cover image

Backscatter (photography)

Optical phenomenon in photography / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dear Wikiwand AI, let's keep it short, summarize this topic like I'm... Ten years old or a College student

In photography, backscatter (also called near-camera reflection[1]) is an optical phenomenon resulting in typically circular artifacts on an image, due to the camera's flash being reflected from unfocused motes of dust, water droplets, or other particles in the air or water. It is especially common with modern compact and ultra-compact digital cameras.[2][3]

A hypothetical underwater instance with two conditions in which circular photographic artifacts are likely (A) and unlikely (B), depending on whether the aspect of particles facing the lens are directly reflect the flash, as shown. Elements are not shown to scale.
The backscatter of the camera's flash by motes of dust causes unfocused orb-shaped photographic artifacts.

Caused by the backscatter of light by unfocused particles, these artifacts are also sometimes called orbs, referring to a common paranormal claim. Some appear with trails, suggesting motion.[4]