Last week, I gave you a list of my must-take photos for Halloween. This week I am going to give you some tips on how to get those photos. Halloween doesn’t exactly lend itself to perfect photography conditions (low light, hyper kids), but there are ways to work around it!
~ Avoid Red-Eye
The best way to avoid red eye is to not use a flash, but on Halloween that is pretty much impossible. Some cameras have built-in red-eye reduction, which is very helpful except for the fact that it can add a few precious seconds between when you press the shutter and when the picture is actually taken. I’m sure we’ve all had kids move in those few seconds – so frustrating! So, if your kids are old enough, have them look just off-camera. By not looking directly at the camera, the flash won’t bounce off their pupils into the lens. If your kids are a little too small for this kind of direction (like Annie), you can move yourself – change the angle you take your photo from or move further away from the kids. If none of these suggestions work, you can remove red-eye with editing software. Windows Live Photo Gallery, Picasa, and iPhoto are all free programs that can remove red-eye.
~ Lighting and Camera Shake
If you want to avoid using a flash, try taking pictures of your kids at dusk. There should be enough light for those great outdoor shots. Sometimes our cameras might overcompensate, and leave the shutter open longer. If this happens, the photos will often turn out blurry because of camera shake. This can be fixed by using a tripod or bracing your camera on a steady surface like a tree, mailbox, or table – anything that will help you keep your camera still.
~ ISO, Shutter Speed, and Aperture
For those of you with SLR cameras, try switching into some of the manual modes for low-light situations. If you increase your ISO, your camera will be more sensitive to light. A larger Aperture will let more light into your camera, so put your lens on the lowest aperture possible. You can also have a slower shutter speed, but then you need to take the same precautions for camera shake that I listed above.
~ Group Shots
They’re kids, so getting all of them to look at the camera is almost impossible. Look at this one from last year:
The biggest problem? There were five adults with cameras. The kids didn’t know where to look! If possible, try to just have ONE adult take the photos. Instead of having the kids say “cheese,” ask them yell out a Halloween-themed word like, “candy,” “scary,” or “spooky.” It’s different and should definitely get their attention! And, of course, take a ton of snaps – the odds of all the kids looking at the camera go up with the number of photos you take!
Have any questions, or tips to share? Let me know!
Have a happy Halloween, everyone!