Halloween Week Ghost Stories: Shadows in the Dark

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Have you ever seen shadows moving? I have. It was many years ago when I worked in law enforcement. While on patrol at night I would see the shape of a person standing on the side of the road. As the headlights of the car would hit the figure it would begin to run. When I turned on the spotlight there would be no one there. At first I thought I was seeing things until other officers in the department started reporting seeing the same thing.

A quick search on the web will pull up stories of shadow people moving through the corners of people’s peripheral vision. There are various speculations as to what the shadow forms are from ghost to alternate dimensional creatures. Having experienced seeing these shadows myself when Joshua contacted me with his story I had an understanding of what he might have seen;

It was about about half an hour before midnight we had recently moved to a new home in a field surrounded by trees. I had gone outside to have a cigarette and while looking around I notice something in the dark. There was no light except moonlight but I could see that there was an area that was darker than the areas around it. As I am standing there smoking I realize that the shape is moving towards me. When it gets about twenty feet from me I start to get a little freaked out so I move towards the door. I looked back and the shape had almost reached the steps. As it got close the shadow begin to morph into a body and started crawling up the steps. I ran inside and shut the door but ever since it feels like it is still with me.
How I Created This Shot
I wanted to create the feeling that Joshua was looking out a window at night with some type of porch lamp shining through. It was the middle of the day so that meant I had to overcome ambient light coming through the window, to aid in this I partially closed the blinds and set my shutter speed up to 1/200th of a second and brought my ISO down to 200. I also closed down the lens to an f8. This gave me a three stop underexposure in the room which was enough to turn the room black.
With the ambient light under control I placed a strobe outside the window with a full CTO gel on it. Inside the room, slightly behind Joshua and to camera right I placed a second strobe with a blue gel. I took several frames experimenting with strobe intensity and the orientation of the frame. In the end I decided to go a little under exposed on the blue gelled strobe to make its effect on the picture a little more subtle.
Be sure to come back tomorrow for a story of a haunted house.
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