New Ghost Photos!!! The Truckee Historical Haunted Tour

It's that time of year... And fortunately, it happened this year!

The Truckee Historical Haunted Tour is a fun event that I have been photographing just about every year (except last year) for quite some time. During the event, groups of attendees get to walk around Downtown Truckee, California where they stop at many locations on the way and watch historically themed skits performed by local actors. Drinks are also served along the way, it's always a great time.

Every year, I try to get the organizers a "ghost" photo and other cool shots that they can use in their marketing efforts for following years. This year, I shot a few "ghost" photos, it's always a fun look but challenging to shoot.

This one above was my favorite ghost photo from the event. The skit was great, the location was great, and the costumes and car were perfect. It is a single exposure, no layering of images or major Photoshop work. Shot with a Canon 5DS R on a tripod with a 24-105mm lens, set at 28mm. The ISO was 640, the aperture was f/13, and it was a 5 second exposure. A camera flash fires at the beginning of the 5 second exposure, then I have the two outside actors slowly walk away during the shot. The middle actress stood perfectly still (leaning against the car) for the 5 seconds. This was shot shortly after sunset so there was still a bit of blue to the sky. I'm incredibly happy with the way this one turned out!

This one is similar to another ghost photo I had shot in the past. ISO 640, f/22 aperture, and a 3.2 second long exposure. Again the flash fired at the beginning of the exposure and then the ghost actor slowly walked out of the scene. These type of photos take a lot of work to dial in the correct exposure and ghost movement. Many photos were taken and many adjustments were made before I had the perfect exposure.

Another fun one! This year's tour had a lot of ghosts in it. Same gear and techniques as above. ISO 50, f/8 aperture, and a 4 second exposure. I wish all the camera setting were the same for all the ghost photos, but it's never that easy. The ambient light, costume colors, background brightness, the way the light from the flash bounces, and other variables all help to keep things challenging. Auto settings aren't a good idea for these types of shots, you want to be able to make small manual adjustments.

Here's a few more photos from the event. These are much more basic but still a lot of fun to shoot. I go on the tour without a big group, and I get my own little private performances. This allows me to really move around a lot and use a flash without disturbing the attendees.




If you happen to want to see all of my photos from this event, please check out this slideshow on my website: Historical Haunted Tour Slideshow
More info about the tour can be found here:

Thank you for looking and I hope you all have a great spooky season!

Scott Thompson


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