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Dark Trail by Jay Gross

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A walking and jogging trail in River Front Park in Cayce, South Carolina, near sunset after a rain. Canon pointy-clicky thingus, available not-much-light. Long exposure, hand held. The thing’s feeble flash went off, but who’d know it from the result. I wanted to get some firefly trails in the shot, but the fireflies didn’t cooperate.

On close inspection, this image contains several of the “orbs” that some people claim indicate ghosts or other unreal beings. One of them, near the upper middle of the tree on the far right, has curious detail in it that makes me think it really might not be a lens flare. This area near the Congaree River has a long, illustrious history dating to the 18th Century, so maybe there are ghosts on the loose. Elderly ones, if so.


cayce, dark trail, ghosts, jay gross, orbs, river front park, sc, sidewalk, south carolina, street light

Jay Gross is a former newspaper reporter and editor (but I’ve reformed!), a magazine writer and editor, a non-fiction author, and a freelance writer and commercial photographer. He’s also a geek (not planning to reform anytime soon), and a novelist . A native of Aiken, South Carolina, he loves art, cats, books and classical music.

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  • kalaryder
    kalaryderalmost 4 years ago

    Gorgeous soft light on the path and the lamp being the last bright thing before the venture into the dark – top stuff !

  • Thanks for the kind words. I thrill to the orange color of the sodium vapor streetlight against the bluish ambient. -J:

    – Jay Gross

  • Rishi Kant Joshi
    Rishi Kant Joshiabout 2 years ago

    beauty…i think you favor the yellowish tones more..

  • I look for contrasts in color and exploit them when I can. This is sodium vapor light, always very red-yellow on either film or digital. In striking the color balance I favored the shadow, to enhance the golden glow on the sidewalk. -J:

    – Jay Gross

  • Rishi Kant Joshi
    Rishi Kant Joshiabout 2 years ago

    i have heard of sodium vapour lamps, but they are rarely used…very photogenic they are

  • Sodium vapor is common for street lighting. It produces lots of light for not much heat and little energy. It is extremely monochromatic – only one narrow band of light. For that reason it’s favored for professional darkrooms, since black and white photographic paper is blind to it. The so-called high-pressure sodium fixtures have less color trouble and puts out more light, but all of the sodium lights photograph much redder than the eye perceives it – useful for color effects, as in this shot. Thanks for looking, and thansk for the comment.


    – Jay Gross

  • KRphotog
    KRphotogabout 2 years ago

    I like the sort of eerieness that this image portrays. Just makes one wonder what is around the bend. Nice job!!!

  • Thank you. Yep, the sidewalk S-curves past the puddle of light into the darkness, like something out of a horror movie. Thanks for commenting. -J:

    – Jay Gross

  • Rishi Kant Joshi
    Rishi Kant Joshiabout 2 years ago

    thank you for the words of wisdom sir

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