Halloween Photography Ideas: Get Ready to Trick or Treat

Autumn is such an amazing season for vibrant, colorful photography! Now that the Halloween is just around the corner, it is about the right time to impress your viewers with some new photo tricks. Without further introduction, here are the Halloween photography ideas and tips we want to share with you. Don’t forget to spread the enthusiasm!

Eye the Wow Factor: Shoot a Halloween Parade

The beauty of this celebration is that everyone will dress-up.  Ghosts, witches, goblins, and monsters of all kinds will pervade the streets, all smiling and ready to be photographed. All you need for fantastic, memorable shots is to get out there with your camera in hand and see what tickles your imagination. Ghostly, spontaneous portraits are allowed. This is a simple point and shoot strategy. Photograph a Halloween parade and have some fun.

Halloween photography ideas shooting a parade

New York’s Village Halloween Parade, 2014

Capture the Atmosphere: The Challenge of Shooting in Dim Light

Shooting in low light settings is a real challenge if you are not well-equipped. A good DSLR can do the trick for you with a few adjustments, but if it lacks image stabilization, we recommend mounting low light, fast lenses.

However, there are a few tricks you can do and catch the Halloween feeling in your shots without employing extra equipment. Halloween photography should be all about having fun, not carrying around heavy gear.

Here’s what you can do to improve the accuracy of your images when shooting in dim light:

  1. Most cameras come with a Night Mode that allows you to capture your subjects in detail, and emphasize the setting at the same time. The disadvantage, though, is that, if your subjects don’t remain still, the images will get blurry.
  2. What you can do best is take full control of your camera settings. Start by selecting a high ISO speed (400 or more). The downside of doing it is getting noisier images. But if you know your camera well enough, you’ll find the right value.

Learn more about ISO meaning and uses in photography. Leave the flash at home and experiment more.

  1. Don’t forget to select a slower shutter speed when adjusting the ISO sensitivity. If you want to capture a sense of speed or, on the contrary, to freeze the moment, we’ve got the best techniques for shutter speed photography explained here.
  2. Choose a wide aperture and shoot in RAW format if possible. This way you will avoid a reduction of the image’s saturation.

By increasing the aperture, more light will get into your camera’s lens. This will also result in a shallow depth of field. If you wish to learn more about how aperture affects the quality of your images, check out our article on aperture settings and techniques.

  1. Use a tripod. To get astounding night photographs, you need to control the composition of your shots. The easiest way to achieve great exposure is by keeping your camera still.

Consider Candid Photo Techniques

I cannot conceive Halloween photography in the absence of a few candid shots. Move around, experiment shooting from different angles, mix the perspectives, and be ready to take some unusual group pics.

Halloween Photography

Capture a Spider Trick

What I love about candid photography is that it doesn’t require posing. It is all about picturing how people interact and enjoy their time. Plus, candid photos add fun and a sense of story to the images.

Choose Your Time Wisely

Shooting in low light does not necessarily mean to wait until the night comes. Profit from the magical hour (actually, those 20 minutes before and after the sun goes down) and make your subjects look like fairy-tale characters.

This is also the perfect time to take incredible silhouette images by playing with shadows and backlighting. As a top tip, try taking photos of your subjects holding lit pumpkins. Position them against the sky at dusk for a more dramatic effect.

We’ve got more golden hour photography tips to help you find the best perspectives.

halloween photography - scary pumpkin

Halloween Scary Pumpkin – Autumnl Setting

Focus on Halloween Photography Props

Halloween pictures are all about capturing the spooky mood. Try setting up a bit the areas you photograph. Bring on the devilish cakes and spooky decorations.

What you can also do is find innovative ways to light your images. You know, this is the only time of the year when taking creepy photographs is entirely acceptable. Use flashlights, lit pumpkins, or glow sticks to accentuate the spooky traits of the characters your subjects impersonate by pointing them up, at their face. Also, you can photograph them with and without their masks.

Focusing on Halloween props shouldn’t be something static or boring. Besides a few close-ups of bleeding cakes and creepy cocktails, make Jack-o-lantern the main character of a time-lapse video. You can also capture the pumpkin’s transformation in a series of creative pics.

Dress-Up. Enjoy Halloween.

You cannot naturally interact with your subjects if not dressed-up. Play your role and you’ll make everyone feel more comfortable. Make it fun. Make it exciting. Don’t be afraid to go overboard with your shots. It’s Halloween!

14 Tricks for Shooting in Low Light

We all know the saying that a photo is worth 1000 words. For the most part it is true, yet a photography can fail to express what you wish if not taken correctly. That is why we wanted to present an article on shooting in low light that should provide some useful tricks for all photography aficionados.

