Monday, March 5, 2018

How to Make Spooky Photographs

Scary is easy to find. It presents itself with light and dark, odd angles, and looming images taken from below, sometimes just cropped parts of a scene are scary, and black and white always works, but how else can you get spooky photos? Let me give some suggestions - 

A nest of bare branches becomes something sinister - a portal to the macabre.  A dead tree and a storm sky takes on an ominous tone - 

Touring an abandoned prison, walked up the stairs and as I was climbing them, I stopped and took a picture of the window, but at an angle and moving, making it disorienting. 

Arms stuck up in the air in a corn field after the sunset. Tells a story of terror after dark in the corn rows.

A corn maze with the bright spotlight, casting a shadow. 

Nightvision makes everything creepy and turns regular people into zombies.

Abandoned place - a single chair. Tells a bleak story.

Dinosaur park with sky behind and tree - looks like real Jurassic.

The road going into some barren woods - makes you wonder what's around the bend....

Move around while taking a photo and you have a ghost - 

Dark sky and a silhouette of a steeple, leaves you with a feeling of foreboding.  Back lighting and silhouettes always create mystery. 

Silhouettes in graveyards are impressive, as well. With the sun behind a grave, it becomes a dark outline - 

Black and white - cemeteries always look more foreboding if they look like Night of the Living Dead (btw, this was at Evans City Cemetery - where it was filmed). 

Shadows always make interesting statements. 

With the sun behind you, you can cast a wicked shadow -

As well, the use of light can create mystery.

Sometimes, a simple change of perspective can make something imposing, like lying down and shooting up at the object or hitting it during a sunset and letting it silhouette....

A display case in the Birdcage Theater in Tombstone, AZ had low lighting, so I took the pic with no flash and let the shutter remain open longer.

Getting underneath and getting an upshot perspective can make something appear more looming and overpowering.

Don't pass by trash strewn out in dump sites. Sometimes, you find some things that are creepy when they are left unattended.

Candlelight can make anything a bit creepier. 

Put on a bright light, put a person in front of it in a doorway, tape a sheet of plastic to the doorway and let them press up against it while you take photos from the other side of the plastic. 

Ultimately, the best spooky photos involve what you don't see as much as what you don't, so lighting is always the most important factor. 

Look to the sky - 

Don't just pass by abandoned sites and abandoned items. What is left behind, the neglected, can be quite eerie - 

Ultimately, the spookiest photographs involve mood and lighting. When the place and the time strikes, go for it! 

1 comment:

  1. Those photos were amazing. I love it when the sky is dark and moody when photographing abandoned sites and old cemeteries.