Ghostly Apparitions
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Ghostly Apparitions

Ghostly Apparitions

Assignment S34

Enter the world of the photo-supernatural and shoot some ghosts! The object of this exercise is to get to grips with shooting at a slow shutter speed, blurring the main subject, but keeping the background sharply in focus. Shot with care, it could make a lovely photobook, set of postcards, or framed prints. 

Like many other street photography projects, this assignment is designed to get you looking carefully at your environment, finding suitable backgrounds, and the right subjects to place in front of them. This “background hunting” is one of the things that separates good street photographers from average ones!

For your “ghosts” assignment, look for suitably dark backgrounds and then wait for people wearing light-colored clothing to come into shot. Produce a series of four shots in color and four in black and white, and see which one you prefer. 

View the images

Technique

  • Experiment with shutter speed. Something in the region of 1 / 4 sec. to 1 /8 sec. will usually work well, although you may need to reduce the ISO to prevent overexposure. 
  • Practice handholding your camera. If you use a tripod you will find that people make a detour so they don’t “get in your way:’ 

Field Notes

  • Be patient and enjoy the moment! It’s like fishing-you can wait for half an hour and catch nothing, then all of a sudden you get something spectacular.