If you ever want to make me cringe or wince, show me a photo with orbs. If you want to get me on a soapbox, then tell me that those orbs are proof that your dead grandmother is visiting you in ghost form. If you want me to yell curse words, tell me there are faces in the orbs. If you want me to flip a table, show me a picture of a screen door and tell me there’s a full body apparition.

Anyone that has worked with me or APS will know that I will dismiss about 99% of the photos that are sent. Not only am I a paranormal researcher and investigator, I am also a photographer. Orbs are nothing more than reflections of light coming from either moisture (like rain, snow, fog, haze, etc.) or a light source (street lights, window reflection, car lights, etc.). The shapes you see inside the orbs, are nothing more that the nucleus of a dust particle, light, or moisture. If you don’t see an orb with your naked eye, but you capture it on camera, ESPECIALLY after using a flash, it’s light. That’s it. End of story.

Not to mention, bugs and other weird things like camera straps, smoke, and hair can look rather spooky when out of focus, all the while managing to sneak into your shot. Again, it’s not paranormal. We are spending and wasting so much time looking at things that have an explanation and missing out on the truly incredible parts of the paranormal field. Since most pictures are taken outside in an uncontrolled environment, these could be debris, bugs, and dust. Also, consider the distance. If said bug/dust/debris isn’t in focus, it will blur into a circle. This is why sometimes these orbs are in different shapes. It can also explain the different colors.

But does this mean that I don’t believe in ghosts? Of course not. Does this mean that I don’t believe in orbs? Actually, no. I have seen “orbs” or balls of light with my naked eye. Was I lucky enough to snap a picture? No. I was so mesmerized and taken by what I saw, I didn’t think to snap a photo. Between realizing my fellow investigator seeing the anomaly, trying to process and debunk what I was seeing, and the tech going out, taking a photo wasn’t possible. I want to so badly see this phenomenon again in my lifetime. However, if I were lucky enough to snap a photo, it will likely be debunked. And I’m okay with that. I know what I saw.

In order for ghosts to appear in a photo, they have to reflect light in some way. What we see with our eyes and what the camera is capturing is all a reflection of light. Our minds are trained to make out familiar patterns out of nothing. Take clouds for example! We can see dragons, faces, and amazing things in the clouds. But that is all because our mind is creating familiar images for us to interpret. The same goes for 90% of spirit photography. That shape you see in that blurry photo is most likely your mind playing tricks on you.

So when someone debunks your photo as light, smoke, moisture, hair, etc., and those elements were indeed present, move on. Yes, it’s going to hurt. You will be disappointed. If you post a photo in a public forum, expect to get feedback. Expect to be debunked. Picking a fight or trying to discredit the debunker will not help your cause at all.

Keep in mind that it doesn’t mean that you aren’t being visited by ghosts, it’s just that anomaly you captured on camera isn’t it. As you learn more about paranormal photography, try to be a good sport. If you’re serious about it, invest in a DSLR camera and stop using your phone and a point-and-shoot. You’re less likely to capture those hundreds of orbs in that photo you took on a foggy day, or that smoke you captured while your buddy was smoking a cigarette.

Have I captured or seen photos that I can’t debunk? Yes. They are extraordinary. If you really want to get an honest assessment of a photo you took, take it to a professional photographer and get their feedback. To quote a famous meme, when it comes to orbs, ghost hunters see spirits, photographers see crap on their lens! If you are sure you caught something paranormal, APS is more than happy to take a look, but you will be asked about environmental factors, what you used to take the photo, etc. If that photo you took after the death of a loved one is that confirmation you needed that they’re okay, while I may not agree, I will respect that.

Finally, if you use a Ghost App ghost to try to lie and fool people, then you’re a moron and deserve every bit of scrutiny that comes your way.