Take Super Scary Photos this Halloween!
Written by 杨 道波 Saturday, 11 October 2008 06:32
With Halloween just a couple of weeks away, there are plenty of subjects around to photograph, but before you are all agog to press the shutter button, keep in mind some helpful tips for Halloween!
Pope Gregory III started it all in 739 A.D. when he officially designated All Saints Day, but he wouldn't recognize Halloween as we celebrate it today. It's become a night of fantasy for children of all ages, and with its pumpkins, costumes, trick-or-treating and lots of interesting subjects, it's also a great opportunity for you to capture the spirit(s) with your camera. But before you start to press your shutter, the following photography tips keep in mind should be helpful in your Halloween photography:
Find Points of Interest
Before hitting the shutter ask yourself ‘what is the focal point (or point of interest) in this image? All good images have something in them that holds the attention of those who view them.
Rule of Thirds
One way of enhancing the composition of your shots is to place your points of interest in smart positions. While the rule of thirds can be broken with great effect it’s a useful principle to keep in mind.
Fill Your Frame
Halloween is a time of drama and you can add to this in your images by getting in nice and close and filling the frame with your subjects. Whether it’s people or objects - getting in nice and tight will usually add punch to your shots.
Give Subjects Space to Look into
When photographing people one of the most effective compositional techniques is to use the space around their faces effectively by giving more room on the side of their face that they’re looking into.
Find Fresh Angles
Make suspect that the day after Halloween the photos will be filled with images of pumpkins that all look much the same. So how to make your images stand out by finding fresh perspectives to shoot from is the point.
Photograph the Details
It’s easy to be distracted by the flashy parts of a time like Halloween but it’s often when you step back, take a look around and notice the smaller details that you find the ‘money shots’. Times like Halloween are filled with all kinds of smaller details and photo worthy moments including decorations, carving the pumpkin, people getting dressed in costumes, sleeping kids at the end of parties, bags full of treats at the end of the night, the ‘fangs’ in Aunt Marie’s mouth, before and after shots of parties, close ups of food etc
Halloween is a time that people gather together and it’s an ideal time to practice your group photo techniques. When taking a group picture, have everyone move in as close together as possible before taking the picture. The closer you can get to your subjects the better. So, either move closer to your subject or use the zoom. Try to take pictures of people at eye level. Use of a tripod helps a lot, and keeps the camera steady.
Halloween parties are a great time to get your camera out for some candid photos of your friends and family having a great time dressed up in all manner of costumes.
Shooting in Low Light
The types of images that come to our mind in Halloween are often fairly dark and spooky ones - candles in pumpkins etc. After all, the real action of Halloween seems to happen after dark. As a result you’ll want to think carefully about the light sources for your shots. To really capture the mood of these situations you’ll want to avoid the stark and bright light of flash photography (or will want to at least pull it back a few stops and diffuse it) and so you’ll need to switch off your flash and do one (or all) of three things to some extent:
• Increase your ISO - the larger your number the more sensitive your image sensor is to light and the darker conditions you can shoot in without having to slow down shutter speed. On the downside you’ll get more grainy/noisy shots.
• Slow down shutter speed - choosing a longer shutter speed lets more light into your camera. On the downside you’ll see any movement in your shots blur (which might add to the spookiness of the image but could also ruin it). Consider using a tripod if you lengthen your shutter speed.
• Use a larger Aperture - this widens the hole in your lens and lets more available light in. It will also lessen the depth of field in your shots. If you have a DSLR with a few different lenses is to use the ‘fastest’ lens you own as it will let you choose larger apertures. For example f1.4 lens handles low light much better than f4 lens.
Diffuse Your Flash
Another strategy is diffusing the flash on your camera with colored cellophane to try to impact upon your shot and also to give the light it produces a glow that might add to your shots - Red might be a good color to try. You’ll probably want to test this before the big night as getting the right density of diffuser will be critical.
Photographing Jack-o-Lanterns is particularly tricky as to get the full effect of the glowing inside the pumpkin is a bit of a tightrope walk between overexposing and underexposing due to the light and dark patches in the shot you take. Instead of just one candle inside it is probably worth using two or three to give a little extra light. Also take a number of shots at different exposures (exposure bracketing) and you should get one or two that give you the impact you’re after.
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