By: +David Herron; Date: Mon Jan 04 2021 13:13:44 GMT-0800 (Pacific Standard Time)
This newly published book and its companion DVD are a very interesting and powerful introduction to Orb photography. The authors are Miceal Ledwith, formerly a professor of Theology at Maynooth College in Ireland, and Klaus Heinemann a physicist with 40 or more years work in materials science working for NASA Ames and Stanford University. Both are highly trained people with advanced degrees and years of work publishing scholarly research.
This book is important in that it does not blindly say something like "oh, this extra stuff showed up in my pictures, so it must be ghosties". Instead they carefully study the phenomenon, carefully describe ways to capture fake orbs, and the characteristics of what they call an authentic orb photograph. I happen to know Klaus and happened to have witnessed him taking photographs at Ron Roth events as he describes in the book. I know a thing or two about photography and can attest to his having taken care to do the photography conscientously.
They begin the book with an interesting discussion of the contrast between spiritual practices and the scientific method. Scientists often discount claims by spiritual practitioners, because it is awfully hard to do science when you can't measure the results. They say it well, "a contemptuous attitude toward anything that will not readily fit into a test tube, pot or pan does not meet the qualifications of rigor, objectivity and open-mindedness required for the scientific study of any subject". When Science out of hand dismisses a phenomenon they have predetermined cannot be real, then they are acting with just as strong a dogma as any fundamentalist religious practitioner who, for example, claims the world is flat and has only existed for 3,000 years.
At the same time spiritual practitioners often do not have good explanations of the phenomenon which occur through their practices. Religions make many claims of what lies beyond death, for example, but in a way which leaves the door wide open to ridicule from those who rely on objective measurements and hard evidence.
The Orb Project falls into this middle ground of what appears to be a spiritual phenomenon which can be measured with mechanical instruments. It's clear that cameras can be tricked into producing spurious extra stuff in images, and this book goes into those effects. They claim to have ruled out those conditions and still have captured images containing spots of light which appear to be spirit emanations.
In the introduction they discuss a paper written in 2005 by Gary Schwartz and Katherine Creath ("Anomalous Orbic 'Spirit' Photographs? A Conventional Optic Explanation", Journal of Scientific Exploration, 19, no. 3 (2005) 343-58; link). Kathy is an acquaintance who I know to have a couple PHD's including one in optics, and who is involved with research projects related to energy healing. Gary Schwartz is an eminent researcher who has lately specialized in looking for physics phenomena which could help explain energy healing, past lives, spirits, etc. They are not of the professional Skeptics class, they are very much in the field of bridging science and spiritual studies. I haven't seen their paper, but supposedly they worked from a limited set of data and acknowledge it would not be logical or responsible to dismiss, at this stage, all orb phenomena as stray optical reflections.
This sort of introduction sets the tone for the whole book. The book is at the same time very indepth, and also very well written and an easy read.
They discuss this as a journey of discovery.. When one first becomes aware of orb photography, what do you do? How do you decide to recognize when an orb photograph is due to stray light bouncing around the optics of your camera, or when the photograph is due to a spirit communicating with you? I believe it is a journey of discovery each of us can do, and the technologies are simple enough that we need not rely on the experts with their fancy laboratories to tell us what the truth is.
They discuss the significance of coloring in orb photographs, the variety of orb pictures, tips for photographing orbs, distinguishing false from real orbs, and our place in the cosmos.
Orb photography is explained by them to be very simple to accomplish. One needs a camera that is sensitive to infrared light, and one must understand the principles of taking good orb photographs. It so happens that most digital cameras are sensitive to infrared light, and it is very easy to determine. Simply turn on a digital camera and look at the LCD screen, then point an infrared remote control at the camera, click a button on the remote, and if you see a light shine then your camera is sensitive to infrared light.
Our human senses only see visible light. However the electromagnetic spectrum is much broader than visible light. Infrared light is near the light we call 'red' but is not visible to us, so when we click a remote control the light it sends is not visible to us because it is in the infrared spectrum. But it is visible to instruments which can see this spectrum, such as digital cameras. There is also traditional film that can see infrared light, however it is immensely cheaper to take pictures with digital cameras than film cameras.
Once you've selected a camera it is easiest to take these pictures in dim light. You should turn on the flash because it appears the flash is required to get the phenomenon to work. They also discuss how it is helpful to be in a joyful state, and for example that the orbs seem to love to be around children. Have a party, take a few pictures, or a few hundred pictures, and carefully look at the pictures. It's that simple.
The DVD is a series of interviews with Miceal, Klaus, and a few other people. The DVD shows you visually how to do orb photography, in case the words in the book don't click for you.