Oh the Woes of Haunt Photography and Video

WikEd had a great post on how wonderful Halloween displays are ruined with bad photography. He did the best job of explaining the problem. Flash photography sucks in this situation. Check out his blog (click the link above or the photo above). Please click on each photo for a larger version to see the detail.

I stumbled across the problem when I started haunting and played with the automated night settings on my old point and shoot. I was getting really great pictures with no flash and a tripod. No flash means your shutter is usually opened wider and or longer which can result on camera shakes and blurred images.
This is one of my first low light photos.

After that camera gave up the ghost I was in the market of a DSLR. I've always love photography and it seemed like the next move for me. The cool thing with those is that you can buy multiple lenses for different situations. No it isn't cheap. Not cheap at all, but there are some descent deals out there and I happened upon the Nikon 50mm 1.8 lens. That means it is a great low light lens. The lower the aperture number (1.8) the larger the aperture you have to work with, so that in low light settings, you get a lot of forgiveness.

I also switched lighting of the haunt from big par 38 can spotlights to homemade little 12 volt LED spots that aren't as harsh. The only problem is that the light output is even lower.
This is one of my first shots with the DSLR and the crappy lens that came with the kit. Not too bad really. This was before the 50mm 1.8 that I use today. The camera sure picked up a lot of the light.
This photo was taken with the 50mm 1.8. I was quite happy with it. It was taken with the aperture setting to allow it to shoot at 1.8. I also used a tripod.

I started playing around with settings and got some great shots last year (2014). That little lens is a go to favorite of the 6 I have. (it's seriously stubby and affordable at under $200).

My next installment will be on haunt video. That topic has been haunting me for the past few years. I'm confident I can get a good one with my DSLR which are known for great low light picture quality. The only problem is that I have to move to full manual mode which has been a little intimidating. 


  1. I've always had trouble with my digital camera. Even in broad daylight it will produce blurs. Maybe a DSLR is the way to go, hhm.

  2. Thanks for the tag! I have actually been trying to give mini lessons when I catch people at my haunt lol.

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