Gazing Directly Into Being Absent (Mark’s Castle)

Gazing Directly Into Being Absent (Mark's Castle) -- by Joe Reifer

Gazing Directly Into Being Absent (Mark’s Castle) — by Joe Reifer

The last in a series of 4 night images from a February full moon shoot at the Albany Bulb.

5 thoughts on “Gazing Directly Into Being Absent (Mark’s Castle)”

  1. Weird, creepy, and surreal. Looks like some sort of ancient Aztec or Mayan sacrifice alter. The contrast between that look and the modern city across the way is interesting (suggesting that perhaps although ancient history is mostly forgotten, it beacons at us to remember).

    I wonder what it would look like if you just fluttered/flapped/swayed a white sheet held up high? I.e. try to make a vapor-like white area instead of a sheet-draped-over-a-person form? Or were you going for this look?

  2. Weird, creepy, and surreal is the intention – so many thanks! That’s San Francisco across the water, with the Bay Bridge on the left. The person-form aesthetic is intentional – this was the best of 3 variations of this particular setup. I’ve been doing the ghost photos on and off since a trip to Death Valley and Rhyolite in 2005. The inspiration was a combination of looking at 19th century photographs with lots of subject movement, and the Peanuts cartoon, “It’s the great pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”

    There’s a great holding up a sheet image on Steve Harper’s website in the Sutro Baths Ruins gallery. I didn’t see this image until I was well into my ghost project, but it was great to know that I was following in the footsteps of one of modern night photography’s most influential teachers.

  3. That Steve Harper photo is easily one of my favorites. It’s magical if you take it at face value, and inspiring if you are familiar with the process.
    Did you light the ghost with a flashlight?

  4. I feel that way about many of Steve’s photos (magical, inspiring). The ghost was lit with a flashlight for 30 seconds or so, and remained in the frame for about half of the exposure.

  5. Hi, Joe:

    Thank you for all the very nice things you keep saying about me. It is indeed an honor coming from such a talented, creative Night Photographer. You and I seem to have a kindred spirit while standing alone out there in the dark. We see the surreality of it all and are keen on how long exposures at night transform reality.

    Thank you, David, for your very insightful comment about that actually very simple image that turned magical – me standing there in a fierce wind and heavy ground fog at the edge of the Pacific holding my dog’s queen-size blanket over my head until I couldn’t keep my arms u anymore!

    Thank you, Tim Baskerville, ( for turning me on to these comments.

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