How to capture ghosts in photos

If someone says the existence of ghosts can be proved because ghosts have been captured in photos, before you believe any of it, analyze the photos first as there are lots of fake ghost photos.

The truth is, it is very easy to make “ghosts” appear in photos. Before the advent of digital photography, ghosts were made to appear in photos via a technique known as double exposure. Back when one had to manually wind the camera to make the film advance to the next frame, a photographer would take a photo, rewind the film to revert to the just used frame, take another shot and, voila! — two images in the same frame. While the legit photographers utilized the technique to achieve artistic visual effects, the ones with more questionable reputations have used the same technique to come up with photographic hoaxes.

In digital photography, the easiest way to make a ghost appear in a photo is by utilizing the bulb mode, a.k.a. long exposure. In simple terms, the shutter is allowed to stay open for an extended period so that anything that passes in front of the camera lens during that time is captured in the frame.

Shutter allowed to stay open? Let’s make it simpler. Ever experienced instances when, after pressing the shutter button of the camera, it takes a couple of seconds before you hear the “click” that tells you the photo had been taken? During those couple of seconds, the camera’s shutter is open — necessary to allow the camera to capture enough light to take the photo. This is easily observable in low light settings. And this is the very technique used to capture good images of fireworks in the sky.

Now then, about ghosts in photos. Here’s a demonstration. Speedy was playing with the bulb mode a while ago.

Below is a photo of our neighborhood sometime before midnight.

Above is a second photo of the same scene — except that during the seconds when the camera’s shutter was open, Speedy walked right in front of the camera, creating a ghost-like effect. You can actually see his movement — on the left side, his back was turned; at the center, he was facing the camera.

Tomorrow night, I’ll ask Speedy to do the same experiment with me. I’ll wear some billowy white costume to create a translucent white lady in the photo.

Am I trying to prove that there are no ghosts? No. I’m just saying that it takes more than a couple of photos to prove their existence.


  1. says

    haha ang galing nga ng facial expression dito ni Mr. Speedy eh. parang siya yung ghost na nagmamakaawa na mabigyan ng katarungan yung pag-murder/rape sa kanya.

  2. chall says

    i loooove it! pang horror movie, although yung face ni speedy hindi nakakatakot, it connotes na parang humihingi ng tulong yung “ghost” hehe

  3. says

    Toying around with the bulb mode has always been fun.

    How about trying on some period costume to make it look like the ‘ghost’ came from a different era decades ago? ;)