Photographers can use a number of techniques to produce convincing photographs of ghosts. In the article "How to Fake a Ghost Photo," Psychology Today blogger Katherine Ramsland describes a photographic technique called painting with light. She explains that flashlights can create ghostly effects in photographs taken under low-light conditions. Many ghost photographers may mistake these natural light effects for paranormal phenomena, Ramsland observes.
GhostStudy.com lists additional techniques that photographers can use to create fraudulent ghost pictures. For example, a photographer using a program like Photoshop can blend ghostly effects into a photograph. One computer-manipulated photo makes it appear as though ghostly energy is flying through a tombstone. If a photographer coats the camera lens with nasal spray and uses a flash, he can achieve a ghostly orb effect. A dirty camera lens may cause photos to look smudged; in some cases, the smudges can look like ghostly figures.
Photographers may also place cellophane over a camera lens and then take a picture using a flash. The resulting photograph can appear to contain ghostly orbs or other strange figures. If a photographer holds a strand of brown hair or green string close to the lens and snaps a photo, the photograph may look like it contains paranormal energy. Motion-blurred photos look like evidence of the paranormal, but are in fact the result of slow shutter speed in low-light conditions.
OurCuriousWorld.com reveals other techniques to fake paranormal photographs. One photo appears to show a phantom Civil War soldier walking in front of a covered wagon. However, the photograph was created by boosting the transparency of a picture of a man in Civil War costume and then splicing that photo into another picture. As of 2015, iPhone owners can create ghostly effects with the Ghost Capture app, which makes living people look transparent.