The Perception of Possibilities…


Ahhh science. What is it exactly? By most definitions it is the study of all things provable by repeated measurements, so let’s go with that for now. At one point someone was curious about something they witnessed and went about the business of finding methods to explain what they were curious about. They would have started with some type of assumption ( and no, I don’t want to hear that tired out tongue- in- cheek comment about assumptions) and began the hypothesis process and after numerous trials and errors would have found what worked and what didn’t. Once success was achieved in proving their theory it was then shared with peers and colleagues, reviewed and if repeatable enough times could then become a fact.

We left off with a discussion of the orb phenomenon in photos, and this is where we resume, but a quick bit of background information would be helpful.

Ten years ago I embarked on an art project in my backyard with the intent of creating a gateway or the conditions for a type of opening or portal to the unseen side of life. I wanted to use geometric shapes with the growing medium of crop plants that have been the staple of humankind since the inception of agriculture, namely wheat and corn. In a reverse crop circle kind of way, I wanted to attain the visual effect of a circular, triangular or semi-circular patch of growing plants with shallow canals around them for water and a focal point where I would have a circular fire pit. All told it was an attempt at bringing together the elements of earth, air fire and water in a pleasing aesthetic manner.

I worked with nothing but my hands, a shovel and a hose as I shaped the mud into earthen berms and planted the seeds in the damp soil by the ancient method of using the fingers to poke a hole then dropping the seeds in. My goal of what I wanted to accomplish was always on my mind as I worked my intent into the ground itself, much in the way that someone prays, wishes or performs spells to attain a desired outcome. I wasn’t sure what would happen or how it would work but I was confident it would do something more than being a conversation piece.

It was during a Halloween get together one night when a few pictures were taken of the usual normalcy, people standing around with drinks or that type of thing. Upon developing the film and looking through them (I didn’t have a digital camera yet) I noticed a few anomalies in the night shots, namely the appearance of circular spots in random places, at times transparent enough where you could see the fence or grass behind them. No one appeared to be aware of anything, not even our dog. I did some research and began to learn of this not uncommon effect in photos, usually taken by amateur ghost hunters throughout the world. Interesting……

Throughout the fall and winter I went through twelve different disposal cameras as I photographed the area of the yard where my art project resided. I would vary the make of the camera; Kodak, Fuji or some other off-brand and also purchase ones with different film speeds, even finding a black and white model. I would take two or three consecutive shots in the same position with only the recharge time of the capacitor for the flash dictating the time interval between exposures. What I began to see was definitely a trending pattern where I would capture an orb, several orbs or a plain vaporous mist (no, it wasn’t my exhaled breath either, I would make sure to hold it just for that purpose of not mistaking it for something else.) in a location above or close to the various parts of the artistic earthworks.

When spring came along I re-worked the pattern of the project, changed it up a bit with some new geometry and planted again. When I upgraded to a digital camera and began new photo shoots, it soon became apparent there was indeed a repeatable event that opened the perception of possibilities.


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