Architecture, Mallee, Photography, Portraits, Reworks

ReWorking Ghosts

You have heard me say this before, I had planned on doing something different, but got distracted by another image.  When I planned what I was going to rework today, this image did not come to mind.

Ghostly Klara - OriginalI took this image 18 months ago.  I used my neutral density filter to give me a longer exposure so Klara would look like a ghost.  The neutral density filter I had was crap and turned everything pink.  I have learned so much since this image that I am more confident about getting rid of the pink.

Ghostly Klara - ReworkedToday I spent a lot more time on it.  I tried to get rid of the pink tinge, and I think that worked.  You, hopefully, will notice that the image has been cropped.  I think that works much better and maybe I could have done it more.  I didn’t try too hard to get rid of the white outside, but I am not too fussed with it.

I did some blurring with it and changed the lighting inside the shed to try and highlight Klara standing next to the window.  I attempted to bring out the detail without it being too dominant in the image.  I much prefer the rework.

Ghostly Klara - Color Efex 1Because I can, I played with the image in Color Efex.  I think the above image was done with the preset Paper Toner.  I like the effect.  I had done one with her in color and the rest in this tone.

Ghostly Klara - Color Efex combineYou can decide what you think.  I haven’t quite made up my mind yet.

Ghostly Klara - Color Efex 2I can’t remember what I used with this.  It was with Color Efex again.  I don’t mind this at all.  It is soft and the colours are really nice.  Though, not a lot of difference to the reworked image.

I do think this is a much better rework than the original.  I am sure I put this image on the blog about 18 months ago, but I can’t find it anywhere.  Maybe I just thought I had.

Every time I go up I mean to do it again, but then stuff happens and I don’t, but I will do it again.  So much fun.  It is nice to do images sometimes that are just for fun.


  1. the sepia toned image really pops her presence in an ethereal ghostly way, but also highlights the tones and textures of the barn. all are great, but that one resonates the most for me i think because while the color is taken out it actually still seems (if you didn’t have the context of the other images) to be the true color of the scene, rather than a filter. love them all though.

  2. Hanno Phenn says

    I know this feeling.I had it Yesterday when I found a old Analog Set of Pictures in my desk.I nearly had forgotten about it I will try to scan them and work on them again I think it is worth to give it a go.

  3. I think it’s a pretty great shot. Share any on the exposure? I’m thinking perhaps the black and white image would work best for ghost type shot with subject wearing white…perhaps a solid white long dress might add a interesting touch. Anyway, looks like a lot of fun.

  4. I like the black and white version best. I also love revisiting old images to see how I can apply new techniques and technology :)

  5. Beautifully constructed image. While it wasn’t something you’d planned, it works really well! :)

  6. The gift of a great photographer is the ability to showcase the multifaceted nature of humanity in regard to the individual and over all being; which is not mutually exclusive to ugliness or beauty… but rather, finds itself in the juxtaposition of human relation from all angles of perception and expression. Great art in all forms, finds function; focus, and freedom in the brilliance of totality. Despite the fact totality may find itself in some conflict. There is beauty in the peace and stillness, just as there is a beauty in the confusion and chaos. The moment may be raw, uncultured, perhaps even crass… but the moment has many perceptions, and the moment, despite our focus, never stands alone. You capture this, without a doubt.

    • Oh no, now I am afraid of Klara. I hope she uses her new powers for Good.
      In Australia :)

      This is really so great, Leanne. I vote for photos four and five. Three is a good idea, but it is a bit sly, unwilling to fully claim the ghost. So I think the viewer will not want to be drawn in, and suddenly feel that the job is partly his. He wants the ghost to be a decision that the artist has made, and is standing by. That’s why I love Four and Five! The color seems to be your committment to the ghost. It is color that connects the ghost to life – she cannot, by definition, be defined by the woodwork – but it also refuses to bring her back to life – because you contained the color with a sparing perfection.
      I have no ideas of my own about ghosts, but I give thought to how ghosts are presented, simply because such a huge amount of human energy has devoted itself to them. Your beautiful representation is a lovely contribution to that most ancient of conversations.
      My vocabularly feels stunted today, so I will just repeat:
      It is very beautiful. Thank-you, thank-you!

      • I don’t think your vocabulary feel stunted, it is fantastic. I wish I could describe things the way you do, I am very envious. Klara is going to love what you said about her, she likes the idea of people being scared of her. Thanks Claire.

  7. Love the full paper toned one, but also the one in paper tone but her in pink, that works very well too! Great image!

  8. Who would have thought that even YOU could capture a picture of a ghost , but there she is! Wow! I’m impressed, and a little frightened!

    • You do know it isn’t real? I think it was an exposure of about 30 seconds and she left the scene after 10.

      • Leanne! Are you telling me that there are NO ghosts???? Whew! (That’s a pretty cool trick, though!) I just found out what makes my longer exposure pictures so blurry. Vince watched me take them, and move after I shot the picture. Now if I could just find a good use for blurry long exposure pictures! :)

      • haha, it is a fun trick.
        Well if you figure out something to do with them, then make sure you take out a patent, you will make a fortune, we all have them. :)

      • My comment disappeared. Did you get it? OH, don’t try to tell me there are no ghosts, Leanne! Your little friend just took my comment! And it was a good one! I have the same problem with comments as I do with long exposures – I move away too quickly! :)

  9. amusingdays says

    The 1st picture i think the great. It almost real that there’s a ‘ghost’ standing.

