Raid your cupboards to produce a spine-chilling still life photo.
WHILE CREEPY editorial shoots or low-light architecture can be a lot of fun, you can also create a fantastically chilling Halloween shot within your very own home. Still life photography is particularly well suited to this time of year, as there’s so much amazing iconography ripe for exploration.
Source your props
It often feels as if the moment the clock strikes midnight on the 1st October, countless spine-tingling items magically appear in the aisles of supermarkets across the country. This gives you plenty of options for your spooky still life. However, you’ll want to pick a single object to be the star of the show. We’ve chosen a ouija board, as this has allowed us to select a clear focal point – the ‘Yes’ indicated by the planchette. We’ve then arranged a small selection of suitable items around the focal point, making sure not to overload the composition.
Consider your lighting
If you want to evoke emotion in your still life, take a careful look at your lighting setup. We recommend that you take a subtle approach and use low-key lighting to hint at your subjects, rather than fully expose them – remember that many Halloween products are often cheaply made and may have visible imperfections when shot. We’d recommend using a one-light setup, positioned to the side of your scene. Or, if you’re using candles, you could make these your sole light source. Shooting in RAW means you’ll be able to adjust your white balance during the editing process.
If you’re using low-key lighting, you’ll likely find that you need to use a tripod. This is because you’ll find it difficult to attain the minimum shutter speed required for handholding your camera without having to sacrifice image quality with an astronomical ISO. A wide aperture will work perfectly for this technique, as you’ll be able to focus the viewers’ attention on the main subject and gently blur the surrounding objects.
CREATE A FANTASTICALLY SPINE-CHILLING HALLOWEEN SHOT AT HOME
Kit choice Sigma 105mm f/2.8 Macro EX DG OS £359 While you don’t necessarily need a macro lens for this technique, this 105mm lens is perfect for still life setups. Plus, if you want to get a little closer, you can. sigma-imaginguk.com
Above Use a wide aperture and a low ISO to create a shallow depth-of-field and great image quality.