Saturday, 11 May 2013


This morning I had the photo shoot with Gabby and her boyfriend - and despite thinking that I was as prepared as I could be, I still managed to forget my shot-list at home. Sadly this meant that I only made half the shots that I intended to, but I still managed to get one that I'm fairly happy with. 

Although on occasion I'm still tossing up between this and the previous shot of my best friend in the cemetery, this is currently my final shot: 

My original idea was to have a couple, one of whom was a ghost - young lovers who were separated before their time. The girl might have died in a car crash or some similar, tragic circumstance. I pictured her, transparent and hardly there at all, reaching out to comfort him from the grave; him staring into her eyes, knowing she was there - feeling her, even if he couldn't see her.

That was this shot: 

It didn't turn out quite how I pictured it, so I didn't end up liking it all that much in the end. If I were to shoot it again, I would definitely have them further away from the bush - to render it out of focus and have it less distracting, and maybe have them standing - shoot from the waist up. Definitely make it more intimate. I don't feel that the story really came across here, and that is important to me. 

So back to my final shot. It had the same story behind it, originally - the girl was dead and the boy was mourning her loss. In this one, he definitely didn't know that she was there, watching over him while he stared into the distance. But when I look at the shot now, I see a different story. I see a murderer being haunted by one of his victims - though he doesn't quite know it yet. It's the beginning of a horror story. 

To achieve the way that she looks like an apparition, I used a double exposure. 

As you can see, there is one shot with Gabby in it and one shot without. With my previous assignment attempt, I layered the photos together and simply lowered the opacity of the one with my friend until I got the result that I wanted. But with this one, I didn't like the way the shot looked when Gabby was completely faded.

So for this shot, I layered the two photos together and then used a layer mask to erase the parts of the top photo that I didn't want - a gradient was used to give Gabby's legs their faded look.

I prefer the photo this way because I like that at first glance, people might not notice the oddity. And in horror stories, that is quite often how things go - you don't realise that the ghost is a dead person right until the end, when it's already too late.

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