Everyone’s favorite spooktacular holiday is right around the corner. You’re also bound to be taking your camera out to capture and document the activities and people’s costumes. But if you want your photos to stand out the next day when everyone is flooding Facebook with theirs, you’ll need to try a couple of things.
Here are a couple of pointers from The Phoblographer staff.
Trade In Your Flash For Some Speedy Glass
It’s Halloween and you’ve got your sights set on snapping that perfect photo of the scariest costume on the block… or maybe just of your kids having fun trick-or-treating. Either way, you’ll have to be armed with some knowledge and some good equipment. First off, the whole point is for a dark and spooky environment, so leave all your flashes at home. You won’t have time to set up any tripods and such; put on your Nikes cause it’s just running and gunning. As a result, the lighting won’t exactly be what you’d find in a studio. Here is where a “quick” lens comes in handy, meaning it should have a large maximum aperture (ex. f/4, f/2.8, f/1.4). If you’re not sure which lenses are for you, there’s a large collection of lens reviews right here
. One last piece of advice is to not be afraid to bump up your ISO; editing software nowadays do a good job of fixing “noisy” photos anyways so there won’t be any problems in the end.
- Bobby Zhang, Senior News Writer
Keep the Alcohol Away From Your Camera
If there is one thing I constantly hear from people that love to carry their cameras around to parties, it is that someone always tends to spill their drinks and then screws up their camera.
If you really intend on going to a crazy party, be careful and try not to drink too much. Also ensure that you keep the camera away from people who do. In NYC, people parade around the West Village drunk as ever with their cameras.
Seriously, sometimes it can be best to just stick to Instagram.
- Chris Gampat, Editor in Chief
If you want to take a photo while you are out and about there’s a good chance that you won’t have the ability to pack a tripod into your costume. You can either create points of contact with some wide legged power stance against a wall or simply pack along some string to help stabilize your shot. If you have never heard of stabilizing you can read about it by googling “string camera stabilizer”. The trick is essentially a 1/4″ screw with a hook and enough string to reach the ground to the base of your camera. Simply screw the 1/4″ hook into the bottom of your camera, loop the string through and toss the remainder to the ground. By putting your foot on the string and pulling the camera up creates tension and an additional point of contact to help you get steady low light photographs. You can easily just wrap the string around the camera when you are ready to carry on with the Halloween madness.
- Peter Walkowiak, News Editor
Dragging The Shutter
This Halloween you’re probably going to want to take some great photos and create some spooky memories, right? Well, if so, I’ve got a fun and easy tip for you. All you need to do is pop your flash on your hotshoe and enable “rear curtain sync” or “2nd curtain sync” and set your shutter speed to a slow speed such a 1/2 sec. You can leave your flash in TTL mode, and feel free to adjust the compensation as needed. By doing this, when your flash fires during the exposure you can actually move your camera and you will create streaks of light but you will freeze the motion of the central subject. The effect works REALLY well on something reflective. Try it out and see what kind of results you get!
- Abram Goglanian, Technical Specialist
Static shots of ghoulish costumes can leave your audience bored to tears until you experiment with a little trick known as zoom blur. If your camera has a zoom lens, set the camera to shutter priority and choose a setting of 1 second for starters. Place your friends in zombie makeup (face it, most all your friends want to be zombies whether it’s Halloween or now) and make sure they are decently lit. Zoom out all the way and as you press the shutter release, zoom in while keeping your subject in the center of the frame. This will be hard because, well, the shutter is open which means the mirror is up. But you can do it. Practice with different timings and zoom speeds. Also try zooming out instead of in. This will give your images a streaking effect, making the zombies in your life more hideous than they already are.
- Peter West Carey, Lead Reviewer
The most important thing to consider when taking Halloween pictures is that you wouldn’t want to scare away the kids with your huge black ugly frightening DSLR. I mean, the least thing you’d want on Halloween is a poor little kid screaming from fear, right? So, what is there that you can do in order not to scare anyone, but still be able to take some great pictures? You need to disguise. Not so much yourself, but rather your camera. In order to make it look less intimidating, you need to dress your camera so it will blend with the overall Halloween theme. We have prepared three possible camera disguises for you, but there are numerous others — it’s all up to your imagination. Here are our three favorites:1) The Pumpkin-Cam. How to do it: Select a pumpkin a little over the size of your camera, cut it in half, carve it out, leave a hole for the lens and one for the flash, and finished is the pumpkin-camera. The picture below shows a mock-up, but you get the idea.
2) The Bat-Cam. A lot of kids will go as vampires, and what fits that theme better than a bat? Below, find a picture of the “Bat-Cam.” This one also doubles nicely as the camera to bring to the next DC Comics inspired dress party.
3) The Ghost-Cam. Of course, the easiest way to disguise your camera is by making it invisible — i.e. dressing it as a ghost. Noone will notice that you’re taking any pictures, since they won’t be able to see your camera. At the outmost, you will look a little stupid with your hands up to your face and one eye closed. Below, find a picture of my Panasonic G1 made invisible and put on the same chair as in the two pictures above.
- Felix Esser, Lead News Writer
Have any other ideas on how to disguise your camera for Halloween? Share them with us in the comments section below!
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