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Ghosting effect with dslr

Maddie Jones , Jun 27, 2010; 08:59 p.m.

I have a canon digital rebel xs & I'm really trying to learn new tricks with shutter & all.

I know that a slow shutter allows you to paint with light, but I'm not sure if the way I'm using my camera & slow shutter is the right way to make ghost-like pictures..

Thank you so much if you have the answers(:

Large photo attachment:
(ghostly? -- 720 x 506 photo)


Lex Jenkins , Jun 27, 2010; 10:01 p.m.

What technique did you use to take the sample photo you posted?

Are you wanting to know about motion blur ghosting or how to create odd flare spots (ghosting flare)? There are lots of tricks.

For motion blur:

  • Panning with a slow shutter speed.
  • Combining slow sync flash with motion blur (front and rear sync provide different effects).
  • Moving the camera opposite subject movement. Try twisting the camera like a steering wheel during a long exposure.

For odd artifacts:

  • Use a lens prone to ghosting or flare. Some older wide angle primes and midrange zooms were very prone to flaring.
  • Add one or more filters - UV/skylight protective filters, etc. - and shoot into the light.
  • At night, kick up some dust outside (or in a darkened room with a carpet). Use a P&S camera with the flash in close proximity to the lens. It'll create those white blobs that many folks mistake for "orb spirits".

If you only have a good quality lens and don't want to spend more money on experimental stuff like "bad" lenses or filters, try freelensing. (Google it - easier to demonstrate than explain.) Basically, take the lens off the body and hold it just a fraction of an inch in front of the lens mount. Wiggle it around until you get the desired effect of in focus/out of focus look. Outdoors or in bright indoor lighting it'll also flare like crazy along the edges. Fun technique. Be careful, tho', it takes some coordination. At first you might want to mount the camera body on a tripod so you only have to handhold the lens. And be careful to avoid scratching the rear element of the lens or the mirror inside the SLR.

Nathan Gardner , Jun 28, 2010; 12:41 a.m.

for a "ghosting" effect, you should use a long shutter with a flash. Use a shutter of a few seconds and take a photo with the flash. After the flash fires have the subject get out of the frame quickly so the remaining shutter can expose the background through the subject. Also use a tripod because its impossible to hand hold a long exposure and keep it still.

Andrew Gilchrist , Jun 28, 2010; 10:19 a.m.

Maddie, is this your image? Are you asking how to change it? Or is this another photographer's image and you're asking how to do it?

Cory Ammerman , Jun 28, 2010; 11:40 p.m.

That image looks more like a double exposure to me.

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