Ghost Photography 101
Ghosts are notoriously difficult to photograph; they are unpredictable, often appear unexpectedly and seem to prefer low-light conditions. This article provides some basic advice which will set you on the road to success (maybe!).
Where to Go
While ghosts can appear anywhere and at any time, you’ll have the best chance of capturing one if you visit a place where ghosts are known to commonly appear. Cemeteries, castles, battlegrounds and locations where other people have reported witnessing paranormal activity are all excellent choices.
When to Go
When learning how to photograph ghosts, should you visit your location during the day or the night? Contrary to popular belief, paranormal activity is experienced as often during daylight hours as it is during the night. The best advice is to research your chosen location in order to find out when other ghost sightings have occurred. If they seem to happen mainly during the day, then that’s the best time to go.
Remember, however, that nighttime sightings may not have occurred in some locations simply because people do not usually visit those locations at night (cemeteries, for example). So, even in places where ghosts have only been spotted during the day, a visit under the cover of darkness may still be worthwhile.
What to Bring
A camera is really all that you need for ghost photography. Using a camera with a reasonably high resolution (5MP or more) will produce the best and most reliable results as shooting in low-resolution and low-light conditions can result in images that are marred by digital artifacts (and it can be difficult to tell the difference between an apparition and one of those artifacts).
And be sure to dress for the cold as paranormal activity often results in sudden and extreme temperature drops.
When and What to Shoot
Experienced ghost hunters advise that it’s best not to start shooting immediately upon arriving at your location. Instead, you should go with your gut instinct and walk around the location until you feel that the time is right. Indications that a ghost is about to appear include your hair suddenly standing on end, rapid drops in temperature and feelings of impending doom. Should you experience any of these sensations, be sure to have your camera at the ready!
When learning how to photograph ghosts, it’s important to remember that not all ghosts that can be seen by the eye can be seen by the camera; and not all ghosts that can be seen by the camera can be seen by the eye. So don’t wait for a ghost to manifest itself before starting to shoot. Take some random shots, don’t worry about correct composition and, again, go with your gut instinct. If you feel that a ghost may be in a particular spot, then take a photo of that spot – whether or not you can actually see anything with your eye.
As already mentioned, learning how to photograph ghosts and mastering ghost photography is extremely difficult and it’s unlikely that your first attempts will yield results. Determination and perseverance are essential attributes and, when coupled with a spot of luck and a little skill, may enable you to eventually snap a spook (or is that a digital artifact?).