By Liz Masoner
Far too many Halloween photos are just a child in costume standing in front of a wall and lit with a straight flash. Making it spooky is essential to making your Halloween photographs stand out.
Light From Below
- Most of the light we see comes from overhead lighting or the sun. When we use lighting from beneath a subject it breaks expectations and creates a feeling of uneasiness. The heavy use of this technique in movies throughout the years has increased this connection between low lighting and danger.
Hold a flashlight under your subject’s face to cast odd shadows over their features
Place your subject on a clear pedestal (or upside down plastic food container) with a glowstick underneath it.
- Turn Your Camera Upside Down
Turn your camera upside down so that your flash fires downward. This is especially effective if you have a swivel-head flash and can bounce the light off of the floor.
Change the Color
- We are used to seeing white light. That is, light that does not cast a color-tint. However, tinted lighting can be very spooky. Red, green, and blue lighting all have a very eerie feel to them.
Try taping colored cellophane to your flash or to a flashlight to add an odd color to your images. Just remember that colors other than white light may not register correctly on your camera’s light meter. Bracket your exposures or overexpose a little bit.
Glowsticks are great ways to add eerie colors to your images. You can place them behind objects, under clear pedestals, or inside pumpkins to give a wonderfully spooky color glow in small areas.
Blacklights are a mainstay of Halloween. However, they can require a bit of planning to make your images work. Check out my in-depth article on blacklight photography for instructions.