Sunday, October 21, 2012

Flash in the Night - Fright!

As part of my participation in the Ellenburg Photography Project 52 ( ) we had an assignment for the week on the theme "SPOOKY". There is a dead tree down the street from me that I always think about photographing every time I drive past it. This was my chance for an excuse to stop and do just that.  I waited for the sun to set and head out. It was almost getting too dark to shoot the  tree against a darkening purple sky.

Here is my light, going, going, gone....

I almost never use a flash and I had to resort to using the flash, which in the end turned out just fine. There were many moths and bugs flying around and getting in the shot and round specks of light or "spooky spirit halos". Sure, that's what I will call them. I ended up using this shot:

Can you see the bug halos? No, my lens is not dirty! This shot was ok, but I wanted it to be spookier. I had taken some photos in a local graveyard last week, so I dug out this one to merge the two together after resizing it to the correct proportion for the tree:

Using the stamp tool in PaintShop Pro, I copied the headstone to an area under the tree and it ended up like so:

I know this was not the greatest copy or cut and paste job but I knew that I was going to heavily texturize it, so it did not matter much. The texture I chose was called "Rebirth (cool)" by Joel Olive and I got it as a free download from his website. Here is his website  You can join the Texture Club for $10 a month to get many textures, or sample some of his downloads to try out. Here is the texture I used:

I added the texture as it's own layer and changed the opacity to about 50% or so. It ended up looking like this:

I merged the two layers and played with the contrast and brightness until I got an effect that I wanted. I ended up dropping the brightness by -25% or so and uppinng the contrast by about 35% or so. This is what I ended up with after slapping on my copyright stamp:

Oh so spooky with that glowing headstone. Seems like a moth halo got in the photo as well! Even Spookier!
And now I must tell a joke that my Dad always says when we pass a grave yard. "Do you know why they put a fence around a graveyard? Because people are dying to get in!"

Oldie but goody for Halloween. Have fun playing with the flash in the dark! Happy Halloween! Until next time...