Taking photographs of ghosts is unfortunately hit and miss (mostly missing). There’s no definite guide for successfully photographing the paranormal although by following the tips below you can improve your chances of catching that elusive shot.
Be aware of your environment. Most photos claiming to show ghosts or other paranormal occurrences are often shown to be caused by natural phenomenon. Things such as: dust, insects, smoke, moisture, lighting and shadows have all been put forward as ‘evidence’ of ghosts photography. Being aware of your surroundings and environment can help you decide whether you’ve actually caught something worth sharing or not. For example if on a ghost hunt and your taking photos down in the cellar, chances are high it’s going to be dusty as hell which will probably result in you catching ‘orbs’ in all your photos. Another would be that you take a photograph and see what appears to be a ghostly mist but if you’d been aware of your surroundings you would have known your aunt Pat was having a crafty fag at the time, which would explain the anomaly.
Make sure the shot is clear. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve excitedly thought for a moment that I’d caught something, only on closer inspection realizing that it’s actually the camera strap or the tip of a finger. I learnt my lesson and now know to have the strap over my neck or my wrist and to hold the camera properly. The camera should be held between the thumb on bottom and your index and middle fingers on top, neither should overlap the front edge of the camera. The ring and little fingers should be curled back to the palm. If it’s light enough were you are, then a quick look at the cameras preview screen before each shot will show any obstructions.
Try using film. For the young ones reading this, there was a time believe it or not when digital cameras were only available to those willing to spend thousands of pounds on one. For the rest of us we relied on film photography and had to try and make each shot count. Many investigators believe film photography is better for catching images of the paranormal and only use digital as a last resort. If you want to give film photography a try I’d advise using a 35mm film camera with a film speed of 400. Different types of film can be useful for ghost hunting, black and white and Infrared films have both been used to catch interesting results.
Stay still and snap away. When taking photos trying to catch ghosts or other anomalies you should always take multiple pictures at a time. Moving as little as possible between each shot should be your aim. We do this because many true paranormal photos are seen in one photograph but in the next it may have moved slightly or more often than not vanished altogether, even though it was taken only a few seconds later. Natural explanations such as a stain on the wall or a reflection will stay in place thus enabling us to rule them out for what they are.
Double the power. Using a camera on a ghost hunt in conjunction with an EMF meter or temperature reader can really help you get results. Obviously once you get a anomalous EMF reading you’ll want to take multiple photos (see the above tip) of that area. For using with a temperature reader you would wait for hitting a cold spot or for a sudden drop in temperature before again taking multiple photographs of the area.
Don’t discard. If you was using a digital camera on your ghost hunt, chances are you probably went a little snap happy (which is a good thing) and took a load of photos. It would be easy and less time consuming to quickly scan through them, looking for anomalies using only your cameras built in view finder, deleting the ones you see nothing in as you go, but that would be a mistake. Most paranormal anomalies are not noticed until the photo is seen at a larger size due to them sometimes been faint and hard to see. Take the time to upload the photos from your cameras memory card to your PC/ laptop and go through them one by one on a full screen, carefully looking at each one. If you find something worth analysing further you should first make a copy of that photo. Any enhancements you do such as cropping or altering the lighting should be made to the copy only, ALWAYS leave the original just as it is.
And finally we come to the most important tip for ghosts hunting photography which I can sum up in just three words: Take spare batteries:)