Photographic processing techniques for producing high efficiency, low noise phase holograms on silver halide emulsions have been investigated. Control of the emulsion and maintenance of the integrity of the holographic record throughout all processing were identified as prime requisites for high quality holographic reconstructions. Holograms have been obtained which yield approximately 30% diffraction efficiency and signal to scattered noise (S/N) in excess of 50: 1 in the reconstruction of a diffuse wavefront. Holographic interferometry and ghost imaging with diffuse subjects has also been achieved with these techniques. © 1970, Optical Society of America.