This was just a casual experiment that actually turned out fairly well. Part of the mystique, if I may use such an overblown word in this circumstance, is how the exposure turned out.
First off, this is digital, and exactly as shot in camera (well, except for resizing.) No editing, pasting, et cetera. Some clues can be found in the light in the trees, and the streaks in the sky – these indicate that it was shot at night, and not daylight. It’s a full moon that’s providing all the light, and this was a 144-second exposure. For part of it, I leaned against the rail and held still, but then wandered out of the frame; the light was too low to catch any of my movement, and the railing behind me was exposed once I got out of the way, thus the ghostly effect. If you look closely, you can see that I was standing by the other camera for part of the exposure too, giving faint impressions to the image.
Part of the trick of a good long exposure with a varying subject (kind of like a double-exposure, but not,) is knowing how much time to have your subject motionless, and this all depends on how much it will expose the frame compared to the ‘background’ visible when it’s not in place. You can see my lighter skin shows a lot better than my dark blue shirt, mostly in comparison to the darker railing and foliage; had I worn white clothes, I would have needed to hold still for less time. Definitely worth experimenting with.
This old bridge over the Haw River is presently just a hiking path, and occasionally used for festivals – the view from it isn’t bad, which is also what I was shooting that night. To all appearances, it was once open to vehicle traffic, though it’s not really wide enough for two cars abreast, and it’s a fairly long bridge. This might be why it’s closed to everything but foot traffic now; in the event of two cars wanting to use it simultaneously, it would require one of them to be courteous enough to wait, and that really doesn’t describe North Carolina drivers to any extent. In my experience, most of them feel they’re the only ones that should be on the fucking roads.