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Halloween photography - What to photograph at Halloween.
- Lens – Something around a 100mm will be good if you're going for a walk round a graveyard but something around the 85mm-135mm mark would be better for your Halloween portraits.
- Tripod – If you're venturing out at night or to a graveyard covered by trees you'll need a tripod for the slower shutter speeds you'll be using.
- Jacket - Wrap up warm as it can turn bitterly cold. Visit Stealth Gear - the outdoor photography specialists.
Firstly please respect the location - this is the resting place and sacred. Check the rules of the cemetery before going ahead. Some don't allow photography, some may restrict the use of flash, some will allow photography providing the shots don't include names, others may have a no tripod rule. Also respect visitors, they may be visiting loved ones and will resent some photographer trampling around nearby.
Walk around the graveyard looking for the more elaborate carved stones. Some have fascinating detail that can be cropped tightly and used as single pictures or as elements in haunting or Gothic montages. Look out for flowers, skulls, faces, angels etc.
Consider shots that you can add a backdrop to. Interesting stones that cut into the sky can be placed as silhouettes in front of large moons for vampire style digital work. To do a silhouette take a reading of the bright sky and expose for that. The cross or statue will then appear black and the sky can be coloured digitally to give a sunset or moonlight effect.
Stones that are laying flat can be useful backgrounds for fallen autumn leaves. Pick a single leaf and place it to one side for a more dynamic composition.
Of course there will be plenty of people in costumes so if you're off to a party don't forget to take your camera along and snap a few candids of people in their Halloween gear. If they've gone to town on their make-up fill the frame with their face, throwing the background out of focus. Try getting some close up shots of the costumes while they're posed as the detail in them is often quite interesting.
Look out for the spider's webs, decorations and the pumpkins as shots of these, combined with shots of people in fancy dress will give you a great overall account of the day's events.
If you have candles in your Jack-O-Lanterns you'll need to bracket your shots as metering can be as metering can be a problem. You'll also need to make sure your flash is off as it will spoil the glow coming from the pumpkin if it goes off.
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