Thursday, September 25, 2008

ORBS: In the lens or in the sky?

Here’s something interesting for all of us to mull over. I was going over some old pix the other night, taken with my old digital camera and stored on my computer. Started looking through pix I took in Burma in March 2006.
On one of them I noticed a tiny, but quite bright, circle. Look to the right of the stupa (the LEFT half of the PICTURE as you face it). If you look closely, you can just about make out two larger, but much fainter circles further left on the picture. If you can't spot them yet, never mind, you’ll see strange and interesting circles soon enough!

With idle curiousity, I blew up the small circle to see what it was. This is what I saw:

I was really rather psyched. I had recently been reading with renewed interest about orbs – circles of light that show up unexpectedly on people’s pictures. And this definitely looked like an orb! So I went back to the full picture and made it brighter – just to make the sky lighter so I would be able to pick out anything that may be hidden by the darkness. Wow! The whole sky was full of these circles!
If this had been a print, I would have thought it was mould or something odd on the paper. But this is just a digital photo on the computer! Next, I wondered if the electric light that lights the stupa at night was doing this – but look at the full picture (the first one) – how would this be possible!

Here’s a brightened and cropped picture focusing on the sky:

Now, what do you make of that, hey?!

Here’s another cropped and brightened section of the sky:

And one more, which includes that first small but bright orb in the bottom right-hand corner:

Well, what do you all think? I'm keeping an open mind to all possibilities. Have bought a book on orbs and am talking to a friend who has been photographing them for years. It's all rather new and amazing to me though, so I welcome your comments -- affirming ones or skeptical ones. Just so long as we preserve the decencies of debate, of course.


  1. That is really interesting. I have often seen this in my evening time digital photos, especially with my old digital camera, but always blamed it on dust on the lens or some such thing. Now I will have to take another look!

  2. Yes, indeed do go back to your photos and look again. My "moment of truth" came when I saw the whole sky full of these circles of light. I can't find any "earthly" explanation...

  3. what kind of digicam were u using? dust in the sensor? dust spots?

  4. Flipland: The camera is Canon PowerShot A80. As for dust/spots - I don't believe it was so. Such unexplained lights showed up on two pix, both of temples. The other photo is a day-time picture and the shape is very different (not round). The quality of light, too, is different. Nothing like a speck of dust in any case.

    And not a speck on the hundreds of other pix I took on the same trip, or hundreds more I have taken since. (One "borderline" photo taken recently, but I don't think that's really an orb - perhaps a trick of light.)

    As thinking individuals, we are all free to believe what we wish. I myself believe these are unexplained cicles or other shapes, apparently filled with light. Since I consider them "unexplained," I have no explanation for them. I do find the phenomenon interesting.