Sincere: The Great Pumpkin

Sidewalk ghosts -- by Joe Reifer

Sidewalk ghosts — by Joe Reifer

Last night was the 40th anniversary of the animated Peanuts show It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! Last year as I was preparing for a photography trip to Death Valley, I watched the show and it inspired the ghost series that I worked on almost every full moon for the previous year. It was fun to watch it again last night.

I featured 5 ghost images at open studios, and it was interesting to hear the reactions. Little kids made the Halloween connection and enjoyed the images. The adult response was mixed. The most popular question was “how did you do that?” I had a copy of the Great Pumpkin book that spelled it out quite clearly, but there was still some head scratching. Many people wanted to confirm that this wasn’t a Photoshop trick, at which point they were assured that everything was done during the exposure. There’s a little more information about the technique and inspiration on the about section of my main website.

While the framed images did get a lot of interest, nothing really sold except the “ghostcard” sets. These are 5×7″ postcard sets of the 5 ghost images from the show, each with a short explanation of the image on the reverse side. There are only a few sets left — it’s $20 for the set, and shipping is free.