7 More Digital Photography Lessons to Teach Your Child

Enjoying photography can mean sharing the joy and experience with loved ones, and passing on the passion to your child. In a previous article, we wrote several photography lessons for your child. Here are 7 more:

child6 7 More Digital Photography Lessons to Teach Your Child1. Find a point of interest – teach your child to focus on the most important element in the image by knowing how to identify the point of interest. Once your child understands this, he will know how to position himself and angle his photographs as well as use other photography techniques to place emphasis on a subject.

 2. Teach your child the basic composition techniques – explain the techniques in simple terms and avoid any jargon that may just add to the confusion. It’s not easy to teach a child that by placing a subject 1/3 or 2/3 of the frame for composition makes the photograph more visually appealing, but teaching him to place a subject slightly off center can be a start.

child5 7 More Digital Photography Lessons to Teach Your Child 3. Take interest in your children’s images – one of the most important parts in teaching your child how to photograph is actually sitting with them and reviewing the images he’s taken. By going through the shots, you can praise the shots that have been taken well as well as give suggestions on shots that can be improved. Give extra attention and pay generous compliments to the images that have been taken well because these will feed enthusiasm and inspiration to develop their skills more.

 4.  Teach your child the relevance of a photograph – impart to your child that a camera can capture memories, not just record images. Ask him to remember to include himself in some of the photographs by asking a friend to take a picture of him.

5. Practice how to use focal lock – teach your child to use focal lock by pressing the shutter halfway down to focus and to frame a shot while still holding the shutter down. This is a technique that he can use forever. Even if most, if not all, of the digital cameras out in the market are equipped with auto focus, it still cannot determine the main point of focus or the actual subject.

child4 7 More Digital Photography Lessons to Teach Your Child6. Different modes for different situations – teach your child to use the different modes of a camera such as ‘sports’, ‘macro’, ‘landscape’, etc. Explain the meaning of each mode and if possible, demonstrate the differences. It is also important that your child knows when the appropriate time is to use each mode and how to switch to manual mode. This makes children more aware of their subject as well as learning how lighting, focal distance and movement can affect a shot.

 7. Exposure settings – when you child has a full understanding of the basic techniques, you can move on to explaining the importance of exposure. This may be a lesson for older kids with advanced compact cameras, but depending on how you explain the three exposure settings, the concept of ISO, aperture and shutter speed is a start. Explain the functions of each setting and what it can do to an image.  Showing them how to use aperture and shutter priority modes will help them on their way to fully understanding these functions.

 Depending on your child’s age and experience with a camera, you can pinpoint how to proceed with their photography lessons. A simple point and shoot will be sufficient in getting your child to learn and explore the world of photography and capture amazing photos at the same time. At best, be patient and give quality time when getting them started. Most of all, make it a fun and exciting experience for the both of you.

 


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Photographing Snow Scenes

When the land gets covered in snow, it transforms into a different place, something magical, mysterious or desolate. Pictures of winter landscapes can be mesmerizing but taking those shots can be one big challenge. Not only will you have to think of composition and lighting but also how the cold will affect your camera gear. Before you head out into the world of snow, there are a few things to remind yourself about:

snow1 Photographing Snow ScenesProtect yourself – keep yourself warm with gloves and a jacket. Not only will you be less uncomfortable but it will lessen the chances that you will shiver and cause camera shake. Gloves might make it awkward for you to hold and use the camera but numb fingers won’t be a good thing, either. If you are in not so familiar territory such as hiking in the mountains, stay away from snow drifts and areas which might be dangerous. Taking a picture of that wonderland of snow in the distance is not worth risking your health for. 

