Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Things That Make You Say "Hm"

Last night while the pooch and I were taking a quick turn "around the block," I was struck by the seasonally appropriate look of the full moon shining through the dark branches of a broken old tree. I had to leave for a meeting in less than half an hour, but it was just too good an opportunity to pass up photographically. So, we rushed home, I unleashed the hound, grabbed my tripod, camera and remote shutter release, hopped in the car and headed out.

People must've wondered what in the world I was doing, for the car was parked on one side of the road with the four-way flashers on, and I was standing on the other side of the road. Another dog walker gave me a very wide berth.

Anyway, I got set up, and hoping that traffic wouldn't be heavy (it wasn't), I took a few shots. The first one came out the best.

But then as I was going through the photos this morning, I noticed something:

That green ball wasn't there in the first photo.

And it seemed to move around the subsequent ones.

Could it be just a Newton's Ring, or is it "something else?"
(Correction: Could it be just lens flare, or is it "something else?" See comment section for explanation.)


  1. OOOOOO! What spooky photos! Could that green light be a focussing beam sent out by your camera? What's a Newton Ring?

  2. Another thought about that green light. Could it be flare from the light of the moon due to your lens being wide open?

  3. Oh, I'm sure there's a perfectly scientific explanation for the green sphere. Besides, the sphere that are associated with hauntings are white, not green.

    Newton's Rings, according to Wikipedia, are "The phenomenon of Newton's rings, named after Isaac Newton, is an interference pattern caused by the reflection of light between two surfaces - a spherical surface and an adjacent flat surface. When viewed with monochromatic light it appears as a series of concentric, alternating light and dark rings centered at the point of contact between the two surfaces. When viewed with white light, it forms a concentric ring pattern of rainbow colors because the different wavelengths of light interfere at different thicknesses of the air layer between the surfaces. "

    HM...I was told (many years ago) that the colored circles you sometimes see in photographs taken towards bright lights were called Newton's Rings. It seems that I was told wrong!

    Over at Photocritic.com, I found this: "Lens flare is normally seen because the photographer took the picture into the general direction of the sun. The basic idea is this – some sunlight gets into the camera lens at just the right angle that it bounces around the interior of the camera until some of it ends up on the film."

    So, it seems I have lens flare, not a Newton's Ring. See...every day you learn something new.

    Still, I kinda like the idea of it being an "orb." :)

  4. I got a nearly identical eerie green orb in some photos of the moon two nights ago, although it turned up closer to the moon. I wondered exactly why - thanks for an explanation.

    Also, I love your cecropia photo!

  5. It's a cool look, whatever the cause. Reminds me of David Caspar Friedrich!

  6. Barefootheart - I've never heard of Friedrich...until now. I looked him up online after reading your comment - what amazing paintings! I especially like "Monastary Graveyard in the Snow."

    Woodswoman - thanks for visiting...and now I have another nature blog to visit! And from the part of NY where I grew up!