Spectral and Paranormal Trick Photography

This is a collection of my paranormal images I’ve CREATED over the years. No they’re not real ghosts. Oh yeah! Orbs are donkey balls! Holy crap people, let go of your orbs. They aren’t ghosts!!! They’re reflections caused by the burst of light your flash creates. *shakes head* Oh! And EMF doesn’t attract ghosts, it explains why your brain thought you saw a ghost. If you’re getting an EMF reading, that means whatever you see, isn’t real! People who tell you that using a Vandegraf Generator will attract ghosts are . . . well, they’re wrong. All that’s going to do is give you a headache, and make you see things that aren’t there, just like LSD would. Would you take LSD so you could see a ghost?! Don’t be a sucker. Don’t believe any photo or video you see. I’ve fooled the best of paranormal investigators with my trick photography and photoshoping. Only sceptics will find real ghosts, because believers will believe ANYTHING. Sceptics will rulle out everything, so that the only explanation for what they saw, is the real thing.

Some of you may recognize some of the images in this slideshow as being from Resurrection Cemetery, which as you know, is famous for Resurrection Mary. All of those images were created with trick photography, NOT with photoshop. There’s zero photoshoping in those images. Those images could have been created with a 30 year old camera, and ISO 800 film.


Photoshop Tutorial DVD

Many have seen my photoshop handiwork on my website, of my renaissance faire images from the summer of 2010.  Well, some of the skills used to create those images, are found on tutorial DVD’s from Michael Barton of Indigo Photographic.  I own his entire Barton Booty collection of Photoshop tutorials, actions, and textures.  Michael has updated his website, so that you can now purchase this collection directly.  I highly recommend this collection to anyone wants to expand their Photoshop knowledge.  Below is a description of the collection taken from Michael’s website, as well as the link to the website where you can purchase it. 

1 Image DVD with high-res images needed to complete assignments

1 Tutorial DVD compatible with standard DVD players

10 assignments in all including:

Black and White Conversions, Black and White Toning, Blemish Retouching, Object Removal, Eye Retouching, Soft Focus, Vignetting, Texture Overlays, Black and White Layering, and Montage Creation.

Over 1 hour of running time, teaching you 10 essential techniques that will make you more effective and more efficient in Photoshop.






My Last Day at Calumet Photographic

Yesterday was my last day at Calumet Photographic in Oakbrook.  Although I’m happy to leave, I’m also sad to leave the team of people I worked with.  I worked there for 2.5 years, and learned an insane amount of knowledge in my tenure.  My photography would not be where it is today, without that experience, and without the open sharing of knowledge by the Oakbrook team. 

My studio skills were improved by Roy Fleith and Steve DePaul, my Photoshop skills were cultivated by Jon Shaver and Michael Barton (not an employee, but a trainer who is in the store frequently), my speedlight knowledge was advanced by Barrett McGiveny, my minescule knowledge of video was increased by Ross Zuchowski, and the rest of the staff helped every day with tips, tricks, advice and so much more. 

One thing I liked about working there was teaching customers how to improve their photography.  One thing I hated about working there, was teaching customers how to improve their photography.  Often, I’d have to teach idiots how to improve their photography, so they could take business they had no business getting.  (“I’m doing a wedding tomorrow and I’ve never done one before.  Can you teach me how?” or “I bought this camera yesterday and I have a gig to do 50 headshots today.  I’ve never done that, can you teach me how?”)  About 80% of my work day, was spent teaching, over the counter, which I both enjoyed and hated.  I’ve taught countless people basic focusing skills, basic studio techniques, the fundamentals of aperature/iso/shutter speed/white balance.  You have no idea how many people own cameras that cost thousands of dollars, and have no idea how to use them.  Just because someone is holding an expensive camera, doesn’t mean they’re a professional.  P-MODE DOES NOT STAND FOR PROFESSIONAL PEOPLE!  Ok, I guess I ranted enough there.

So anyway, a benefit of working there was being surrounded by photography every day.  All aspects of it too.  Meeting photographers from all areas of the industry was really cool.  Talking to nature, wildlife, wedding, portrait, event, photojournalism, and every other aspect, was pretty neat to do.  I’ve met National Geographic photographers, Pulitzer Prize winning photographers, Master photographers, and so much more. 

