At Foto Ruta this is one of our favourite holidays of the year where creativity is at its height and street photography around the city becomes a little more interesting. Whether you're taking portraits of your own costume, pumpkin-carving with friends, taking to the streets to get some black + whites, here are a few tips to win at Halloween photos.
Tip no. 1: Shoot out of Focus
If you want a moody and mysterious look to your images, try putting your camera on manual focus and purposely shoot out of focus. Play with moving subjects, hair, faces, etc and see what this experimental shooting technique can yield. You'd be surprised how many happy mistakes you'll make.
Tip no. 2: Play with shadows
Shadows are a quintessential Halloween horror-movie must and the same applies to the photos you take. If you're shooting at night use street lights or the natural light coming in the window to cast a great shadow and experiment with shapes and forms. Go for it. Hitchcock would be proud.
Tip no. 3: Try long exposures or double exposures to get a ghost-like presence
To create ghost effect with your camera, you will have to use a camera that supports long exposures—at least 8 seconds. For an 8-second exposure, you'd have the person in the frame for about 5 seconds and then exit for the remaining 3 seconds. The result is a double exposure in the space where the person stood. The alternative is to take two photographs and use Photoshop or Photoshop Elements to merge the two photos together and then adjust transperancy of each layer.
Tip no. 4: Use Silhouettes
Any object—or Halloween costume—that's readily identifiable by its shape is a good candidate for a silhouette shot. Before sunset, find a spot with a clear line of sight to the sky with your subject's back to the sun, so your subject won't have to compete with other objects on the horizon. You'll have a good 20 minute window to create some great shots before the light disappears.
Tip no. 5: The colour red is scarier than the colour orange
Halloween might most popularly associated with black and orange but if you want your photos to have some seriously frightening impact - use RED. Its bloody, dramatic, passionate, and will add a sense of high alert to your images. Assuming you're not actually going to use the real stuff, food colouring or costume make-up works great as a supplement. If you're in a real pinch, just go for Ketchup.
Have fun and Happy Halloween from all of us at Foto Ruta in Barcelona!