any quick advice for halloween shots ?

D. Glenn Arthur Jr. dglenn at
Sat Oct 31 18:51:12 EDT 2009

Sandra Hermann <jeepgirls2004 at> asked:
> This will be my first year to be able to trick or treat.  Seeing
> as I have worked nights since 1995 I have never done much dark
> photography.  Any tips? Sami is wearing a pink princess costume.  
> Should I take a tripod or would that be to much of a hassle?  I
> have a flash.  Would that ruin the "moment"?

Off the top of my head:

No tripod for trick-or-treating.  Flash probably wouldn't ruin the
_moment_, but you won't usually have much to bounce it off of, so
keep subjects far enough from solid backgrounds like walls to avoid
making shadows extra-distracting, and if you have an external flash
that tilts, and a strap-on bounce card for it, use that.  Plan to
shoot a lot of available-light anyhow, because you're going to see
some cool available-light compositions (flash wont spoil the moment,
but it will change the scene) and mind the white-balance (especially
when switching between flash and available light).  Going with a
fast prime at the expense of the flexibility of a slower zoom will
pay off when shooting under streetlights w/o a tripod.  Oh, and pay
attention to where the lights are; it's really easy to overlook
shadows on faces while jumping into position to get a cute shot.

These tips are mostly based on my own past mistakes (of course),
especially from several Hallowe'ens shooting film.  Uh, and 
influenced a bit by my own prediliction for available-light
shooting at night.

					-- Glenn

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