National Paranormal Society NPS FOCUS June 2016 - Page 65

"The Orb Zone"

locations using the term orb to explain what they felt or wanted the viewer to believe were spirit manifestations. In turn, these easily explained environmental particles became referred to as ‘spirit orbs’ to the average person with no photography background.

Now that we’ve defined the term orb and provided some history behind it, let’s take a look at what is referred to as The Orb Zone. The Orb Zone is the area just in front of the camera lens where environmental contamination is highlighted by the flash of the camera and typically appears as an out of focus circular shape. Known in photography as the technical term circle of confusion, the measurement of a point that falls on the focal plane referred to as the focal point and where light converges is where the circle of confusion can be measured. Out of focus circular shapes are caused by the camera being unable to focus clearly in this area which produces the blurry circle shapes, or what some would refer to as orbs, in the final picture. Because these aren’t seen by the photographer at the moment the picture is taken, some had viewed it as being paranormal in nature when in fact it is caused by the way the camera captures the picture. What are these orbs caught in The Orb Zone? Well let’s take a look at the logical explanations.

these particles until they are extremely close to the lens of the camera. Very mild air currents can push these small particles toward and away from the lens creating the illusion of appearing and disappearing most the time with doorways, walls and people often being coincidentally placed within the frame of the image. Digital camera makers are now addressing this issue by explaining these “white circular spots” in their handbooks stating that they are caused by particles such as dust and pollen.

When bugs fly in front of cameras, they can also create an orb-like effect in photos. Insects have an exoskeleton composed of chitin which inherently has reflective

You have probably seen pictures and/or videos of alleged spirit orbs on television, the internet or in books. Orbs can seem fascinating to the untrained eye as they seem to follow certain paths, appear and disappear in and out of objects, doorways, walls, people etc. but what you are actually seeing most of the time is dust, human skin cells, human hair, pet hair, textile fibers, paper fibers, dander, pollen and other airborne contaminates. Regardless of how well you may have cleaned the environment and think you have a “dust free” area, these particles are still present. They usually appear round and orb-like due to the camera being focused beyond the actual particle. Usually the camera does not even pick up