Sunday, September 20, 2020

How to Take Spooky Photos


Scary is easy to find. It presents itself with light and dark, odd angles, and looming images taken from below. 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 - 

Sometimes, getting spooky photos is just telling a story without having to explain it - let people interpret...

A setting like a dead tree is even better with storm sky - 

Touring an abandoned prison, I walked up the stairs and as I was climbing, I stopped and took a picture of the window, but at an angle, 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. The bars on a prison made a cross-shaped shadow over some Nazi hate speech.

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

As well, the use of light can create mystery.

This season, when you go about the cornfields, pumpkin patches, and autumn trees, think about how to get the most foreboding photographs. 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....

Hang a sheet of plastic in a doorway. Put the model on the other side of the plastic with the light on (a closet works good for back lighting) and put the photographer on the other side of the plastic shooting the person up against the plastic with the light behind him/her.

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