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Foto Fair Post your photos for friendly, non-critical feedback. This is the place to show pictures if you aren't yet ready for full-blooded critique, or simply want to share an interesting picture with other e-group visitors.

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Old 12th December 2012
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timmypreston timmypreston is offline
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Have I got dust somewhere in my set up?

Playing with the fairy lights on the christmas tree but I have got annoying blobs. Are they dust bunnies?

Christmas Tree Bokeh by Tim J Preston, on Flickr

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Old 12th December 2012
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Re: Have I got dust somewhere in my set up?

No, if they were dust bunnies I'd expect them to show as dark, indistinct blobs. These seem too regular and are the same colour as the lights they inhabit. I'd guess they are actually part of the lights, maybe the tip of the bulb where it forms a point or flaws in the glass.

"A hundredth of a second here, a hundredth of a second there even if you put them end to end, they still only add up to one, two, perhaps three seconds, snatched from eternity." ~ Robert Doisneau
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Old 12th December 2012
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Re: Have I got dust somewhere in my set up?

No not dust bunnies Tim.

I have seen something similar to this before but usually involves using flash where moisture in the air reflect the flash. It is possible the lights are doing the same thing to a lesser extent, but they are not dust bunnies which as John said would appear darker in colour.
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Old 12th December 2012
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Re: Have I got dust somewhere in my set up?

The geologist in me says they're pleochroic halos caused by radioactive substances in the lights.

But I have no idea what they are, there are clearly some kind of diffraction effects around them. Do the lights need a dusting?

m4/3: E-P2, EM-5, 100-300, 14-42mm 12-50mm, 45mm, panny 14mm. 4/3: 7-14 + Flashes & tripods & stuff

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Old 12th December 2012
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Re: Have I got dust somewhere in my set up?

Hmm. I suspect it might be dust in the lens somewhere.... It just has that look about it.
Look, I'm an old man. I shouldn't be expected to put up with this.

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Old 12th December 2012
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Re: Have I got dust somewhere in my set up?


You have captured the aura and chakra of your lenses aperture blades.

I'd guess the lens was quite well stopped down (say f11) and maybe quite a long exposure,

Or perhaps your christmas lights are haunted and you are seeing the 'ghost orbs' (try googling that).

My personal explanation is dust in the atmosphere (or possibly on the front element) before the dof, point light sources relatively bright. The out of focus dust spots create a relatively diffuse fuzzy image which is then shaped by the aperture blades.

If you manage to produce these regularly set up a paranormal blog, you'll find a lot of people eager to congratulate you on your spirituality. Could well be the start of a new career.

The exact physics behind these is quite complicated and I'm not sure anyone has bothered to set it down. Can be a real pain in churches where the atmosphere is still and there is a sloping bright light - for example from a side window crossing the image. Best solved by a more open lens.

Nick Temple-Fry

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