"Get Great Halloween Night Shots" - Digital Photography Podcast 198


Halloween can be a frightful experience with a compact camera. How do you get good shots under the most difficult photography conditions?

Your best friend, regardless of the camera you're using, is a setting called Nighttime Portrait or Party. You'll find one or both of these in your Scene modes. They are perfect for evening Halloween shoots, whether you're outside trick or treating, or inside at a spooky gathering.

In this podcast I tackle Halloween shooting and provide tips for every type of camera, from simple compact to DSLR.

Listen to the Podcast

You can also download the podcast here (28 minutes). Or better yet, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

Monthly Photo Assignment

Feet is the Oct. 2009 Photo Assignment. Shoes, bare feet, paws, manmade objects, my gosh there are so many possibilities. You can read more about how to submit on our Member Participation page. Deadline for entry is Oct. 31, 2009.

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Great show Derrick! I have a couple questions. First, would a fast lens be better than a stabilized lens using the techniques described in the podcast? Second, being that I don't want to carry a flash separate from the camera or on a bracket, would a large bounce card be useful or should I just point it directly at the subject? And what do you think of gels or a diffuser? I will be trying to photograph my children and friends outdoors after dark. Thanks for the tips and all the great podcasts!

Hi Jon,

Well, the ideal lens is both fast and stabilized :) Overall, you usually get 3-4 stops of stabilization with most cameras these days. So if you have a lens that's only a stop or two slower, but is stabilized, I would probably go that route. I'd still pack the fast lens though, just in case.

I wouldn't mess with bounce cards. Go ahead and use the flash on your camera if you don't want to use a hot shoe unit. You might have some red eye to remove later, but that isn't a big problem. What's more important are your camera settings. Be sure to try Night Portrait before the actual shoot.

I don't think gels or diffusers are practical for this type of shoot. It's an event, so you'll have to work quickly, and light will be at a premium.

Good luck!