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About Light Phenomena
About the Authors
Photo Gallery
Digital Q&A
It doesn’t matter what camera you use to photograph Orbs, any make will do. All digital cameras are now pretty good, even the lower priced ones.
But we’d recommend that you don’t use anything below 2 million pixels.
The digital cameras used mainly on this website and in our book, Beyond Photography, are:
Other shots: the SONY CYBERSHOT DSCF 717 and the CANON IXUS 400. SLR shots were taken with the PENTAX MV1.

Q: Do I need an expensive camera with 20x digital zoom facility?
A: No! In fact avoid using digital zoom at all, it just degrades the image!
You can get better results with a 3 to 10 x optical zoom. We never use the digital zoom because it tends to pixelate the image too much



Q: Why are some images more grainy than others?
A: This is usually due to lighting conditions and to the amount the image was lightened or enhanced on the computer afterwards. Shots taken outdoors at night will vary according to lighting conditions. If the shot is too dark you may have to lighten the image considerably and this can result in problems with image quality. When we first began to photograph Luminosities, we had no thought as to reproduction. All we were concerned with initially was to lighten or enhance our images so we could clearly see what exactly was on the digital photos.
This often resulted in loss of detail, until we got better at balancing image quality.

You can use Photoshop to see exactly what is on your digital image and make it clearer.
1. Original image.
2. Lightened.
3. Unsharp mask.
4.Optimised for print.
Q: What is the best way to optimise the quality of the luminosity or light-form image?
A: The best way is to first save the original image, untouched. Then make a copy and use Adobe Photoshop to lighten and/or enhance. If our own images merited it we’d sometimes do three or four comparative versions of the same image: lightening and enhancing; using Photoshop’s image adjust and unsharp mask tools. But be careful; lightening an image too much can result in obliterating detail. After initial mistakes we learned to strike a balance between best visibility of the Luminosities and the over all reproduction quality of the image.


Q: How can I be sure that what I’m photographing are genuine luminosities, not natural phenomena; such as rain, dust, pollen or insects, reflected back by the camera flash?
A: Being aware of possible natural causes in the first place will help you to avoid and recognise them. For example; as a general rule, we would advise against taking shots in the rain, or in humid or misty conditions, as it may be possible that water droplets may reflect in the flash. Choose conditions that minimise the possibility of atmospheric related effects and consider all obvious natural causes of oddities and try to minimise the likelihood of these occurring. Natural phenomenon is often cited as the explanation for Orbs and Luminosities, but usually they don't look at all like the genuine article. Here below are some natural effects that we found useful to compare with the Orbs and Luminosities we, and others, have photographed.

Rain and moisture are a common explanation, but as you can see the flash reflections here look nothing like Orbs. Flying insects are another offering, but as this flash photograph we took of a moth, also shows an Orb, this seems highly unlikely. And as you can see here, cats eyes give a totally different effect from the Luminosity photographed at the same time. Digital artifacts are cited as another explanation, but here, as on many shots, the Orb is behind elements in the photo.

Because luminosities are ubiquitous, elusive and unpredictable, you can never be totally sure where they’ll appear, but some places, or people, do seem to attract them more than others. As a general rule, if you don’t already know of an “Orb Hotspot” nearby, we’d suggest that you choose places that feel right to you.

If you have an interested friend, go there together, but don’t be too anxious, enjoy the experience of just being there. Think positive thoughts. Luminosities are attracted to positive emotions. Frequently take shots in your chosen place; be patient, Luminosities will respond to your visits; often confirming their presence by Orb photo-interactivity. We find the best time, is dusk, when it is just dark enough to see the lights.

But sometimes even experienced "Orb Hunters" can be looking in totally the wrong direction!
Q: But how can I be sure that I’ll be able to photograph luminosities at all?
A: You can’t, but once you’ve got one, you’ll get more.
However, there is a way to increase your odds. If you or someone you know, sees Small Transient Lights (STLs) then you can use occurrences of that as a guide to the most likely direction in which to point your camera. Whether indoors or outside, in daylight or at night, the chances are that if you see STLs, then Luminosities are not far away; and if you’re patient enough, sooner or later you are sure to photograph something that is, in one sense, beyond photography!
For more information on this subject see chapters 5 & 7 in: BEYOND PHOTOGRAPHY.
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