Protect your camera gear – Camera batteries are very susceptible to cold temperatures and there is a possibility they won’t last as long as they usually do. Bring extra batteries, just to be on the safe side, and keep all your batteries as warm and cozy as possible by placing them in your pocket next to your body or by keeping your camera in an insulated bag when not in use. Avoid keeping your camera slung around your neck and try not to carry a lot of gear while walking. The bulkier the equipment you carry, the bigger the chances of you losing your balance. Not only might you get hurt if you do, but your gear might suffer, too. When you arrive home, give your camera time to adjust to the change of temperature before using it to avoid moisture or fogging of the lens.

snow2 Photographing Snow ScenesAdjust exposure settings – snow is white and has reflective properties, and without adjusting camera settings, your images can end up looking underexposed or dirty gray. The reason for this is that the camera meter is designed to compute for the middle gray in a scene and if what the lens sees is a lot of white, the light meter will compensate by underexposing the snow, hence making it appear gray instead.   A lot of digital cameras come with automatic presets and you can use the snow scene preset which can usually do a good job in using the right exposure. But you might want more control over your camera settings and use the manual mode instead.  To get around the possibility of underexposure, you can deliberately overexpose the shot by adding a stop of two to the exposure settings. You can also lessen the chances of getting images with the wrong exposure by bracketing your shots so that you will have options to choose from. 


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7 Digital Photography Lessons to Teach Your Child

One of the many advantages of technology nowadays is having the opportunity to use a digital camera where the cost of film and developing is not something to consider when first teaching a child on how to use a camera and take photographs.

We all would like to preserve memories of our children growing up, but we can’t always be there to record every moment of their life. Moreover, it would be a completely different experience if a child recorded their own memories through their own experiences and their own eyes. Besides, it is not all the time that they let us in on all their secrets. This is a way for them to express themselves as well as discover who they are and perhaps open doors to what they would want to be in the future.

Here are a few lessons you can give your child on getting started in using a camera and taking photographs of their own.

child1 7 Digital Photography Lessons to Teach Your Child1. Experiment – show your child different techniques to try when shooting one subject. Let your child try shooting from different perspectives such as up high or down low. Explain the difference between a close up shot and moving further away from a subject to include more of the scene. Show your child how to shoot with different angles by moving around a subject. Also, how to use the different settings on a camera by experimenting on different exposure modes and what outcomes each may produce.

2. Pay attention to the background and foreground – teach your child to be aware of the background and foreground of a subject and to be conscious of possible clutter that may be a distraction. Give emphasis on the importance of framing to eliminate some of the distractions, as well as to give more focus and attention to the subject.

child3 7 Digital Photography Lessons to Teach Your Child3. Keep the camera straight – although off-kilter shots can have a playful feel to the images and have a candid effect, it’s important to teach your child to frame an image. This would give your child the very basic principle of leveling all of the shots and once that is imparted and practiced, even candid shots will look great and won’t have that dizzying effect.

4. Hold the camera properly- don’t assume that anyone can hold a camera, especially a child who is unfamiliar with it. Your child may need a few tips in holding a camera correctly to help avoid the usual problems encountered such as camera child2 7 Digital Photography Lessons to Teach Your Childshake. Advice your child to use the camera strap to lessen chances of the camera falling on the floor.

5. Get in close – teach your child that getting close to the subject can capture so much of the details that are often missed. It will also make your child more observant and appreciative of ‘ordinary’ objects.

6. Take lots of photos – it’s great how taking photographs aren’t as costly with digital cameras today. You and your child can preview the images right after they are taken and edit out the ones you don’t want to keep. By letting your child freely take pictures without having to stop at a certain number of shots, they get to play and have fun and explore what they can do with the camera.

 



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How to Photograph Smoke

If you type ‘smoke photos’ in online search engines, you’ll come up with millions of photographs of smoke. There seems to be something fundamentally appealing about them, from their ethereal wispiness to the various ways they curl and curve in the air. They can appear as abstract shapes or in relation to another object. Just like all images beautiful and seemingly simple, photographing smoke takes some preparation.

