Are you the Spirit, sir, whose coming was foretold to
me.’ asked Scrooge.

‘I am.’

The voice was soft and gentle. Singularly low, as if
instead of being so close beside him, it were at a distance.

‘Who, and what are you.’ Scrooge demanded.

‘I am the Ghost of Christmas Past.’

‘Long Past.’ inquired Scrooge: observant of its dwarfish stature.

‘No. Your past.’

Scrooge reverently disclaimed all intention to offend. He then made bold to inquire what business brought her there.

“Your welfare,” said the Ghost.

Scrooge expressed himself much obliged, but could not help thinking that a night of unbroken rest would have been more conducive to that end. The Spirit must have heard him thinking, for it said immediately:

“Your reclamation, then. Take heed.”

It put out its hand as it spoke, and clasped him gently by the arm.

“Rise. And walk with me.”

It would have been in vain for Scrooge to plead that the weather and the hour were not adapted to pedestrian purposes; that bed was warm, and the thermometer a long way below freezing; that he was clad but lightly in his slippers, dressing-gown, and nightcap; and that he had a cold upon him at that time. The grasp, though gentle, was not to be resisted. He rose: but finding that the Spirit made towards the window, clasped his robe in supplication.

“I am mortal,” Scrooge remonstrated, “and liable to fall.”

“Bear but a touch of my hand there,” said the Spirit, laying it upon her heart, “and you shall be upheld in more than this.”

As the words were spoken, they passed through the wall, and stood upon an open country road, with fields on either hand. The city had entirely vanished. Not a vestige of it was to be seen.

– A Christmas Carol, Stave 2: The First of the Three Spirits

In keeping with the Dickens,” A Christmas Carol” theme, here is my card from last year. It’s the ghost of Jacob Marley appearing in Scrooge’s doorknocker. Jacob Marley was Scrooge’s business partner and like Scrooge, he too put profit above all else. This visage in the doorknocker is the first hint that for Scrooge, this would be no ordinary night.

Marley’s face. It was not in impenetrable shadow
as the other objects in the yard were, but had a
dismal light about it, like a bad lobster in a dark
cellar. It was not angry or ferocious, but looked
at Scrooge as Marley used to look: with ghostly
spectacles turned up on its ghostly forehead. The
hair was curiously stirred, as if by breath or hot air;
and, though the eyes were wide open, they were perfectly
motionless. That, and its livid colour, made it
horrible; but its horror seemed to be in spite of the
face and beyond its control, rather than a part or
its own expression.”
– A Christmas Carol, Stave 1: Marley’s Ghost

Thanks to my neighbor John for posing as Jacob Marley. He’s a home inspector by trade. We tried a few shots with a wig and spectacles, as in the text but they made combinding the two images more difficult so I decided not to clone them in. I bought the lions head doorknocker on e bay and mounted it on an old door I found in our basement. I drug the door onto the deck and photographed it in open shade and filled the shadow side with a sheet of foam core. John was photographed in front of a piece of black cloth and lit from his right, with a single Cometlite head with bare reflector. A foamcore reflector was used to fill the shadow on his left. In Photoshop, I lowered the color temperture to turn the images blue, simulating night time. After opening both images I used the clone tool at 50% to superimpose John’s face over the doorknocker.