By Larry Price, Olympus Visionary
Record the pre-game show
Snap pictures as the kids are getting ready for trick-or-treating. Kids adore their Halloween costumes. They ooze with excitement. Their eyes and mouths come to life with exaggerated expressions. Watch for great faces.
Show your colors
Halloween celebrations are rich with vibrant color. Capture background hues by using a slow shutter speed with your flash unit. If you use an Olympus point-and-shoot camera, consider setting the shooting mode to “Night.” This is foolproof way to slow down the shutter speed. Another approach with an Olympus interchangeable lens system camera or compact Stylus Premium series camera, is to set the flash sync on “Slow” and manually adjust the shutter speed. Try speeds as low as ½ a second to get interesting and spooky light trails punctuated by sharp details when the flash fires.
Ramp up your exposure index
If you can, shoot with a higher exposure index (E.I.) or ISO value. I like to use 400 or even 800 with flash to help capture lots of ambient background light indoors and out—and add depth to your images.
Steady it up
Consider using a lightweight tripod when you tour the neighborhood haunted house. Set your camera in place, use an aperture of f/5.6, and you’ll get pin-point sharpness in the dim light.
Improve those faraway scenes of kids walking down the sidewalk with parents in tow. Remember to stay within about five to ten feet of the goblin group. You’ll also be within flash range so your results will be well-exposed.
Get in the habit of kneeling down to photograph children. Cuddle up to their bags of Halloween candy. This puts you on their level and results in an image with a more pleasing, realistic perspective.
Don’t forget the details
To fill out your personal Halloween photo album, shoot lots of details and tell a story. Close-ups of the jack-o-lantern faces, the candy bowls, and tight shots of painted faces are ideas for starters.
Take advantage of twilight
Use the time just before dark — the “magic hour” — to take portraits of your kids in costume out in the front yard or on the sidewalk. Try to include a little environment to add visual interest.