How To Photograph Haunted Objects

What I love about photography is you are only limited by your creativity with an endless supply of photographic possibilities.
I am a big fan of props in photography, I can take a prop and let my imagination run riot with ideas I want to put in front of my camera, I always try to be original where possible which inst easy in a hobby that has literally millions or probably billions of pictures taken daily.
Anyway we started to redecorate our bedroom which involved throwing away our old bedroom furniture, well with me being involved in the process I didn't throw it all away instantly because I had my photographic head on, analysing everything that I could to include into a photo.
Normally props are quite small but on this occasion I went big, I just had to do something with our chest of drawers and yes it had to be spooky and scary so we took it to our local park with a creative idea in mind.


Just getting the chest of drawers to the park was a feat as there was three of us in our small family car but I managed to squeeze everything in including my camera gear.
This picture was taken around midday in the middle of August so I was worried about how to light everything due to how bright it was and I needed a dark eerie dramatic shot.
As I took the picture in a forest area the tree coverage blocked out most of the light which was another problem solved.
I had 3 choices of lighting
  1. Natural Light / Exposing for the background then exposing for the chest of drawers and combining them in Photoshop, great for photographers with no alternative lighting.
  2. Continuous Lighting / Use a light source such as an LED panel so you expose for the background then setting the correct light exposure with the LED panel so everything is lit for one exposure.
  3. Off Camera Flash / This was my choice for this occasion as the lighting was fine for me to be within my cameras sync speed, I was worried it was going to be so bright that I would have had to use a super high shutter speed or a very small aperture making my flashgun useless, I was ok to use my flashgun on this occasion which also gives a nice crisp light which in turn gives a nice sharp image.
Once everything is setup and in position make sure you take a base image with nothing in the shot apart from the chest of drawers, this will be the main image used when you add the hands.
To create the effect of the hands coming out of the drawers all I had to do was take the bottoms out of the drawers, (this was all done at home beforehand) then I could place my hand through the drawers from underneath, take loads of pictures like this then you combine the ones you want using layers in Photoshop.


Check my video at the bottom to see how to do everything and also how to combine the final images in Photoshop.

In reality this was a very simple shot to do, the hardest parts was setting everything up (getting chest of drawers from the car into forest and back into car) and the embarrassment of taking the shots in a local park with kids, families and dog walkers passing by having a justified nosey look lol.
Not the sort of thing you normally see in the park in the middle of August :-)

One piece of advice I will give is to take your time, due to nerves and embarrassment I rushed a bit getting into a bit of state with little things going wrong, like my microphone coming out of my Tascam dr-05 audio recorder (luckily I doubled up and was recording audio on camera with my Rode Videomic Pro R) otherwise the whole video would have been ruined, the chest of drawers kept falling apart lol which stressed me and I forgot my gaffa tape, I was not well for three weeks so the chest of drawers was left in the garden in all weathers so got weaker and weaker, plus it was cheap crap, we upgraded to Ikea this time, much much better, not sure if our Ikea one would have the same spooky effect as the cheap ones though, so kudos to the cheap crap on this occasion.



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