Night Photography: Greased Lightning (Haunted)

Greased Lightning (Haunted) -- by Joe Reifer

Greased Lightning (Haunted) — by Joe Reifer

A 1955 Ford panel truck photographed during the Big M Night Photography Workshop. Three consecutive exposures were made at 3 minutes, f/8, ISO 200. During each exposure I tried different angles and intensities of light painting. The best version was used for the foreground, and all 3 exposures were used for the sky to achieve 9 minute long star trails. The key to exposure stacking is to have the shortest interval possible between shots. Any longer than 1 second and you’ll see gaps in the star trails. Stacking exposures was accomplished by bringing the 3 shots into one layered file in Photoshop, and setting the blending mode to Lighten on the top 2 layers. Big thanks to Kathy for ghost duties! You can see a larger version, along with a few more new images from the last full moon, in the Big M Automotive gallery on my website.

3 thoughts on “Night Photography: Greased Lightning (Haunted)”

  1. A truly awesome shot, Joe. The ghost is subtle yet spine-chilling. Never heard of that particular blending mode in Photoshop. I’ll have to give it a whirl!


  2. Thanks, Jon! The Lighten mode adds anything lighter than what’s on the layers below it. If you stack 2 shots that are the same except for the star trails, Lighten mode magically adds the stars from the upper and lower layers together. Really easy as long as you keep the pause between shots as short as possible when shooting.

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