What would a haunt be without some haunting?  This was another idea I had while shooting the Acres of Darkness event.  I know I’m not going to have people begging to buy prints, but the entertainment value of creating “ghosts” in images is priceless.

For the second time in one night, photography served not as an art form but as a game.  I’m beginning to think I’ve found my niche–I may not be an artist, but I’m pretty entertaining.  😀

I managed to recruit the subjects to play “ghost.”  This required no acting.  It simply required standing still and moving on command.  By having the subject pause periodically and then move a few steps slowly and then pause again, we created a see-through ring of a ghost image of the subject.

People are amazed by this effect.  In fact, I am amazed by this effect.  No matter how many times I do this, I am still amused.

I learned a few things from this little experiment (OK, so maybe this should be obvious):

  1. People wearing light colors show up a lot better in a really dark image than people wearing dark colors.
  2. This effect only works well if there is enough ambient light to create a clear outline of the subject.
  3. To create a single image of a ghost-person, have them stand still in the frame for about 1/3 of the total shutter time and then walk out of the frame really fast.
  4. To create a trail of ghost images, they need to take two steps forward slowly, pause for about a 3-count (with a 30-second shutter speed), and repeat until the shutter closes.

The last image was an accident.  But, it seemed fitting with the theme, so I kept it.  It might just be a technique I want to try again someday. 🙂   I took a shot of the 3 kids using my flash, but I’d forgotten to change the settings on my camera from when I was shooting the previous images with a 30 second shutter speed.

So, my flash went off, creating a solid and clear image of the kids, but then my shutter was still open and I was waving my camera all over the place while I was talking to the kids, explaining that I needed to retake the shot but I had to wait for 30 seconds (this seems to be a difficult concept).  While I was waving my camera around, it picked up on the different things I pointed it at just enough to create the “fog” over the image.  I am not sure what the bright light at the top is, quite honestly.  Might not be able to recreate that part.  The next time I want to add fog to a scene, I might just give this a try!

Today’s life lesson from photography:  sometimes doing something just for the fun of doing it is more satisfying than worrying about the end results.