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October 29

IT’S HALLOWEEN: Tips to Great Spooky Photos

IT'S HALLOWEEN: Tips for Great Spooky Photos

**Cue creepy music**...

It's the spookiest time of year... We finally have carte blanche to scare the pants off our friends, families, kids and neighbours. MUAH HA HA HA HA...


Here are 6 fantastic tips to help you capture your spooky moments, and produce some very creepy images...


1. Don't shy away from taking photos at night.

I saw a great meme recently...

And it's true... There are few things more spooky than just about anything in the dark. But we so often freak out about taking photos in the dark, and shy away from capturing amazing halloween shots when the sun goes down. So here are some tips for making this work. 

OPTION 1: Use a tripod. Putting your camera on a stable surface is the simplest way to remove the shake from your images. 

OPTION 2: Go handheld! Put your camera into Aperture Priority. Make your f.stop the smallest number, and increase your ISO to at least 3200 (6400 if you need to). This will make your shutter speeds fast enough, so that you can keep shooting even once the sun goes down. 


2. Black & white for the win!

Make the most of black and white photography to add those extra spooky moments into your shots! 

Image by Ken Borutski

3. Scares are all about contrast...

It's quiet, it's quiet, it's quiet......... BAM IT'S LOUD. (Makes you jump, right?). 

It's light, it's light, it's light.... BOOM LIGHTS OUT. (Makes your heart beat faster, right?). 

It's misty, it's misty, it's misty.... BOO THERE'S A GHOST. (Hahaha, heart attack)...

Effectively scaring people is about contrast, and this is just as true for your spooky photos. Contrast light (bright on dark), contrast subjects (innocent on scary), contrast situations (misty with scary)... Creating contrast in your photos is a great way to catch your viewers attention, and make their heart race...!!!

Image by Nancy Walker McConnel


4. Think about your setup.

This one is all about taking photos of your kids (or pets!) in their costumes BEFORE you head out trick or treating. Taking shots of your kids while they're running around the neighbourhood from house to house, filling their buckets with masses of candy, in preparation to drive you completely crazy when they get home... is tough. 

In this case, you have little, to no control over where your kids are standing (in the light, not in the light etc), how still they are standing (goodness knows mine NEVER stand still), and what they are doing (mostly mine are just jittering with excitement). So here's the best tip I have for you about taking photos of your kids in their costumes. DO IT FIRST. Take your photos of your kids in their costumes BEFORE they go trick or treating so that you can set your photos up. This gives you time and space to place your kids where you want them - indoors, in the middle of your Halloween decorations etc. You will thank me for this one later ;). 


5. Don't forget about your composition...

Sometimes we get caught up in the moment and just start randomly snapping photos of kids and pumpkins, and decorations, and skeletons and EVERYTHING. This happy snapping sometimes creates some truly great shots, but mostly those shots come about by pure luck. 

Slow down a minute and remember your foundational rules of composition - things like:

  • Rule of thirds, 
  • Angles, 
  • Leading lines, 
  • Framing etc... 

If you slow down, take a moment to consider the scene in front of you, and then take a few, intentional photos, you will GREATLY improve your chance of capturing that amazing moment.

Photo by CeeJae StewartCeeJae's Images Unleashed


6. Have fun with presets

Editing your spooky photos is a great way to help enhance the feeling. But editing takes time (sometimes lots and lots of time). So here's a great way to up your spooky quotient: USE PRESETS! Lightroom has a bunch of fantastic presets already built in, but you can buy THOUSANDS of presets online - and most of them only cost you a few dollars. So have fun editing, and have fun with your presets. 

Original Image

Edited Image

Using Matte Preset in Lightroom


Now get out there and HAVE FUN!

WE WANT TO SEE YOUR PHOTOS! Make sure you're part of our Learn Photography Community, so that you can share your photos for all of your fellow photography lovers to see and enjoy!



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Student Feature: Catharina Clarke

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