You’ll need a few things to get your smoke shot:

smoke11 How to Photograph SmokeIncense sticks – they give off a beautiful gray smoke, they smell good and they are easy to control. They also have a small burning area so the smoke is concentrated as it wafts from the stick. A bigger burning area would mean less defined smoke curls. You can use other smoke sources but just stay away from open flame since it will cause hot air to rise and disturb those smoke shapes. Plus, there’s less chances you will burn the house down while playing with fire.

Black backdrop – since smoke is grayish and transparent, the background has to look uncluttered and dark to fully show it off. You can use a black cloth (velvet is advised since it does not reflect light) or black cardboard. If you have neither, try shooting at night but make sure there are no nearby objects that might become illuminated by the flash.

Flash – an external and portable light source is best since you will be positioning it to light up the smoke. The camera’s built-in flash will illuminate the smoke straight on but that might not be the best angle since it can also light up the background. The stronger the light, the better. You will be using a small aperture for a greater depth of field, a low ISO to make the smoke looking as fine and smooth as possible and a fast shutter speed (1/250 at least) to freeze the rising plumes of smoke. Since the exposure settings will allow very little light to get through to the sensor, this is the reason why you will have to compensate with the strength of the flash.

smoke22 How to Photograph SmokePosition the light source to the side or almost to the back of where your smoke will be. Take care not to shine the light on your lens or on the background. Smoke usually rises straight up in a line and to break this by forming curls or other shapes, you can try wafting the air (a hand fan, a piece of paper or even just your hand will do).  Another thing to remember is to have good ventilation in the room. The air will sooner or later start to thicken with smoke, and not only will this be bad for your health but also for the shot since it can lessen the contrast and definition of your smoke pattern.

When you’re done taking pictures, you can post process them and make them look even more striking. One way is to invert the image which will make the background white instead of black. Another is to change the hue and saturation of the smoke. Still another, if your photo editing savvy, is to colorize only certain parts of the smoke and make it look multi-colored.

Creating good smoke shots take lots of practice and patience but the results are often very rewarding and worth the effort. 


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6 Good Habits Practiced by Photographers

The more time you spend doing an activity, the more habits you incur. Such is the case with photography, whether it is your profession or a hobby. Here are three good practices which every photographer is advised to follow:

1. Back up your image files – one of the worst things that can happen to a photographer is for all his or her image files to be irretrievably lost because the computer suddenly conks out. habit1 6 Good Habits Practiced by Photographers Constantly backing up photo files can be a hassle especially if you have thousands stored in your hard drive. But can you imagine what will happen if all your precious photos suddenly vanish just because you didn’t take the effort to back them up? Make it a habit to back up your shots so that if your hard drive becomes corrupt or just breaks down without reason, at least you are secure in the knowledge that you have copies of your photos in another hard drive, memory cards, data discs or even online. 

2. Take care of your gear – protect your gear all the time, even when you are just at home. I admit to sometimes forgetting to clean the camera lens and regret it when I see dust particles in my photos that I then have to remove in post processing. But more than that, dirt and grime can actually harm the camera. DSLRs, for example, have removable parts and if a speck of sand happens to enter the spaces of the camera, it can scratch the sensitive parts and cause the camera to malfunction. Simple actions such as protecting your camera’s LCD with a screen protector, not holding the camera with wet hands, using the neck strap if you’re plan to hold the camera while shooting, and using a camera case can make your camera live longer. As much as it tempts you, don’t wipe your camera’s lens with the edge of your shirt. Invest in a camera cleaning kit or at the very least, use a lens cloth such habit2 6 Good Habits Practiced by Photographers as what you would use for eyeglasses or eye shades. Accessories such as batteries, memory cards, filters, extra lenses and flash units should be taken care of just as much since these can be expensive to repair or to replace.

3. Work in-camera – it is good practice to try to improve your in-camera skills rather than to rely on post-processing tactics. In the days of film, photography was often considered an expensive hobby because of the rolls of films one had to buy once the previous roll was used up. To save money, many (okay, me) would try to get the perfect shot in as few frames as possible. With digital photography, we now have the luxury of taking hundreds of pictures without having to worry about the cost of film. The downside to this is we become trigger-happy and may have the tendency to shoot without much thought about composition or lighting. Choosing quantity over quality will not help you hone your photography skills, and using photo editing programs to spice up your hurried shots may not make things better, either. Practice the discipline of getting the shots right in-camera even if you’re using a digital camera. You will grow much more as a photographer this way, plus you will spend less time editing photos. 