  10. One of the hardest things about being a photographer is having to make choices about how to edit and what final cut to use. For me, I like to only show one version of a photo for this blog. Personally, the last two shots here are the most impressive to me, but they all have equal merit. I am fascinated by the paranormal and think you did a great job here…..

  11. Wow …. take about effect!!!!! Ghost or not … I think the second last is the best. Personal I’m not keen with the photos has a red tone. Black & white you know where I stand. Great job you done here.

  12. Great work! I like the third photo from the bottom. It looks like sepia to me but I am color blind. She certainly looks ghostly. :)

  13. The selective color photo is my favorite. It’s a great photo to start with and one that can look great with many different processing approaches.
    You bring attention to two of the most critical elements in photography; color balance and cropping. While it’s great to get the perfect crop in camera, it seldom happens for me, especially when I get the chance to play around with it after the shot’s been taken. Even a slight adjustment can make a big difference and sometimes there is another photo hidden in the frame, waiting for you to find it.

  14. GREAT PICTURE! I love your blog and how you detail all the different edits you make… I love hearing other photog’s lines of thought :) I love them all, but particularly the B+W… it’s so eerie!

  15. Loved the first image. Appreciate the work in subsequent images. Spent thirty year wool classing and first image reminds me of ‘home’. Ajax wool press is lost, along with skylight cobwebs is reworked images. I even had a close look to see what type of wool was produced only to realise it was your web site!

    • I thought in the original there was too much other stuff going on that was too distracting. I was thinking of Klara, or her image. It is unfortunate, but I have many other photos of the shearing shed. They have a unique smell, don’t you think?

  16. Leanne,This is a great post! And especially this subject. If all goes well, I will be using this way of image making myself in my upcoming big travel starting next week. It just made me smile you posted these great images!

    Kind regards

  17. I really like the sepia shot, she appears to be more ghostly and part of the photo as if really a ghost

  18. I like the idea and the 2 last editings. But I like the location as well. I guess, you can do much more at that location.

    • That’s true the location is great, just a shame it is so far away. I really want to do some more, but getting my daughter up there is hard, and the shed is getting harder to get into as it deteriorates.

      • Of course, safety is a concern, but the idea of the ‘ghost’ still looking out from there even as the shed deteriorates around her is interesting. Does she fade more as time passes? My favorite in the set is the low saturation brown monocolor. I like that one because she is obvious once seen, but not immediately in my eye. I look first at the bright but distant door, then catch on her as my eyes come back down that left side.

  19. I love it! In the original photo I didn’t realize there was a person in it right away….
    my favorite edit is the second to last.

    Nice job! :0)

  20. I love the monochrome version of the photo, Leanne. It has an almost eerie feel to it.

  21. As I was reading and reviewing changes, my thought was “what fun” have great tools and know how to use them. I will say in the cropping I miss the “cage” like structure on left. Symbol of entrapment to me. I like when there is a hint more lighting on the wall & pile on right. Love the door.

  22. Leanne, I love these, but my favorite is the sepia toned with your subject in color. I know that this type of color tech has been overused a lot, but I feel that it actaully makes your subject appear in the image. When all the tones are the same, she gets lost, is almost overlooked. Just my opinion. Great job

  23. Nicolai says

    I like it how one can slightly improve a photo to bring out a LOT more emotion from it. My favorite is the one in the paper tone color with her in color, it suits the place. Nice!

  24. This is great. The reworked version is amazing. I like the ‘paper toned’ version but the final image is my favourite.

  25. may i suggest toning down the colors just a little bit above black and white/sephia and leaving the person in vivid color just as you did in the selective color B&W

  26. I really love the last two. I love the mix of sepia tone and color and I like the sort of other worldly, dreamy affect on the image. Nice!

  27. I think the cropping works fantastically, great rework of an image. Love the one with only sepia colouring personally I feel the image lends itself to more sepia tones. Fab as always Leanne

  28. Wow, I love the B&W rework – really delicate and beautiful. The colour/ B&W runs a close second though!

  29. Stunning image to begin with, Leanne! For me, it’s the ‘toned’, followed by the ‘toned and color’. You did an amazing job of getting the pink out–but I don’t understand why an ND filter would do that in the first place!

    • It was a cheap, cheap one. I realised afterwards and so when I went looking for one that didn’t do it, I looked for quality over price. The one I have now is great.

    • It is fun Nia, if you have a camera that can do long exposures that you can control, then you can do this too.

  30. I absolutely love the third image. Funnily enough, this is exactly the same thing I was planning on doing myself, mainly because the block of appartments I live in has a reputation for being haunted and I’ve seen one or two things myself that I struggle to explain – so thought it’d be good fun to try to recreate it. Do you mind me asking, how long did your subject stay in that position and how quickly did it take for her to get out of the shot without it leaving a trace on the photo?

    As ever – loving your work, ma’am.

    • The exposure was around 30 seconds and she stood there for 10 seconds then walked out. It took her a while to leave, but she wasn’t picked up. If you knew how long the exposure needed to be, you could use the bulb setting, then after 10 seconds or whatever put the lens cap over to darken it and then open it up again after the person has left. You would have to be careful that you didn’t bump the camera though. Have fun.

      • Thanks, Leanne – I’m definitely having a go at that, mainly so, if the results are good, I can stick them on our local noticeboard and see how many people bite at it…! Have a good one.

    • Thanks Keli, it is pretty cool and so much fun, we have a set we want to do, but haven’t got around to it yet. Next time we will try. :)

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