Oh!  I also wanted to give a shout out to the manufacturer reps who helped train us, and who have supported me and encouraged me over the last couple of years.  Alan Gelman (Uncle Al), Mike Romeo, Dennis Nervig, and Steve Ostrander.  All of which were in the store frequently, and have always complemented my work, and encouraged me to advance my photography.  Thanks guys!

If you’re looking to make a photography purchase, no matter what type of equipment it is, buy it from the guys at Calumet Oakbrook.  You won’t find a better team of photography PROFESSIONALS anywhere.  The entire sales team are professional photographers.  Each has their specialty, but if you have a question about photography, someone in the store can answer it. 




Texture & Treasure Hunt

Today I went on a texture hunt.  Now, you might wonder what that means?  It means that I went out with my camera, taking pictures of boring things no one would ever take pictures of, . . . . . unless . . . . . you’re an avid Photoshop artist.  Textures are used to make pictures look more interesting.  Textures can be pictures of brick, stucco, gravel, bushes, wood chips, etc.  When used properly in Photoshop, they enhance the appearance of an image.  Like the one below:


So while I was out on my texture hunt, I walked past an antique shop. I walked past lots of shops today, but the antique shop called to me. Guess what I found in that shop? Antique Nikkor prime lenses! What a treasure to stumble upon! I can’t afford them right now, but they are affordable, and they’ll work on my camera. I just hope they don’t get sold before I can buy them. There was a 58mm micro, and a 105mm micro, as well as some wide angle primes which would be perfect for fall foliage this year.


The word is getting out there . . .

I’ve been getting quite a few friend requests from people on Facebook, who specifically ask to be on my list, so they can see photos they’ve been told about by friends.  It’s nice to know that people are so interested in seeing my photography, that they go looking for me.

Venom the Crone<br>www.nightowlphotography.comOne of those friend requests was from a gentleman who teaches Photoshop and Digital Storytelling at Marquette University in Milwaukee.  That was pretty cool.  I asked him to check out my Medieval Character Study gallery and tell me what he thought of my summer project in Photoshop, and he said he was pretty impressed, especially with “Venom the Crone”.  A pretty cool thing to hear from a university instructor.  Another friend asked me to do some Photoshop work on a special photo for her family, that she’ll use on a memorial DVD she’s creating for a passed loved one. 

I’ve already looked into becoming certified in Photoshop, and the weird thing is that when I looked at an example cert test, the questions I didn’t know the answers to were mundane questions about pallettes, and brushes, and keyboard shortcuts.  I could answer the advanced questions, but not the easy ones!  I think I might still do this soon though.  That would be a certification that might actually help me a get a cool job years down the road.  In the mean time though, I have a BIG Photoshop project brewing in my head.  One that might take me months to complete.  More on that later. 

Oh, and the other day in my website stats I got the weirdest hit on my website.  Someone Google’d “richard nagle princess leia”.  Sometimes my Google stats amuse me.  🙂

Bristol Renaissance Faire Photos – Medieval Photo Alchemy

Over the summer, I’ve been attending Bristol Renaissance Faire, and working on a new gallery on my website that I call Medieval Photo Alchemy.  I call it this, because in trade rags, when you over photoshop an image into a different type of art, they call it “photo alchemy”. Some of the images in this gallery are from last year at Bristol, but most of them are from the 2010 season.  This is a gallery of images that I have photoshoped into more than just a photograph.  I’ve spent hundreds of hours studying new photoshop techniques over the summer, and I think I’ve developed a style of my own from all the practice.  It all started by trying to mimc the “Dave Hill” effect.  Still haven’t figured that one out, but along the way, I’ve been able to accomplish some pretty cool techniques.  I’ve also learned some techniques from Calvin Hollywood, and from a local photographer who I respect a great deal, Michael Barton.

Rival Suitorswww.nightowlphotography.com

So I think the hundreds of hours of watching YouTube videos, reading blogs, browsing forums, and following instructional websites, may have paid off? I guess not having a social life can pay off in some ways?! 🙂 If you’d like to see the full gallery, just click on one of the images above to go there. I hope you enjoy them.