4. Be observant – remember when we were children and every object in the whole world seemed to be interesting? The toy box was just as fun to play with as the toy, we could spend hours playing with the dead leaves in the garden, and the whole world just seemed so shiny and exciting. As we mature, we get used to the everyday, ordinary things around us to the point of not even noticing them anymore. Photography (and all the other forms of visual art) reminds us to go back to that stage of constant wonder, to use all our senses (not just sight) to capture in a shot what we want to remember or express.

habit3 6 Good Habits Practiced by Photographers 5. Know your camera – cameras differ in many ways; brand, model, buttons, features, quality, shape, size, and so on and so forth. To make the most out of your camera, you should be very familiar with it, both its capabilities and its limitations. 

6. Practice constantly – if you want to take fantastic shots, practice. This is probably the best good habit a photographer can have. Just like any skill, there is no shortcut to being an expert in this field.  A photographer’s skill evolves through constantly shooting, learning what works and what doesn’t, and applying in the latest shoot whatever has been learned so far. There is only so much that concepts and suggestions from photo books, workshops and other photographers can do. These are easily forgotten if you don’t practice. Since photography deals both with artistic expression and technical expertise, experience is the key to knowing how to balance these two aspects. 


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Simple Tips in Getting Great Bokeh Shots

 

bokeh31 Simple Tips in Getting Great Bokeh ShotsWhen taking a photograph, usually most of the attention is centered on the subject and very little emphasis is placed on the areas that are not in focus. A usual technique used when photographing is having a shallow depth of field to make a particular subject more prominent than the other things surrounding it. This technique makes a lot of the photographers forget the artistic possibilities of the portions that are out of focus as they center all the attention on the subject alone. In fact, the background and foreground can add more depth and visual impact to an image when everything works together.

‘Bokeh’, a term derived from the Japanese word meaning ‘haze’ or ‘blur’, is the part of an image that is not clear or in focus. The correct pronunciation of the term ‘bokeh’ has been a topic of debate in the world of photography, but a popular pronunciation would be ‘bo’ as in ‘bone’ and ‘ke’ as in ‘kettle’. Contrary to what many photographers believe, bokeh is an important aspect in adding visual impact to an image and its artistic contribution can be controlled by using basic principles which we will further discuss in detail:

bokeh 2 Simple Tips in Getting Great Bokeh ShotsUse a big aperture for a shallower depth of field (DoF) – usually bokeh is determined to be the out of focus part of a photograph which is impacted by depth of field. DoF affects how big a portion of an image is blurry. A low aperture value such as 1.8 or 2.7 will produce a shallow DoF that will make a large portion of an image blurry. A common misconception for most budding photographers is to always use the lowest aperture setting. To make an image have more visual impact, maintain a balance between the blurry portions and the objects in focus. Just because the background is out of focus doesn’t mean you will have an ideal bokeh shot.

Choose the right lens – more expensive lenses out in the market have more curved aperture blades that produce circular bokeh. An aperture consists of a lot of blades that make up a circle or octagon that allows light to pass through to the sensor. Apertures that have more blades or have curved blades produce a more defined circular shaped light bursts while those with octagonal openings produce bokeh effects closer to its shape. Depending on your preference, the choice of aperture would create the effect you would want.

Create your own custom bokeh – as of late, the technique of placing cutouts specially designed to be placed onto a lens has been in vogue for photographers seeking a more customized effect to their images. This enables photographers to have more control of the shape of the bokeh lights.  This can add a touch of bokeh 1 Simple Tips in Getting Great Bokeh Shotscreativeness to photographs. Using a black sheet of paper, shapes can be cut out from it and taped onto a lens like a lens cap. Make sure the cutout is positioned exactly in the center of the lens to produce the desired effect. The end result will show bokeh shapes that follow the design of the cutout.

