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Shooting Haunted Houses and Kids (for Halloween)

We like to turn any event, celebration, gathering, holiday and weekend into a reason to take photos. And with Halloween coming up and the potential for lots of ghouly and gruesome night shots, we thought some hints and tips would be useful.

Capturing special effects and lighting

When photographing houses to capture special effects and lighting, long exposure photography is a great option. You will be able to capture the decorations and special Halloween lighting on houses.
In terms of equipment, use a sturdy tripod to keep your camera steady and your photos sharp - some exposures can be as long as 30 seconds which is impossible to hand hold.  
To get the best results, shoot with a moderately low ISO in the range of 100-400, to keep sensor noise to a minimum.  This will give a much cleaner result to your shot.  
Shoot in RAW to give yourself the ability to recover detail in bright and dark areas in your post processing flow.  When taking the photo use a cable release, either a wired or wireless one; this will prevent camera shake if you accidentally move the camera when pressing the shutter button at the start of your exposure.  
Experiment with your exposure to get the best result, overexpose by a couple of stops to see what the results looks like. No need to follow the rules, just have fun!

Capturing the creepy kids!

It’s not just decorations and lighting you will want to capture. Taking photos of your kids in costume can be great fun.  Using some off-camera flash with gels can add awesome light to your image.  A good trick is to fire the flash from behind your child-zombie who is facing toward the camera. This will give a backlit silhouette effect that looks great.  Try with any colour gel (a green or orange one looks great).  

Placing the flash in different places around your kids to change the effect and using a slower shutter (approximately 1/8 of a second) will also capture any lights or decorations in the background.  This is great for ambience and to help set the scene.  For this type of shoot you will need a DSLR, an off-camera flash, flash trigger and some gels.  If you hand hold the camera, be sure to increase your ISO to capture the background lights.  
This should be a fun shoot. Experiment with anything you can think of - there are no limits to what you can try!


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