Scary Monsters: How to take great Halloween photos with your iPhone


Halloween is an amazing holiday for photos, but also presents some real challenges because of the low-light. Here are some tips for taking great Halloween photos.

News Flash: So the first tip is this: Turn off your flash! You don’t want brightly-lit, flat, colorless monsters and jack-o-lanterns. Try and find other light sources like incandescent and candle light if you can. Flashlights also make excellent ‘ghoul’ lighting when shining from below. Use flash only as a last resort.

Golden Hour: If you’re capturing kids in costume for trick-or-treating, try to have them ready just as the sun is setting. The light at dusk sets a perfect Halloween scene and preserves a lot of the detail you’ll miss later in the dark.

Devilish Details: If you want great costume shots, you’ll want to focus on specific details. Masks, fangs, scars, hats, etc. Get in close and fill the frame. And don’t forget to shoot things like decorations and the candy loot. They don’t move around much and capture the true flavors of Halloween.

Process: If possible, try to document kids (and adults) as they get their costumes prepared. It helps tell the story, and also makes it possible to identify years from now just exactly who was hiding behind that mask.

HDR Spirits: Use a High-Dynamic-Range camera application like TrueHDR or HDR Fusion to capture ghost images. Here’s how: Just hold absolutely still and as the first frame fires, then have your subject walk through as the second frame is taken. Instant ghosts!

Post Processing: Want to turn the spooky volume up? Try editing your pics in an app like LensLight to add effects like a full moon or lightning.

Fall color: Autumn is such an amazing time for rich colors. Capture the entire season in your photo set with a trip to the pumpkin patch or a farmers market. Cloudy days and early/late hours are best for capturing these hues.

Dont forget to download Time Warp Camera for iPhone. It’s the perfect app to share and print your Halloween photos.

Now lets get our spooky on!


Photo Project: In and Out

Doors and windows are great subjects for photography. Open or closed, they can tell stories about what’s on the other side. Their rectangular shapes create beautiful symmetries and framing for composition.

Here are some tips and things to think about when photographing doors and windows.

Balancing Act: If you’re shooting with your iPhone or a camera with a wider angle lens, beware of barrel distortion, which will curve the straight lines of your door or window. You can mitigate this effect by moving away from the door and then cropping your photo later.

Lost in Translation: You can define your concept of a door or window in very broad terms. How about an arch or a gate? A hole in the wall? Use your imagination to stretch the meaning for some creative results.

Found in Transition: Try choosing some doors that have regular use. If you can capture people entering and exiting you can get some great portraits.

Into the Light: Doors are often recessed into walls, so tend to be shadowy. Or, if they are open they may reveal a much darker or brighter light source emanating from within. Keep your exposure in mind when you are setting up your shot. Are you focusing on the door, or what’s behind it? Or both?

Check out more examples of of Door & Window photography in this shared photo set


Photo Project: Standing Room Only


How often do you stop and take a look at where you’re standing? Beaches, forests, lawns – and especially city streets – can visually communicate a sense of location in an artful way. Taking photos of your feet is a fun and quirky way to capture an anonymized self-portrait. So take a moment to look down and see what’s around you. Here are some tips and ideas:

Street Style: If you’re in a city, keep an eye out for decorative elements that most people would normally miss. You’ll be surprised how many towns use elaborate design elements on things like manhole covers and drainage grates. Also check intersections for street names inlaid in metal in the pavement.

Bend the Rules: Your feet don’t actually have to be on the ground. Prop them up with a view. Take a ride on a Ferris Wheel. Maybe leave some footprints in the sand.

More is More: Add more feet and make it “Where We Stand” shot. Crowded buses and train platforms are perfect. It’s more fun when it’s more than just *your* feet.

Calling Ms. Marcos: If you have a thing for shoes, this is a great way to document your collection.

Get inspired: Check out the “from where I stand” collection on Flickr.


Shadowland: How to take great silhouette photography with your iPhone


Silhouettes are a beautiful way to capture the lines and form of a subject. Best of all, you can take silhouettes almost anywhere. All you need is a bright source of light. Hint: A large ball of flaming gas in the sky that rhymes with “fun”. 

Ready to get started? First, download the Keepsy app, and click the “+” to start your own Silhouette photo set.

Here are some tips for shooting great silhouettes with your iPhone:

No Flash: Turn off your flash. The whole point is to darken your subject, so don’t point light at it.

Framing: Silhouettes require a lot of contrast so remember to put your subject between you and your light source. If you imagine standing at the center of a clock dial, if your subject is at 12 0′clock, you want the light source somewhere between 11 and 1.

Exposure: Set your exposure to the brightest area on screen so your silhouette is as dark as possible. This will also properly expose the areas surrounding your silhouette.

Monochrome: Experiment with black and white filters, as well as sepia and cyan to get different effects. If you’re using the Keepsy app camera, try applying ‘Concorde’ filter for a stark contrast.

Split Focus If you are using Camera+ to shoot, use the split focus/exposure feature by spreading your fingers on the screen. Place the exposure indicator on the brightest area of the frame, while placing the focus indicator on the subject. This will ensure your subject has crisp lines while preserving the juicy contrast you’re after. 

While you’re at it, invite some friends to add their silhouettes to your photo set and make it a group project. 

Want to see some more silhouettes? Here are some samples.


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