Relate the foreground with the background – ideally, in every image there has to be continuity and relation among the foreground, background and subject to have visual harmony. Sometimes, what we least expect to capture in an image is the most captivating. Make sure that in some way the foreground interacts with the background.

Bokeh may be a common technique used in photography but it is given much less attention in comparison to other techniques. By focusing on bokeh and constantly testing ways to improve its effects, it can add more depth and visual impact to your images.

 

 


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7 Fantastic Tips to Capture Autumn Images

 

Fall is such a beautiful time of the year, when the bright green leaves of summer turn to red and gold. Rows of trees seem to be colored various shades of sunbeams and the bright blue sky is the perfect backdrop. Autumn is the season for taking breathtaking scenic images and here are some golden guidelines to capture the spirit of the season:

autumn1 7 Fantastic Tips to Capture Autumn Images1.      Use filters – polarizing filters are fantastic for reducing atmospheric haze and boosting the vividness of colors. Skies become bluer and the autumn colors really become enhanced. If you don’t have one, try placing polarized sunglasses over the camera lens as a simple alternative. You can also use warming filters to make the scene appear to have a golden tint. The quick way out if you don’t have one is to add it in post processing. Most photo editing programs have photo filter options you can use to mimic the effect.

2.      Take pictures at dawn or dusk – these are called the ‘golden hours’ or ‘magic hours’, when the sun is near the horizon and it’s rays appear golden as they shine on the scene. The light is more diffused and warm during the first and last hour of sunlight, and it is the perfect time for getting those stunning autumn shots since the lighting adds to the mood.

autumn3 7 Fantastic Tips to Capture Autumn Images3.      Take pictures with overcast skies – when the sun is behind a cloud, it is a good time to take out your camera, not keep it. Overcast days mean indirect and diffused sunlight, less harsh shadows, and you can still capture the various shades of yellow, orange and red in the trees and fields that fall images are known for.

4.      Use contrasting colors – if you want to put emphasis on a certain subject or area in the frame, an effective way to do so is to use color contrasts or light contrasts. For example, red contrasts with green so a red leaf would really stand out against green grass or a green leafy background. Another example is yellow contrasts with blue. You can take advantage of the blue sky as the perfect background to a row of golden trees.

5.      Adjust your white balance setting – this setting affects the color temperature of the image, and you can tweak it to make a scene appear warmer or cooler. Instead of leaving the white balance setting at ‘auto’ mode, choose an appropriate setting that would boost the effect you intend. Since we want warm tones to portray that autumn atmosphere, use the ‘cloudy’ setting to add a warm tone to the shot. Just be careful, though, because sometimes the scene may be already golden and adding a warm tone might be too much.

6.      Have variety – the beauty of autumn is found not only in the vast glorious landscapes but also in a single leaf. autumn2 7 Fantastic Tips to Capture Autumn ImagesYou can shoot in macro and capture the veined details of a leaf that is changing color or take a picture of a lone tree on a hill or a panoramic shot of a field with rows of red gold trees in the distance. You can also include foreground interest such as a person or a structure. 

7.      Don’t forget the holidays – autumn covers a span of approximately three months which vary depending what hemisphere you are in. During this time, holidays and other special occasions may be celebrated which you can take advantage of as subject matter for your shots. For instance, both Halloween and Thanksgiving are celebrated during this season in the northern hemisphere. There are hundreds of photo opportunities to be grabbed during these times so take care not to miss them.

