Tuesday, 25 November 2008
Above is an example of how easy it is to inadvertently take a photograph of a so called "spirit orb", using a standard compact digital camera. I have removed the colour from the original frame, in an attempt to enhance the "blemish", which can be clearly seen in the upper left of the picture.
Much has been written about these innocence specs of water, dust and bugs, often referred to as ’dust halos’ by professional photographers. This airborne nuisance is greatly enhanced through flash photography, especially when using compact digital cameras. Compacts tend to be more susceptible, especially when using flash because of the close proximity of the flash to the lens. When flash is used, it will capture any moisture or dust particles present and reflect them back into the lens, the result being blurred, greatly enhanced, out of focus white spots. Bloody annoying really, especially if one should appear the size of a football, floating harmlessly above great aunt Maud’s head.
There isn’t too much than you can do to eradicate this irritating problem other than try shooting with an external flash, not really an option with a compact though. You could try zooming in a little but this can increase the problem of ‘red eye’ should you be photographing people or animals.
I can't for the life of me understand why so much time and hot air has been expended on something that is so clearly and easily explained. The internet is littered with photographs purporting to show ‘spirit orbs' when in fact all we are actually seeing are photographic blemishes.
Photograph your own orbs.
Taking a picture of an orb couldn't be easier, here’s how. Get yourself one of those little leaf spray bottles that you can purchase from any garden centre, then wait till the light starts to fade, that way you'll get better results. Now lightly spray the area in front of your camera, not too much mind, just one squeeze on the trigger will do the trick, then click away with or without using flash, try experimenting. I promise, you won’t be disappointed with the results.