What is Ghost Photography?
Ghost photography, or spirit photography, entails catching ghosts on film. The art of ghost photography has a long and illustrious background, and it continues to be widely practiced today despite its relative obscurity.
When it came to belief in spirit photography, there was a wide range of opinions concerning ghosts caught on camera.
Some believed that ghosts do exist and that the photos showing their existence were real, while skeptics thought it was all camera tricks and that anyone believing in ghosts appearing in photos was either gullible or into spiritualism.
Today, most photographs of ghostly apparitions that you see, are not results of doctoring, or post-photography processing.
Modern cameras have advanced features with the incredible ability to capture special effects, including those misconstrued as ghosts.
How to Create Ghost Photographs
It is beneficial to be well prepared to photograph ghosts effectively. For effective ghost photography, you will need the following items.
- Your camera
- A strong tripod for scene stabilization,
- A remote shutter release to prevent you from physically handling the camera during the shoot
The presence of a ghost in a haunted location is a bonus, but if you do not have one, you can be as imaginative as you want with the location of your ghost.
Long or slow shutter speeds are essential for achieving a ghostly effect in photography. It should only take a few to several seconds to complete the task. Lighting at night or in the early evening is ideal, but dim interior lighting can also be effective. It is even more crucial if you have a camera that you can control the shutter speed.
If you are filming during the day, you will need ND filters. An ND filter helps to minimize the amount of light hitting your camera sensor during the daytime. You can either use threaded or slot-in filters.
You must choose a suitable background so that it does not draw attention away from your subject’s appearance.
For you to achieve a good distinction between your subject and the background, you must first eliminate any ghosting effects.
A vibrant and basic wall will suffice. If you want to enjoy the benefits of your surroundings, the ground, or the sky are good places, to begin with as backgrounds.
Please keep in mind that using a confusing background can be difficult unless you are going for a specific effect.
There are two distinguishable types of ghostly images captured in different ways: the transparent figure and the flowing figure.
The Transparent Figure
You may have come across a mysterious-looking photo that features a transparent subject. The picture might look disturbing, especially for anyone with no knowledge about ghost photography.
Transparent figure photography is one of the simplest ghost photography techniques. It requires multiple exposure techniques and is highly dependent on the environment.
For a sufficient amount of exposure time, you will typically need a shutter speed of a few seconds or longer.
Ideally, your model should remain perfectly still for only a fraction of the time that they are exposed to the camera. Doing this allows your camera to capture an identifiable figure in sharp detail while remaining transparent because the model was not in the frame at the time.
Avoid any blurring of the image by moving out of the frame as quickly as possible. The viewer will notice any gradual movement between the two photographs since they are effectively two photos in one: one with you in it and one without.
The Flowing Figure
The flowing figure, on the other hand, is dependent on rapid movement for correct execution.
There is little need for drastic specifics because you are attempting to create a transparent blur, but just like the transparent figure, you will need to do some experimenting first.
Your shutter speed while photographing the flowing figure will vary depending on the amount of light available, which is why you need to experiment first.
For the human form to be both visible and substantially blurred, it is necessary to move quickly during the coverage.
Dress in loose-fitting clothes or even wrap a white sheet over your shoulders to create a completely ghostly effect. Using this technique in conjunction with moving quickly all through your frame will make your image seem more surreal.
Also, make certain to create the appropriate environment. Because you are aiming for a haunting image, the surroundings will play a role in enhancing your final photograph.
Choose a location that complements the mood you want to convey in your photograph.
Ghost shots are intriguing and they leave so many questions, especially to those with no knowledge about ghost photography.
While they are intriguing to others, creating ghost photos is fun for the photographer as it brings out the best of their creativity.
All you need is the right camera with a tripod for support and a shutter speed that you can control to make the most amazing ghost photos.