slightly different angle of the photo that produces the apparent motion. Actually, there is one exception. The orb in the top left corner appears to move vertically as well as horizontally. This is probably due to a localized movement in the algal mat.

So, there is a rare case where the orb zone is distant from the camera. Why don't we see more examples like this? It's because of the large depth of field in most digital cameras that keeps distant objects in focus. This particular photo was taken with a telephoto which has a smaller depth of field than other lenses. Note how a detailed knowledge of the circumstances of taking this photo was necessary to explain it.

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