Friday, June 13, 2008

It's Friday the 13th! Do you feel lucky today?

Today is Friday the 13th and as superstition has it, today is the unluckiest day of the year, or so we are led to believe. So what is it about Friday the 13th that makes for all this suspicion and lore? Of course we have the slasher movies depicting some unlucky souls having a bad day, but where did it really come from?

Well there are many stories and legends professing the truth about the origins that would require some extensive research, so the answers wont come from me. What few things I did find was that it originates from ancient times. And a British study was done in 1993 found that said there was a dramatic increase in car accidents on Friday the 13th over 'normal' Fridays.

Dr. Donald Dossey, a Psychotherapist says that an estimated 21 million Americans may suffer from the Friday the 13th phobia. They wont go out and eat at restaurants, drive their cars, or even get married on that day.

It gets more interesting, keep reading:

But wait, there is more. Some cities do not have a 13th street, the one supposedly between 12th and 14th. (No wonder I could never find that place.) If you have 13 letters in your name you may be evil. (Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Theodore Bundy). Some buildings do not have the 13th floor.

It is said that the ancient Egyptians viewed life as a spiritual ascension that went in 12 stages in life and a 13th stage was beyond that and considered the afterlife. This means the number 13 symbolized death! Aaahhh..............

I needed more, so I used my Lightroom search feature to scan my photo files for a image taken on the 13th day of any month and then determined if it was a Friday. I found this image as appropriate for the day.

It is from Bannack, Montana where I was shooting the cool historic buildings. I had entered this old house and crept slowly among the creaking floors looking for good photo ops. Was my presence known? I found this room and shot it.

I snapped a bunch of frames, bracketing wildly to capture all the details. When I enlarged it on the LCD to check the shot, there was this image of a ghostly apparition standing between the two windows. I was aghast to see this was me! My eyes appear as though they had been gouged out and I appeared pregnant. Could it be with alien child?

I ran from the house with camera and tripod in hand, only to trip on the old steps and go down, breaking the lens shade off the lens. Brushing off dust and spitting out the dirt, I continued running back to my RV to share this with my wife, but she was gone. Where to I feared. I quickly downloaded the files and there was the image again. Terrified, I tried to erase the file from the hard drive, but the computer froze. Panicked, I dashed out of the RV and jumped in the truck and there was my wife, sitting in the drivers seat, wild eyed and waiting for me. We sped off on the most unlucky day of my life.

NOT! Yep, if you believe that I got something else to sell ya, but I sure enjoy spinning a tale occasionally. Actually I cannot think of any unlucky events on any Friday the 13th. As far as this image, it was shot on August the 30th, 2007, a Thursday.

In my quest to continue experimenting, I actually bracketed this image for HDR to bring in an exposure for the outside of the windows. Then I had an idea and it was to stand in for one series of the bracketed exposures. I set the self timer and jumped in.

When I returned to the computer I opened Photomatix and for the three files I was about to process, I replaced the first normal exposure with the normal exposure having me in it. This meant two of the exposures did not have me in it and one did. I processed these normally in Photomatix and this image is the result. It makes for a ghostly transparent figure with parts of the background showing through. It is fun to experiment so go push the envelope. You might create something that sells, making it your lucky day!

1 comment:

Matt said...


I have been messing with HDR and Photomatix as of late. I totally dig the stand-in idea - fantastic. This opens up a lot of concepts.

I have wanted to try "cheating" the first bracketed exposure with a strobe in low ambient.

Matt (from PPSOP Stock and Commercial Class)