Tips for Wicked Halloween Photography

Halloween is a time filled with excitement, emotion, saturated colors, and enchanting subjects. This year, use the following tips and techniques to capture the best Halloween images.

  1. Take advantage of bad weather. Blue skies aren’t necessarily ideal for Halloween photography. Instead, make an effort to go out on cloudy days to set a different mood. A scarecrow in a field with an overcast sky may convey the perfect message.
  2. Capture the mood in a black and white photo. Rather than shooting entirely in color, try using the monochromatic tones of black, white and grays to evoke emotion in some of your shots. This works well with portraits, buildings, wildlife and objects.
  3. Use the rule of thirds. Avoid placing a subject in the center of your photo and better direct the viewer’s eye to an exact point. For example, look at the photo above. Your eye is drawn to the moon, which is off center in the upper-right portion of the image.
  4. Increase ISO in low lighting. Halloween photography commonly involves shooting in situations with limited light, which means you must learn to control the outcome yourself. ISO is the first camera setting in the three pillars of exposure.
  5. Decrease shutter speed in low lighting. As the second camera setting in the three pillars of exposure, shutter speed can also effect how much light falls onto the camera sensor. A lower speed will let in more light, perfect for photos of jack-o-lanterns. (Another way to increase the light source in a photo of a jack-o-lantern is to place two or three candles inside the pumpkin instead of only one.)
  6. Use a larger aperture in low lighting. This will also let in more light, as it is the third camera setting in the three pillars of exposure.
  7. Compose your photo in a professional manner. Keep it simple, position people so that they are looking into the frame, fill the frame with your subject and add depth using the foreground in landscape shots.
  8. Decide on a focal point. Pick a subject to focus on, and position yourself to make it stand out.
  9. Achieve a crisp focus with the proper camera settings and equipment. Become familiar with using a tripod, properly pressing the shutter release button, cleaning your lens and changing the ISO, aperture and shutter speed on your camera.
  10. Use elements of three. Instead of photographing two flickering candles, try three or only one. An odd number of items is usually more interesting to see than an even number.
  11. Shoot from a unique angle. Get down low and look up at the bag of candy, climb up high and capture the pumpkin field in an aerial shot, or photograph someone in a zombie costume from the side. Think outside the box and photograph your subject from a different point of view – that’s how your photos will stand out from the rest.

Share your own Halloween photography tips by leaving a comment below.

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