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Discussion Starter #2
I know a lot of folks (my wife included) who go into this thinking that they just need that next, better camera.

That umpteen Megapixel camera is 5 more than my present one, it'll do such a better job.

I just want to point out that megapixels don't mean much once you pass about 6 MP. Unless you're trying to enlarge past 8x10 that is.

Wife's iphone 7:



My iphone 5:



Both of which are higher megapixel cameras than my Pentax K10:



None of those are BAD shots, mind. But the iphones are both noisy and a little washed out. The reason boils down to camera settings.

Now, I don't know if there's an app that'll let you go manual mode on your iphone or not, but for cameras that do have that option, here's what you need to watch for.


Most cameras and books these days, and all automagic settings will tell you to do 2 things in low light situations:

Open the aperture (aka F stop), and increase the ISO settings. The aperture effects the depth of field of the photo. High iso increases the image noise and washes out the colors.

Thus, shooting in manual, you can get a tripod and eliminate the above problems. In fact, I also use a remote shutter release when I'm shooting to avoid minor bumps from my finger pressing the shutter as well.

Example:

This is shot with a Canon Powershot S95. This is a 10 megapixel point and shoot my wife bought, and was a fantastic point and shoot that had some manual capability. Unfortunately it eventually broke...Anyhow, NOT a bad shot here. I don't know if my wife or the camera chose the settings, but F2.2 (aperture, this is fairly open, low = open) and ISO 640. It's not TERRIBLE with the noise, and the colors are good.



However, when I approached this same scene with my then 2006, 6 MP Pentax K100, I knew I wanted to show the depth of field. Thus I ran with an F22, and iso 200. It took me a few trial shots as the exposure had to be soooo long I was manually counting it out as I held the shutter open on the 'bulb' settings. (7 second exposure, my newer camera would have been able to do that without me relying on the bulb setting)



Noise and color are fairly comparable, but the sharpness and detail boil right down to the F stop setting here, not the 'better camera'.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Fog and your camera...

Fog effects can really shine on longer exposure settings as well.

Here's that Canon again, F2.2, ISO 1600, allowing it to shoot at 1/15th second. (no tripod needed)



But, back to my Pentax K100, tripod, F4, 6 second exposure, you get the motion of the fog, smoothed out. (though you can also see the wind wreaking havoc. A week of tests prior and the fog eavenly spread out all around...night of, blow off to the back. Of course)



Realizing this smoothing and motion effect added to longer exposures, you can make some really nifty shots.

Purposely waiting till BETWEEN blasts of fog, where just a trickle was eeking through the distribution system on this guy, I utilize the effect to make a nice little foggy glow.

 

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I use a shutter release remote that is corded into my older dslr. One with a lighted led display(easy for nighttime pics to see) is better and the longer the cord the better too. Another idea which leads to great pics, is my NEEWER LED camera/camcorder light. You dont even have to put it on the camera, actually most of the times I dont. I point it up,down add the orange filter, or not and use my long corded shutter release to take the shot. View attachment 548114

View attachment 548122
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Good info....In my case I don't have a remote for my Nikon so I simply use the timer function when taking pics on the tripod to avoid movement (blur)....ZR
Oh, I remember doing that before I got my remote, and sometimes with the point and shoots.

This is one of my favorite pics I ever took, done with that canon point and shoot mentioned above, but I manually dialed down the ISO and used a tripod/timer.

 

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Another great tip, try shooting at dusk and up the ISO. If you are using a fast lens you can get away with out using a tripod. I for one know I do not like eye level images all the time. Also don't be affraid to get on the ground or on a step stoll to get angles. As a semi hobbiest photographer, I shoot people 99% of the time, Halloween is one of the hardest images to capture the feeling of the image. Below are some images I took last year, during the yard setup, and also some of my Halloween inspired people shoots. LOL
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View attachment 548282
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Years ago at the West Coast Haunter's Convention I sat in on a class on how to take photos of your haunt. Alas I don't recall most of what he had to say beyond telling us more pixels don't mean better photos... Like you said after a certain point all those pixels only make enlargements look better. His other point was use a tripod. Lastly since it cost nothing to develop the "film" take LOTS of photos try different angles and different speeds something will turn out. Not very helpful but it was a free 40 minute class err seminar.

I will say I have figured out since my canon has 10 pixels since I don't plan on make an 11 x 14 print I can crop out large portions of a photo to get a close up of something instead of trying to zoom in on it and blurring.
 

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If you want to take shots during the day, drones would be fine. At night, unless equipped with the right cameras, not so much. I sell these and most of them have pretty cruddy cameras.
 

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Okay, I've never specifically taken pictures of haunts but I do a lot of concert photography...low-light and fog is low-light and fog. :p
- Use a low F-stop and a high ISO. Your pictures might be noisy but you can edit that out (there's some pretty decent, free noise-reducing software out there)
- Don't use flash unless you absolutely have to (honestly this is a rule for photography in general, lol)
- Long exposures can do cool things with fog!
- Get into whatever weird, hunched-over position you need to in order to get your shot, and ignore the people who judge your bizarre posture.
- DON'T USE ZOOM. Take the photo un-zoomed and crop it down step-by-step later.
- Keep the rule of thirds in mind
 

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Ditto on what a lot of others have already said! I love taking photos of my Halloween decor both inside and out. And it certainly helps that I am a photographer!

But, besides all the other technical things people have mentioned, composition is very important to capture the true spirit. Using strange, almost dizzying angles helps create drama and tension. Get down low and focus on the little details - this is where a good macro lens with a wide f-stop would help.

Most of all, just have fun with it!
 
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