Using a flash is the quickest way to ruin Halloween pictures especially if there is creepy lighting involved. I rarely use flash even when taking every day pictures choosing to use the ambient light and editing software. I cannot tell you the times I see photo flashes outside our windows at night as people try to capture a really cool pic only to find out it is ruined when they get home. I will show you some examples with the flash and without.
This awesome picture of a the cemetery at sunset using no flash.
Same picture as above but using a flash.
Again, all the super creepy details of the graveyard lighting and the dying sun are captured without a flash.
Reduced to 1980's polaroid picture quality with a flash.
Again, cool picture complete with real spider web!
Reduced to crud with a simple flash.
So how do you take pictures without a flash? Here are some simple steps to help you out :
- If you own a DSLR, set your aperture as low as it will go so it is fully open to take in more light. Most have an aperture priority setting.
- If you have a standard digital camera or smart phone, there should be a low light setting to help you take great pictures. Make sure to turn flash off.
- Use of a tripod is essential. the long exposure time will require the camera to be completely still for up to a minute. Don't have a tripod? Try to steady your camera as much as possible such as lean against a car or car window etc. Still, you need to then go buy a tripod. You can get a very decent one for chump change at a Walmart.
- If you have any kind of photo editing software, use it to bump up the exposure, shadows, and contrast to really pull the true picture out. I use the latest version of Adobe Lightroom on all my photos.
- And finally, don't get frustrated. Practice makes perfect. Play around and have fun!