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15 Halloween Photography Tips

Halloween is difficult to shoot because most of the photos will be taken after the dark in low lighting conditions. In low light is quite difficult to get a sharp shot. With the Halloween just around the corner we put together quick tips to make great Halloween photos and capture Halloween costumes, pumping carving, Jack-o-Lanterns, scary decorations and children at play in all its glory. Plus you’ll find in this post some creative tips to help you make Halloween photos which really stand out.

halloween photography tips

halloween photography tips

Turn off flash

Turn off your flash. The flash will brighten the objects you’re going to shoot and kill specific Halloween atmosphere which you’d like to capture.

Use tripod

If you use a tripod you can get perfect pictures with lower ISO settings, speed slower than 1/60 and less noise. At least find a steady surface such as a fence to rely on to get sharp images. If you hold your camera in hands trick to avoid camera shake is to hold your breath while taking the picture.

Set long exposure

Setting longer exposure will help to capture Halloween scenes and its mood; of course you’ll need a tripod if you want to get sharp photos. Even with tripod any movement in your shots will be blurry but this as well might add to the spookiness of the Halloween scene.

Use ambient light

Make sure there’s a little ambient light to capture Jack-o-Lanterns so not only the objects are visible but a little of the outside as well. The best Halloween photos could be taken at dusk when there’s still enough of natural light.

Use faster lens

Use a larger aperture which lets more available light in and lessen the depth of field in your shots. If you have several lenses for your DSLR use the ‘fastest’ lens such as f1.4 and choose larger apertures.

Use high ISO setting

Set a high ISO setting (400, 800 and higher). This is essential to capture spooky mood, dark colors of Halloween and ambient light if you don’t use tripod. Plus you can use faster shutter speed. The downside is that you’ll get more noisy photos which you can fix with help of Photoshop plugin such as Topaz DeNoise.

Use flash when shooting people

To get a sharp shot of people in action on Halloween, you’ll need to rely on the flash. The best flash photo you’ll take if you’re close enough so the flash will light everything in the frame.

Diffuse your flash

Diffusing the flash on your camera with colored cellophane – red or yellow – or secured with a rubberband wax paper will decrease the flash impact on your shot and instead of bold brightening will give a glow to your photo.

Set white balance

Halloween scenes can be tricky to shoot because several light sources can be present such as candles, flash, street lighting. Florescent lights will give your picture a greenish tint, while incandescent bulbs will make your pictures golden yellow. Make sure that the white balance is set right.

Use extra candles for Jack-o-Lanterns

Place extra candles behind the pumpkins as well as inside them when taking photos to give a little extra light. This will help you to capture the full effect of the glowing inside the pumpkin.

Take a lot of photos

It’s tricky to balance between overexposing and underexposing when shooting Halloween due to the light and dark patches in the scene. If you take a number of shots at different exposures or use exposure bracketing, you should get one or two that give you the impact you’re after.

Find fresh angles

You really succeed in taking Halloween photos, if you find a new angles and look beyond the standard Jack-o-Lanterns. Fresh perspective such as shooting the process of decorations, carving the pumpkin, people getting dressed in costumes, people holding lit pumpkins silhouetted against the sky at dusk can really pay off.

Use candles creatively

Use candles for shooting not only Jack-o-Lantern but people in Halloween costumes as well. Candles give your photo anything from a romantic look to a chilling Halloween look. Try the classic candle below the mask. Have the subject hold the candle next to his/her body and get a spooky look.

Get close

Getting in close and filling the frame with your subjects will usually add punch to your shots. Try to use a macro options (flower in options) which most cameras have and capture small details such as glowing fangs, glittery hair or your kid’s made-up eyes.

Have fun and Happy Halloween

While trying to take the great looking Halloween photos don’t forget that it’s a holiday. Find places and things that you might ordinarily overlook, have fun and the great Halloween photos will come along.

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One thought on “15 Halloween Photography Tips”

  1. sasha says:

    good tips:
    also may i recommend this Halloween photography tutorial: How to Create A Really Scary Portrait

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