Take Some Spooky Photos of Your Kids This Halloween and Share Your Pictures Online

October 27, 2009

Halloween is nearly here and kids everywhere are getting excited about their costumes and dressing up for trick or treating. This is certainly an opportunity not to be missed for catching their cute smiles and happy faces to send to the rest of your family so they can share in the fun. You also have the chance of getting creative with your photography at Halloween. Dark evenings and candle-lit pumpkins provide a special atmosphere which can be lost in the glare of a flash photograph. Give your older kids a chance to have a spooky portrait taken of them dressed up in their costume and share those pictures online too.

The flash on most compact digital cameras is fine when you just want to record a moment and the details of a costume, but it gives you no room for creating an atmosphere on a dark and stormy night. Try switching off your flash altogether and experimenting with different sources of light and see what you get. Older children will have fun playing along.

• First of all go to the flash options on your camera menu and switch the flash off.
• Now choose an ISO setting of 400 to help deal with the low light.
• Decide where you are going to take your Halloween photos. Have you got an area decorated with pumpkins and all the rest? Set up a few lit pumpkins to give an eery glowing light in the background.
• Find a stool or table that you can rest your camera on, to eliminate camera shake if you don’t have a tripod.
• Now get a flashlight with a strong beam.
• Have your child pose in front of your decorated background and have him hold the flashlight at different angles, below or to the side of his face to create spooky shadows. Take a few photos to try out and see the effects you are getting.
• Experiment with other light sources and angles: candles, flashlights shone through different colored tissue papers or cellophane.
• Try photographing your kids against a blank wall, with an anglepoise lamp set on the floor pointing up at them to throw enormous shadows on the wall. This works great if they are dressed up with accessories like broomsticks and witches hats which will make distinct shadows.

Your kids will have to be old enough to stand still for long enough for the photo to be taken and you may well get some blurred shots amongst them, but even blurry shots can have a fun spooky atmosphere and capture the spirit of Halloween far more than a straight flash portrait. You will notice a color cast from the artificial light and candle light making your pictures more yellow or orange than usual, but that is all part of the strange eery look. Do take some flash photos as well to record the costumes, but enjoy the fun of doing something different with your Halloween pictures of your kids and let them improvise all they want.

Mum and Photographer

Mum and Photographer

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