Ghosting on Halloween

I would first like to state that this project is best suited for those who can sit still for a long exposure. Let me share some of my more successful attempts at this strategy before going into the tutorial.

This image of the water spirit was my first attempt at "Ghosting" back in 2011. It took a couple tries, but luckily my parents were good sports.

 On Valentine's Day this year, I drove down to Tombstone for an assignment and met some very agreeable patrons who willingly posed at the Birdcage Theater and Doc Holliday's Saloon.

I needed one more so I called a friend and put her in a costume that my brother altered for a previous event and took her out to the desert to pose as a frontier woman. 

Just this morning I got the great idea to attempt "Ghosting" my kids in their costumes out on the road. 
The technique is not too hard. Like I said though, it takes a model who can hold a pose for a few seconds.

What you need:
SLR or DSLR Camera  set to manual mode
1-2 constant light sources
1 strobe
dark or dim lit location

Here is the diagram I made using an online Diagram Creator

These are suggested camera settings. Feel free to bracket them as you see fit. The lights can be moved around as well. This is just how I set them up this evening. 

I set the shutter speed to 30 seconds with the aperture at f/8 and ISO100.
With the shutter being open that long, it is imperative to have a tripod so your background stays sharp. 
The constant lights will be on the whole time aiding in the exposure of the image. 

Now here is the trick for the treat.

Have your model pose at the desired distance from the camera. Press the shutter release button on your camera. If you have your strobe synced to your camera, that works great; if not, fire your manual strobe quickly after pressing the shutter release. 
Count to 3
Have your model hastily move out of the frame until the shutter closes. 
This will take a few tries, but in the end, it is a fun effect. 

I would love to see the images you create with the "Ghosting" effect!
I hope you all had a safe and fun Halloween.

Color Correction Tutorial - PS

I finally found a moment to edit an image for a tutorial for all of you. I chose shot from my very first wedding. At that time I was still shooting Auto/JPEG and didn't have Lightroom or Photoshop to edit. Basically, I was as amateur as you could get. This tutorial is for very basic color correction in Photoshop without the use of Auto Color or Auto Tone.

As you can see, there is a blue color cast from the shadow of the building. 
Let's take care of that with Curves!

Select the Adjustments icon and click Curves. The easiest way to take care of the white balance is by using the eyedropper tool and picking a black, grey or white part of the image. Since both are wearing white, I chose the white eyedropper and picked the lightest white in the image. I believe I chose a spot on the groom's collar. I highly suggest visiting Digital Photography School - Practical White Balance

Well, gosh, there is still that blue color cast on the bride's dress, so let's choose the selective color adjustment layer and lighten the blue and cyan. That's better!

Time to merge those layers!

I personally like to add a curves layer and then blend it as an overlay at 20 percent opacity, but that's just me. 
Hmm, their skin looks a bit flushed, lets's take care of that.

This is why you don't use an action on every image, because they usually need to be treated individually. I just made a few adjustments in the Red selective color adjustment layer. 

Their skin looks a lot better now. Let's put some pink back in the bride's lips.
Select the mask (the white part) and pick out a small paintbrush and paint her lips with the black paintbrush. This will put the red back. 

We are going to stop here. Stay tuned for teeth whitening and eye brightening in a later tutorial. If you liked this tut, leave a comment. Thanks!