Thursday, October 19, 2023

How To Take Spooky Pictures


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 - 

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, making it a disorienting view

Posing with 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.

The perspective of a dinosaur in a model 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 fast 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 - 

Here, I looked out my window to see a gecko buddy on my screen. Great silhouette.

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.

The scariest photos involve showing only a partial scene. We have no idea where this window is, but we can imagine the entire building it is placed in. Let the viewer's mind fill in the blanks. 

Look for opportunity. I was riding down a rural roadway when a truck pulled out onto the road and I had a flash in my mind of the movie "Jeepers Creepers" and took a perfect opportunity shot to hint at something horrifying.

Sunset is your friend. Utilize it to silhouette objects and create a contrast between happy colors and dark foreground.

Serendipitous finds are like gold. My best friend and me went to photograph an abandoned farm that was very creepy. This time, however, someone had erected a very human-looking scarecrow on the desolate property. Add to that the sunset and it still gives me chills years later! We didn't expect to take a scary pic, but the site gave us that opportunity.

Utilize the foreground to give shots perspective. Here, I had a ghostly figure set up for Halloween, but when I stooped down below the candles, I got a new look at it that told a scary story.

In this shot, I utilized a toy lizard and held it up close to the lens and had my friend pose in the distance. A fun perspective shot and easy to do with all kinds of props from tiny toy airplanes to lego figures and more!

Back-lighting is a great way to give a silhouette and with the right object or the right posing, it can look quite tragic. Here, Julie models up against plastic draped in a doorway with a bare light bulb behind her. 

In this case, below, back lighting while wearing winter coat and ski clothing created a "Bigfoot" in the woods.

Drape cheesecloth over anything or anyone and it gets a soft, muted almost misty/foggy look.

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....

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