 

 

 

 


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The 365 Photo Days Project

We’re always telling other people as well as ourselves that the best way to get better at photography is to take pictures all the time. All the photo books and tips on technique and inspiration that you read (like this one) will not mean much if you don’t literally pick up your camera and shoot. Here’s a challenge, a major one, which will push you to the limit at times but will surely hone your technique and creativity by the time it is all over.

tissue365 The 365 Photo Days ProjectThe objective is to take a picture a day for an entire year. That’s 365 days, give or take a leap year. That doesn’t sound so bad, does it? After all, it doesn’t take much to point the camera at something, click the shutter, and be done with it. Anyone can do it in the space of one second. However, since we are trying to improve our photography skills, we would want to put a little more effort into it. This is where the challenge comes in.

There are two common ways to go about this endeavor:

Random shots – You can take shots of anything that strikes your fancy. There is no pattern or rules to follow; you will just be going with the flow of your mood. The advantage of this is that you will not feel boxed into doing something specific but the downside is there is no guideline to trigger ideas for what to shoot next. Some people prefer the freedom of randomness but others might want to go by a theme instead.

plastic365 The 365 Photo Days ProjectThemed images- You can divide the days into themes so that you will have more focus as to what to shoot. By following a theme or some themes, you can also improve on a specific area in your skills. For instance, if your theme is to take macro shots only, surely by the end of the year you’ll be an expert at this particular approach. Having only one theme can be very difficult, especially in the latter half of the year. To avoid feeling stifled by your theme, pick one that is specific but not limiting. For example, a theme such as ‘macro’ will leave you more room to play with compared to ‘nature macro’. You may also do several themes in the year for more variety. You can do a different theme every month or every week. It’s really up to you as long as you know you can sustain it for a long period of time. If, in the middle of the year, you change your mind and would rather do random shots, that’s perfectly fine, too.

There will be some days when you will feel like giving up, when you won’t even want to go near the camera anymore. To keep yourself motivated, why not show your photos online for others to comment and appreciate? Reading praises or tips on how you can improve your shots can keep your will strong enough to continue with the challenge. You can create a blog or upload in photo sharing sites. Even better, why not sell your daily photos as stock in PhotoStockPlus. This way, you can shoot pictures and earn at the same time.

Many have succeeded in taking a photo a day for a year without any break or lapse in the days. Others have missed a day or two, or even weeks at a time. If you do miss shooting on some days, don’t get discouraged and stop entirely. The point of the exercise is to practice shooting pictures more often than not, and this project is to help you do just that. 


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How to Shoot Halloween Jack-o’-Lantern Photos

Jack-o’-lanterns are one of the most recognized objects that best represents the concept of Halloween. Once a year, pumpkins are not only eaten but are also hollowed out, carved and turned into spooky décor. Carving jack-o’-lanterns can be great fun for the family to do together and the finished product is often proudly photographed in various ways. The following are some proven techniques to shoot jack-o’-lanterns in the most attractive way:

pumpkin1 How to Shoot Halloween Jack o’ Lantern PhotosAvoid using a built-in flash – using your camera’s built-in flash is a no-no because it will make the pumpkin appear flat with large areas of burned out highlights. If you want to show what the jack-o’-lantern looks like as a whole, not just the lit up face, you can use available light instead such as sunlight or a porch light. Off-camera flash can also be used and bouncing the light off a screen or a wall can make the intensity softer and more diffused.

Use a tripod – since the shutter is left open for a few seconds, there is great risk of camera shake and the shot might end up blurry if you don’t use a tripod. If you don’t have one with you, you can place the camera on a flat steady surface such as a stack of books or a short table.

Use a long exposure – jack-o’-lanterns look like glowing heads in the dark and to capture the look, the camera shutter speed has to be quite slow. Since the light source is just a few candles and located inside the hollow of the pumpkin, the shutter might have to stay open for more than half a second to capture the carved features and shape. Standard digital point and shoots nowadays have a shutter priority mode which you can use.

pumpkin3 How to Shoot Halloween Jack o’ Lantern PhotosBe aware of the background – if you are doing long exposure shots, the background is usually pure black so that all the attention is focused on the lighted pumpkin face. Check the background and see if there are any incidental light such as those coming from the window or nearby appliances that might appear in the shot. If ever you do notice some unwanted light in the background after the shot has been taken, you can remove them in post processing using the healing or dodge tool.

