Halloween Photography: Diffuse Your Flash

In order to get the best from your Halloween photographs, you will need to take some pictures after it gets dark. That's when the ghouls and witches come out, after all. The most common method of illuminating an area of darkness in order to take a picture is to use the flash on your camera, but this can have some unwelcome effects, such as red eye. In order to prevent this from happening again, you will need to diffuse your flash.

What Diffusing the Flash Means

Those without a lot of experience with camera work might not understand the principle of diffusing the flash. This method prevents the light from hitting the same small area, which can lead to the problems described above. Diffusing puts some material between the flash and the object being photographed, so the light is more like a natural illumination.

Flash diffusers can be bought from camera stores, or from local suppliers, but you can also make them yourself out of household objects such as stockings or paper. Anything which is mainly whole, but is thin enough to allow small particles of light to pass through, will be suitable for use as a flash diffuser.

How to Use Diffusing Material

If you want to apply your material to the flash, you may be wondering how this is done. Take your material, and cut it to fit around the flash. You don't want to suffocate the flash and stop it entirely, but rather you want to close it up enough to prevent the full force of the flash from hitting your subjects. Take the stocking, for example, and cut a square piece out slightly smaller than the area of the flash bulb. Use sticking tape to seal the stocking to the flash, using the tape on every side. Take a few flash shots to check that you have fitted the diffuser correctly, and then go ahead and take your Halloween shots. You can remove the diffuser after you have finished.

Other Ways of Photographing Halloween

Another method of photographing Halloween is to learn to shoot in low-light conditions. Modern towns and cities always have a certain amount of light, and you can use this to your advantage through several different methods. Most important is using:

  • high film or ISO speeds, which will increase the amount of light absorbed onto the film
  • slower shutter speeds, which will again allow more light
  • wider lens aperture tools, which can also help to increase the brightness of a shot

If you are using any of these methods, then you should try to use a tripod or something supportive in order to prevent blurring of the picture.


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