Halloween Photography Tips
Halloween is full of rich, evocative imagery, and a well-captured photograph can preserve its spooky feelings forever. I have compiled a few tips to help you create your own album of spooky memories. These tips and tricks can apply in just about any situation, but they are especially helpful for taking high quality Halloween photographs.
Overcoming the Darkness
Perhaps the biggest challenge you will face around Halloween is that many of your subjects will appear best in the dark. You may be tempted to overcome this using your camera’s flash—don’t! The flash will create flat, unnatural highlights and unsightly shadows behind your subjects.
The best way to deal with dark scenes is to adjust your camera’s ISO setting. Turning your ISO up will make your camera more sensitive to light, but will also cause the picture to turn out grainy. Because of this, I do not recommend turning your ISO up for Halloween photography. Instead, turn it down as far as it will go, and slow down your shutter speed instead. The lower ISO setting will keep your picture from being grainy, and the slow shutter speed will allow more light into the lens.
The only downside to this method is that even the slightest motion will make the photo blur. This is easily remedied by using a tripod. If you do not have a tripod, you can stack boxes, books, or other sturdy objects to create a temporary stand. Also, if your camera has a timer function, use it! This will eliminate any camera shake caused when you push the button to snap the picture.
If there is nothing to set your camera on for stability, you will have to rely on a steady hand. Find something to lean on for support, and keep your elbows in. Above all, relax. If you are tense, you are more likely to shake and blur the picture.
An easy way to enhance an otherwise ordinary Halloween display is to think outside the box when designing your composition. A boring photograph can take on a surprising, spooky, or dramatic tone if you take the picture from a unique angle. Shoot from below to make your subject apear more intimidating. Turn the camera slightly for an off-kilter, out of control feeling. Try something different!
Along these lines, experiment with placing your subject off center. Consider using the rule of thirds—divide the shot into nine squares and place the subject on the lines or intersections—for a more interesting photograph.
These tips should help you create stunning Halloween photographs that you can share and treasure for years to come.