Halloween Photo Tricks!
Photography Tip for September 2009
Halloween today is a night of make believe for children of all ages, and with carved pumpkins shining brightly, costumes that make you scream or laugh, and trick-or-treating, it's a wonderful opportunity for you to capture the spirit of the holiday with your digital camera.
When you think of Halloween photographs, your visions are probably of fairly dark and spooky images filled with the glowing eyes of jack-o-lanterns and scary faces of dimly lit ghouls and goblins.
Here are some of my favorite tips for shooting in low light.
Flash photography can destroy the mood of these types of photographs unless you can tone the power of your flash way down. To do this, experiment with diffusing your flash by using an on-camera diffuser and combine that with using flash compensation if your camera is equipped with it. You can reduce the power of the flash unit a few stops and get soft diffused light to create more surreal lighting.
Increase your ISO and turn off your flash. The larger the number the darker the lighting conditions can be with your sensor still able to read the subject. The negative aspect of using this method is the increase in grain and noise.
Choose a longer shutter speed to leave the shutter open longer, thus letting in more light from the natural surroundings. This works well with a tripod and subjects like pumpkins which won't move while your shutter is open.
Use the 'fastest' lens in your camera bag or the largest aperture your camera offers. If you have an f/stop of 1.4 to 2.8 on your lens, you will get much better low light photographs than if your largest aperture is f/4 or f/5.6.
Here are some fun tricks for your Halloween bag!
You'll want to do some testing before the big night to become familiar with these methods.
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