I am going on a ghost tour in a three weeks and would like some tips on which settings would give me the best results. It will be just on dusk and after dark. I have a Cannon EOS 550D.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Honestly, I'd leave the camera at home. You need light to take photographs, and a tour is really unlikely to give you the opportunity to set up to take good low-light exposures. And if you're hoping to take photos of actual ghosts, wellllll... skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/1246/… \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Sep 4, 2013 at 22:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ Tune in coasttocoastam.com and ask the experts. They'll not only give you tips, they'll be able to give you ways to explain why your photographs didn't come out, too. \$\endgroup\$
    – Stan
    Sep 4, 2013 at 23:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ I use the Spooky setting. \$\endgroup\$ Jan 11, 2014 at 3:00

1 Answer 1


If you are looking to capture the infamous "orbs" often photographed on ghost tours, here are some techniques that will help:

  • Use the built in flash, preferably with a camera that places the flash as close to the lens' optical axis as possible.
  • Carry a spray bottle of water to create a mist in the air in front of the camera in case there isn't a lot of humidity in the air already.
  • Take a bottle of talcum powder to create a 'cloud' of talc in front of the camera. Johnson & Johnson works well with the cap that has the little holes in it. Squeeze the bottle and ---> instant cloud!
  • Get some fingerprints all over the front of your lens. They will not be visible in your shots, but the skin oil will diffract off-axis light and make little light spots appear in your pictures.
  • When a strong source of light, such as a streetlight, is available aim the camera so that the light source is just out of the frame.

The streetlights will help maximize the effect of the fingerprints on your lens. Then mist the water and let the talc fly!

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1 for a wonderfully interesting and informative how to on making your very own ghost photo. \$\endgroup\$
    – AJ Henderson
    Sep 4, 2013 at 22:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't think you take this very seriously, Michael. I detect a subtle note of skepticism. \$\endgroup\$
    – Stan
    Sep 4, 2013 at 23:23

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