Before we begin presenting our tips there is one thing worth mentioning. One of the most important elements of photography is light. This notion most surely has been heard by readers countless times before. However, the importance of this statement cannot be exagerated.

But this must not act as a deterent when comes to shooting in low light. Instead it should make us reconsider our position. By making use of the proper techniques we could achieve high-quality photos in low light conditions.

shooting in low light

1. Orientation

It is important to know that the quality of the image will be, in no less extent, provided by the orientation in respect to the sun or the moon.

Bringing along a compass can aid in this matter. Keep in mind to observe the light path and to let yourself guided by it. This, of course, applies if you are shooting outdoors.

2. Constrictions

In low light conditions you will have to use lengthier exposures. This in turn will mean that you have to compress time into a single frame. As a result, any camera movement must be rendered to zero. A resilient tripod and a shutter will allow you to reduce camera shake.

3. Prepare yourself for Different Weather Conditions

If it is not pouring outside this might be an excellent opportunity to take some really interesting photos. However, rain shouldn’t discourage you from shooting. Just make sure you protect the camera. If a few drops reach your lens, shoot like that. This will add a dramatic effect to your final product.

4. Raw Photos

Try to shoot raw. This will allow you to adjust white balance levels during the post-processing phase. Work with a large batch of raw images and select the best one.

shooting in low light

5. Experiment with Light

In the event in which you are shooting indoors, a good idea would be to play with light sources. Try to think outside the box and go beyond ambiental light. Include different arrays of light sources. These can range from lamps and candles all the way to torches and chandeliers.

6. Proper Dress Code

Yes, you read correctly. The reason why this is a tip is that it can influence the effect of the final product. For example, if a photo is taken in a low light situation where the model has a dark outfit, the dramatic effect will be less impressive. Consider choosing pale or white outfits that can effectively reflect available light, whether it is ambient light or an experimental light source.

7. Reflectors

A reflector can be a great addition in any low light environment. It can take that very small amount of light and aim it at the image’s subject. This allows the focus point of the photo to stand out even more against its dark surroundings.

8. HDR Images

When trying to shoot portraits without a dark background a good ideea might be that of using HDR. It works by taking shots with more exposures and bringing them together into the image. Therefore, an even distribution of shadows and highlights is createddue to the combination of shorter and longer exposures. It does wonders when there are dark areas in the frame while taking shots of high contrast situations.

The camera has to be set to auto-bracketing mode. You will also require a tripod. Later on, the exposures can be combined in programs such as Photomatix or Photoshop.

9. Black and White

Who doesn’t like a dramatic black and white photo?  If you are shooting outdoors and the colour is fading switch to the black and white option. Make use of Live View mode first to preview the surroundings while having the picture style set in monochrome. This will give you a sense of what the final product will look like.

10. ND Filters

When trying to withhold details in the foreground ND filters are a great addition. If your aim is to increase the dramatic effect in low light shooting, not having to resort to them is also an option. This will enhance silhouette foreground features.

11. Composite Landscapes

Shooting at lower shutter speeds can increase darker areas. By using both shutter speeds and different aperture settings, the depth of field will increase, despite the lens’ capabilities. Suffice to say, experimenting is the keyword here.

12. Taking Time

By rushing into things the final imagery might not have the same desired level of detail. Consider having to take a picture of a sunset. If you wait right until the sun drops right on top of the horizon line the picture will have an added dramatic effect. This time of day is also referred to as “The Golden Hour“.

shooting in low light

13. Underexposure

The key concept of shooting landscapes in low light is to embrace the darkness that permeates while the last rays of light make their way onto the planet’s surface.

By doing so you allow the image to retain its natural feel as opposed to the HDR imagery granted by digital technology. Therefore, you should constrain yourself from using fill-flash and allow the highlights to maintain their natural feeling. Some areas will remain underexposed, but the end product will have an added bonus in the dramatic effect department.

14. Freedom of Movement

Quite a number of people will argue that a tripod is a must when taking outdoor shots of landscapes in particular. Nevertheless that might not apply to everyone. Indeed, if you are planning on shooting at long exposures, then having a tripod will come in handy. Unfortunately this will limit the freedom of movement while finding new exciting angles to shoot from.

In all honesty these 14 Tricks of Shooting in Low Light are but a few. There is much more to say, but this should get you started. Any photography aficionado out there would greatly benefit from them when having to shoot landscapes or portraits, both indoors and outdoors. It is our belief that they will unlock a door for further experimentation.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3