What is Ghosting in Photography?

Photo ghosting is a sort of flare that develops when light bounces off the lens’ surface repeatedly, giving photos a hazy, low-contrast appearance.

A bright light source can generate a ghosting flare, which appears as a distinct artefact opposite to it with many orbs of various sizes, colours, and forms that can cover the whole image. The term “ghosts” is used to describe these distortions or ghosts, and the more lens elements your lens has, the more ghosts there will be!

No, we’re not referring to photographing ghosts, despite the fact that some of the outcomes could look like ghosts! When a light source strikes the glass element of a lens in a certain way, a phenomenon known as “ghosting” takes place that causes object distortions to appear in your image.

Although tricking your pals into thinking it’s a ghost could be sort of great, professional photographers are always battling to prevent them! Ghosting is often something you want to avoid in photography, although on rare occasions it may be employed for artistic effect.

This article will show you how to do ghosting, whether you want to entirely remove it, fix it with editing, or even purposefully incorporate it into your photographs.

How can lens flare and ghosting occur?

What is Ghosting in Photography
What is Ghosting in Photography

The simplest technique to get rid of or avoid ghosting is to understand how it occurs, as is true for any optical issue. We need to start from the beginning in order to understand lens flare.

You may prevent excessive ghosting flare in your images in the future by understanding what causes it. Or it could encourage you to go looking for it!

The following variables affect veiling flare and ghosting:

The elements inside your lens – In order to rectify spherical aberrations and other optical flaws, a camera lens has many lenses. The various lens components control how the light is reflected again and whether or not an actual artefact is produced.

Lens coatings: In addition to changing in number and shape, lens elements also have various coatings. Lens flare and ghosting are influenced by the kind and quality of the coating.

Change the focal length to check if the ghosting manifests or not because telephoto lenses produce more flare than wide-angle lenses.

Lens aperture: Aperture changes can either avoid or introduce ghosting. Additionally, the shape of the aperture will affect how the ghost appears, so experiment with different lenses.

Light source: It’s crucial to use a direct, bright source of light. One of the key elements that contribute to the appearance of ghosting is the location of the light source and how it reacts with the lens surface.

How To Prevent Ghosting

An excessive amount of light entering your lens directly might cause ghosting and reduce the quality of your images. Here are the measures to take if you’ve ever wondered how to stop lens ghosting:

Use high-quality lenses. Lens makers for cameras have created some incredible coating technologies. For instance, Canon lenses with Air Sphere Coating (ASC) and Subwavelength Structure Coating (SWC) are excellent at reducing flare problems.

What lens, therefore, avoids ghosting? All professional-grade lenses have a strong anti-reflective coating, as do some entry-level lenses.

Use lens hoods – A lens hood is a device that may be attached to the front of the lens. The front piece is intended to be shielded from sidelights by this feature. There are many sizes and types of lens hoods. If you don’t have a lens hood, consider using your palm to block the sun’s rays. There are many lens hoods available on amazon at decent price ranges.

By reflecting light, all optical components promote lens flare; removing any unneeded filters would significantly minimise flare. So, remove everything that won’t be necessary for a particular photo, such as the UV filter.

Readjust yourself to avoid shooting directly into sources of intense light. Lens flares may be avoided simply by adjusting the viewing angle.

Is a Lens Flare a Ghosting?

Correct! When light travels around too much, one of the lens flares that might occur is ghosting. Ghosting causes an orb that wasn’t intended to be there to appear in a picture. These spheres of various colours and forms can cover the whole screen and contain hundreds of distinct artefacts.

They often appear in a straight line from the light source. In post-processing, this can be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to eliminate.


When they aren’t intentionally used as a creative technique, flare and ghosting can reduce the quality of an image. Now you are aware of how to stop it or correct it. You may prevent chromatic aberration and visual deterioration with this method.

Instead, take advantage of the factors that cause flare if you want to explore ghost photography. That’s all for now! If you have any doubt regarding the topic then feel free to comment below. Bookmark the site for more interesting articles. Thanks!

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