Thursday, August 18, 2005
Ghost on the Stairs
I call this one, "Ghost on the Stairs." Very original title, I know. But how would you like to capture this little moment in YOUR house? Yes, I took the picture, and yes, it depicts a ghost at the lower landing of the stairs where I lived as a teenager.
However, there's one important thing you should know. It's a fake.
Okay, so I got my kicks out of doing odd things as a teenager. Hey, at least trick photography was creative.
Here's how to conjure your own ghost in 11 easy steps:
#1 Dress all in white.
#2 Avoid eating spaghetti. (Note: The ethereal fabric of ghosts are treated with some kind of ectoplasmic ScotchGuard. No stains! You don't want your specter to be an embarrassment, after all.)
#3 Get a reasonably sophisticated 35mm SLR camera (We're talking film here. Black and white for best effect. I'm not sure consumer digital cameras today can do the sort of thing I'm about to describe, but who cares anyway? You can whip up a ghost on Photoshop easy enough. This was the OLD DAYS, when special effects took some ingenuity!)
#4 Confirm it's night. If you've miscalculated and it's actually morning, remove white clothing and change into something more appropriate for your itinerary. (Practicing medical professionals and dentists can skip this step. You're good to go either way.)
#5 After nighttime has been confirmed, calculate the camera aperture need to properly expose about an 8 second picture in the existing room light. Set the appropriate aperture.
#6 Set up the camera on a tripod for the shot, then turn off the lights.
#7 Open the camera lens in the total darkness ("bulb" setting).
#8 Turn on the lights for 4 seconds. Turn off the lights.
#9 Go to where you want your ghost. Throw a white shirt over your head, then have your assistant turn on the lights for 4 more seconds (you're catching on if you're thinking 4 + 4 =8 seconds--Bravo!). While the lights are on, keep moving around to blur your image. Then, turn off the lights.
#10 Close the lens again to finish the picture.
#11 Repeat the above several times, so you can pick the best picture of the bunch. This isn't an exact science, you know.
Voila! You have a misty, white, humanoid shape that you can see through. Your house is now haunted! Go impress your friends!
Posted by jason evans at 10:12 PM