Tips for taking great Halloween Photos!

Tips for taking great Halloween Photos!

With Halloween just around the corner, you’ve have already stocked up on fun-sized candy and carved creative pumpkins, but maybe this year you can improve the quality of your photos.  Were last year’s blurry?  Wonder what happened?  2004_10_31_HALLOWEEN-8-202x300It could be the settings on your camera.  With a few little changes, you can have wonderful photo memories of this year’s crazy costumes.  And if all else fails, maybe you can create blurry pictures on purpose for a “spooky” feel.  Here’s a few tips to aid your photo-taking during the night.

Photographing in low light situations:

It is no secret that all the action on Halloween happens at night.  Keep in mind though that taking pictures at night is tricky, even for professionals. Most people shoot with a flash at night because it is easy and the camera is usually set to auto-flash. However, this often washes out your subject and makes your picture look flat.

Many digital cameras offer a set of automatic settings, and the Night Mode can be a terrific tool for learning the basics of night photography.  Its slows the shutter speed to allow time for adequate light to hit the camera’s sensor as well as adjusts the timing of the flash to illuminate the foreground.  You can shoot with confidence without the stress of constantly adjusting manual settings due to different lighting conditions.  Most cameras have a dial on top of the camera to choose between modes, although some can only be accessed through digital menus.  A small moon and stars icon depicts the night mode for most cameras.  Some cameras have a Night Portrait Mode indicated by a person with a moon and stars behind.  Placing your camera in the Night Portrait Mode is perfect for taking photos of people (or goblins) in a way that the people are well illuminated and the background is still lit naturally.  2004_10_31_HALLOWEEN-15-202x300

For the experienced photographer using manual modes, adjust the following:

  • Increase your ISO over 400 after dusk.  This will allow you to have more flexibility shooting at night without a flash. However the higher you go the more grain/noise your pictures will have which may or may not be a desired effect.
  • Lower your shutter speed– Shooting at a slower shutter speed will allow you to let more light in but if you are going under 1/60th you might want to get a tripod. You could also try shooting in burst mode at a lower shutter speed which gives you a higher chance of getting a sharp photo.
  • Open your aperture– this will allow you to get more light in without compromising your shutter speed. If you have multiple lenses you want the lowest f-number possible, e.g. f1/-1.4 or f-1/1.8.

Multiple Exposures

Nothing says spooky on Halloween like a ghost-like photo of your costumed companions.  Follow these simple steps and you can achieve this illusion without the aid of Photoshop:2013-1-25-Tips-For-Taking-Pics-on-Halloween-MC-300x200

  • Start by putting your camera on a tripod.
  • Set your camera to shutter priority and allow the shutter to be open for 10-30 seconds.
  • Have your subject stand still for a few seconds and then duck and move to another place within the frame.
  • Using a light source, such as a flashlight, you can also have your subject move to create different shapes. This is best done at night.
  • If you are by yourself you can also create a selfie ghost photo by setting a timer on your camera and following the steps outlined above.












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