There are very few subjects as controversial in the paranormal community as “Orbs.” Orbs are the “balls of light” that appear in photographs. They are so common that it’s rare to conduct a paranormal investigation and not capture at least one. With the advent of digital photography, orbs have become even more common. Because they appear so frequently, most paranormal investigators choose not to consider them when they are reviewing their evidence. Personally, I think this is a mistake because to conduct an honest scientific investigation, everything must be considered, whether it’s explainable or not.
There are some very explainable reasons for orbs; dust, bugs, rain, light anomalies, and pixilation. Every once in a while you get an orb that can’t be explained, and it's because of these rare occasions, we must consider every orb as a possible paranormal anomaly until it can be definitively ruled out.
I personally think that some orbs are legitimate paranormal phenomena, and the reason for this is simple. We all know that ghosts need energy to manifest. Sometimes, energy sources are plentiful and at other times almost nonexistent. If a spirit is at a low energy level, it may not be able to manifest into a full-blown apparition. A sphere is the most energy efficient shape in nature, and if a spirit is at a low energy level, it makes sense that a sphere would be the shape it would take. As the spirit gains energy, it may be able to manifest into more complex shapes, like a human form. For me, an orb is the lowest form of an apparition.
There are a few simple tricks you can use to rule out some of the most common causes for orbs in your photos. One is using a flashlight. Point your flashlight towards the ceiling and hold it just above your head, and look into the beam. If there’s dust, you’ll be able to see it in the flashlight beam. If dust is present, then it has to be considered as a cause for your orb phenomenon. Orbs storms, the anomaly where hundreds of orbs show up in a photograph, I automatically rule out. If you’re outside, insects always have to be a consideration. An easy way to check for bugs is using your camera flash. Surprisingly you can see the smallest insects in the flash of your camera. So when you snap a picture, don’t look into your view screen, look beyond your camera into the area you are photographing. If rain is present, it usually looks like an upside down teardrop when captured using flash photography.
I’ve heard hundreds of explanations on how to tell a real spirit orb form that of dust, bugs, and other naturally occurring phenomena, but the truth is these theories are mere speculation and unproven. The best way I know of to prove that you captured a legitimate spirit orb is a preponderance of the evidence. If you have other evidence that supports a site to be haunted, then there is a good chance that you may have very well captured something, but if an orb is all you caught, then you have to treat it with speculation.