Happy Little Orbs (and E’s Tips for How to Find Some)

Orb to the far right, middle and one on the sofa? Possibly lens flare from the lamp?


Last month I got a slew of orb photos from blog friends, and I’ve been waiting to post them. (Thanks, y’all!) It’s a great time to talk about orbs, because people will be getting together for the holidays and the cameras will be snapping. The orb photos interspersed through this post turned up in vacation photos from a tour of historic homes (Oak Alley and Destrehan, to name a couple) and another set of work photos from a consultation for home renovation. See what you think.

I’m really harsh about orbs, because I remember the inception of the Pop Paranormal when any flurry of dust, particle of mist or rain, or stray bug was declared an orb. Thank goodness the same technology that made it so easy to catch the paranormal on film/file has raised the standard of proof, and good investigators like Mobile’s own Beyond Sight have established some rational parameters (which you can read about in the link to a great post with video on this topic.)

To the left of the bed post?

My best tip for orbs is to always, always upload your files to the computer. The little display screen on your camera or cell phone is too small to do the job, and you might discount shots that actually have some interesting images if you rely on it solely for feedback. This has happened to me more than once.

I also really like the orb that shows up smack in the middle of a photo, as if posing.

You don’t have to go out on an investigation to a cemetery or famously haunted place to get orb photos; and I think casual shots so often yield great results because the photographer is relaxed, the atmosphere is usually happy, expectations

Orb to the right of this unidentified tour guest (I blurred her face. It’s not covered by a giant grey orb.)

are zero and orbs seem to be attracted to group activity.

There are some common sense rules that apply to casual ghost photography as well as a more organized venture. Don’t shoot into the sun or a light source, because this can create lens flare.

Make sure your lens is clean and know where the camera strap is, so it won’t flop across the lens and cause confusion later.

If you are shooting outside in the rain or fog, or if you smoke, or if it is chilly and you can see your breath, all of these elements can turn up in your photo and must be figured into any strange things on your pictures.

Is that an orb on this lady’s shoulder blade?

Another big cause of odd things in photos is simply reflection. It’s not only mirrors that can cause this — think about window panes, glass doors, small framed photos on a table, even shiny lamp shades! In the photo to the left, kindly note the high sheen on the bed frame. That’s the kind of thingĀ  to double check. This is particularly evident with nighttime pictures.

If you are lucky enough to get orbs or other images in your photos, find out if anyone else taking pictures at the same time got similar results.

If you took the photos at close to the same time, you’ve got alot to talk about. First, it gives

Orb by the bottom of the window frame, to the left?

you two similar viewpoints so you can check from more angles for shiny surfaces or something random you might not have spotted, which caused the seemingly odd image. Another photo might show, for instance, that it is a bug in flight, or a bird.

Or you might have, in photos taken at almost the same time, a big orb in one but not the other. Now, that’s always interesting. It’s not unusual to get what looks like the same orb bouncing around in more than one picture.


Same house, same bedroom, taken in the same set of pictures for an estimate on renovation; same orb as above?

So there you are, in the middle of holiday season, uploading photos to your Facebook page like my friend did the other day and you find a gigantic, jolly orb photo-bombing a group shot of party guests. What does it mean, anyway?

There are several theories on orbs, the most popular being that an orb is a ghost trying to manifest. Another claims orbs are angels. An energy vehicle, like a wee pod, for a spirit to ride around in? A flash or spark of spirit energy created by the intersection of the physical and nonphysical worlds? I don’t know! That’s what makes it so interesting!


Whatever these orbs are, though — they are one of the most accessible encounters you can have with the unknown, whether on a formal ghost hunt where you invite them to be photographed, or completely unexpected orb visitors in your shots. And that’s my second best tip — take lots and lots and lots of pictures!

Orb from D’Olive Cemetery, photo credit Roman Vaulin

Thank you again to my blog friends who shared their photos!

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