Home / Blog / Happy Halloween! How to Shoot in Low Light Settings

Hey photographers! October is already half over, which means that Halloween is just a couple short weeks away. On this day, many of us participate in spooky activities where we dress up in elaborate costumes and flaunt extravagant makeup. Who wouldn’t want to photograph your epic getup? However, we’re also losing more daylight by the week, and many Halloween events happen after dark, so this calls for some useful tips on a tricky subject- shooting in low light settings. Make your Halloween photos look scary-awesome with these tricks:

  1. Increase your ISO- I may sound like a broken record here, but adjusting ISO sensitivity on your camera can apply to many types of photography, and low light is definitely no exception. Your camera will be able to find more light in darker settings, and you’ll actually increase your shutter speed in the process to prevent motion blur. On the downside, you run the risk of adding more noise/grain to your photos, so try increasing the number gradually until you achieve desired results.
  2. Utilize a larger aperture number– A lower f number in your aperture setting widens the hole in your lens, allowing more light in and letting you create that cool background blur. If your subject has detailed makeup, youll definitely want to bring that into clear focus in your photos!
  3. Use a tripod- Sometimes, youll want to adjust your shutter speed so its not as quick (i.e. 1/30 is slower than 1/250, since we’re speaking in terms of fractions of seconds), as this increases the amount of time the shutter is open, therefore letting more light into your camera. Slower shutter speeds can lead to blurry photos, so consider using a tripod to stabilize camera shake. If you don’t own a tripod or don’t want to carry one around, try bracing your body against a sturdy surface, hold the lens as well as the body of the camera steady, and try to release any tension in your arms and hands to minimize movement. If you’re trying the latter, you probably won’t want your shutter speed as low. 
  4. Look for light, or create your own- Are you walking around your neighborhood trick-or-treating? Look for light sources such as street lamps or storefronts. Or, you can create your own light using various objects such as flashlights, candles, Jack-o-lanterns, glow sticks, sparklers, etc. If possible, consider positioning these lights at various angles to achieve different effects and moods. The spookier, the better!
Happy shooting, and Happy Halloween!
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