Have sufficient candles – to get adequate light for picture taking, place two or three candles in the pumpkin, not just one. Be sure to place them in spots that are hidden from the carved spaces of the pumpkin face so that there won’t be overexposed areas in the image. These candles will provide backlighting by illuminating the pumpkin head from the inside. With this lighting technique, shapes and edge details are accentuated pumpkin2 How to Shoot Halloween Jack o’ Lantern Photoswhile the rest of the object is in silhouette.

Play with the scene – you can focus on the carved face by taking close up shots but you can also place the jack-o’-lantern in context with its surroundings. Step back a bit and include the nearby scene such as the steps where the pumpkin is resting or the bucket of candies beside it. You can get great shots by taking pictures at dusk, when the sky still has a hint of light to help illuminate the scene.

Now that you have great looking jack-o’-lantern photos, you might wonder what you can do with them. Aside from being keepsakes to remind you of when you carved some awesomely scary pumpkin faces, you can use these pictures as the cover image of your Halloween cards, or even make money out of them by selling them in photo stock sites. Stock photo buyers are on the lookout for fantastic Halloween pumpkin images and yours may just be what they are looking for.

 


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How to Shoot BOOtiful Halloween Photos

halloween1 How to Shoot BOOtiful Halloween PhotosHalloween is almost here and one can feel the excitement in the air! Houses will soon be covered in spooky décor and children and adults alike anticipate a fun-filled night of trick or treating. This is a holiday that is so visually enticing and you can see photo opportunities everywhere you look. Whether you are taking pictures to capture your children’s nighttime jaunt or to cover a Halloween costume party or to get images for your stock photo portfolio, here are several tips to get those eerily fantastic photos:

Have people pose in character – wearing a Halloween costume is a great reason for people, adults and children alike, to act like the character they are portraying. Whether it is as a scary looking zombie or a dainty princess, playing the part is a major part of the fun. This is also a great opportunity to get fun playful poses in your shots. Children usually don’t need to be asked twice to strike a pose in their costumes. Adults might be more shy and hesitant but being in a costume can bring out their inner childlike excitement and will get in on the fun with just a little coaxing from you.

halloween3 How to Shoot BOOtiful Halloween PhotosChoose your image orientation –the horizontal orientation or landscape format is most often used, probably because of the camera’s orientation when you hold it. Horizontal is used when your subject is on the wider side such as if you want to include a lot of people in the frame. Don’t forget that you can also shoot in vertical orientation or portrait format. This is great when the subject is on the taller side, such as when taking full body shots to show off a person’s costume in full.

Prepare for low-light conditions – most Halloween shots are taken in the evening and it is always good to be prepared to address this issue. You can take advantage of the ambient or available light in the scene, such as street lights or candle lights from jack o’lanterns, to provide illumination. You can also get more light by adjusting your camera settings. A slower shutter speed or a bigger aperture would let in more light. Another great tip would be to shoot during dusk when there is still a bit of light in the sky. This gives your scene more illumination without it being awash in bright daylight or underexposed in the night sky.

halloween2 How to Shoot BOOtiful Halloween PhotosCapture special moments – during Halloween, people bond together to celebrate the occasion. Parents go trick or treating with their children and neighbors interact with other neighbors even if they don’t for the other days in the year. It is an evening of great excitement for everyone so keep your camera at the ready to catch special moments of interaction and connection between people.

Take pictures of the person behind the mask – when taking photos of your child or friend in a Halloween mask, also include shots of them not wearing it. Having their faces visible in some shots makes it easy to identify them in the costumes in later years.

Capture the mood – Halloween evokes mixed emotions in people, from excitement to fearfulness, and sometimes both at the same time.  This is one holiday when it is fun to be scared so try to reflect the mood in your images. Aside from your subject, use elements in the scene such as colors and shadows to help add to the ominous or spooky atmosphere.


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