Creative Projects and Challenges DIY Still Life Technology

How to Easily Create This Spooky Still Life

A spooky halloween photography still life with a silhouette of a haunted castle surrounded by a book and other photography props

Autumn is filled with vibrant, heat colors. Each leaf and each tiny pumpkin is simply asking to be part of a nonetheless life story. And when it’s time for Halloween, these tales flip into spooky Halloween images.

Barely eerie, however actually enjoyable to inform. So, why not channel that Halloween spirit and photograph spooky nonetheless life with moonlight and a haunted mansion?

A spooky halloween photography still life with a silhouette of a haunted castle surrounded by a book and other photography props

1. Make a Sketch of Your Halloween Images Composition

Many incredible photographs of magical moments are spontaneous. However object images and artistic nonetheless life often require some advance planning. So, make a sketch.

Consider the story you’re making an attempt to inform. Is it a few darkish wizard classroom with an occasional spider? Or perhaps you need to photograph a witch flying towards a big full moon? Or a classical rising zombie hand?

Graveyards, historic castles, ghosts, evil spirits, boiling cauldrons, trapped fairies, eerie potions, and flying bats are all at your service!

Decide one thing and sketch a easy define of the composition you’re about to organize.

Diptych of a sketch for a spooky Halloween photography still life beside the realised photo

Go for one thing scary and fearful. Or one thing spooky, however all in good enjoyable.

I by no means take any true goosebump inducing photographs. However playful, humorous Halloween continues to be Halloween!

2. Which Thematic Decorations Ought to You Use

Benefit from all of the Halloween decorations round! Did you purchase a spider net spray? Use it! Did you carve Jack-o’-lantern? Good!

Synthetic spiders, tiny brooms, previous books, potion bottles, autumn leaves, orange and black striped socks.

All this stuff are ready to be part of your Halloween images artistic course of. Decide one thing that makes you are feeling impressed!

A spooky Halloween photography still life featuring a spellbook, candles and other photography props

Spellbooks and candles have fairly the Halloween vibe to them

three. How to Make Reduce Out Halloween Images Silhouettes

For any nonetheless life photographer paper is a life saver. It’s probably the most fantastic, versatile and versatile materials you should use for bringing your concepts to life.

You possibly can craft a whole zombie apocalypse metropolis with glue and scissors!

However in case you’re not fairly prepared for that (I’m definitely not), begin with one thing minimalist, clear and easy.

Easy silhouettes are an ideal selection.

Atmospheric Halloween still life featuring the silhouette of a wolf howling in front of a full moon

DIY Silhouettes

Simplified iconic shapes are all you want to create a spooky Halloween story. Silhouettes are simply recognisable.

That’s why you should use a silhouette of a cauldron with boiling bat wings, marrow bones and who is aware of what else as an alternative of crafting or shopping for some realistically wanting props.

From a story standpoint, a plastic 3D mannequin of a dragon and a paper-cut silhouette of a dragon are the identical.

Atmospheric Halloween still life featuring the silhouette of a graveyard, a scroll and other spooky props

Take into consideration your story first. After which reduce out some silhouettes of Darkish Lord castles, graveyard fences, cauldrons, pumpkins, witches and ghosts, bats and spiders!

What Paper Ought to You Use

I’m not a papercraft grasp. However I managed to reduce out a silhouette of a haunted mansion from darkish paper with a format knife. It’s not as exhausting because it appears, you simply want to decide the suitable paper.

If the paper is just too thick, it requires a big effort to reduce via it. If the paper is just too skinny, it’s too straightforward to tear.

The perfect paper I used to be in a position to discover is pulp-dyed pastel paper with the thickness about 160-180 gsm.

Materials needed for a spooky Halloween photography still life

In case you’re not used to chopping tiny figures out of paper, simply purchase some pre-cut paper silhouettes at an area scrapbook retailer.

They’ll undoubtedly have some Halloween-themed designs, particularly this time of yr.

four. Play With Mild to Seize the Spooky Temper

Lighting is important to an eerie Halloween environment. And this can be a nice alternative to apply low mild images.

First key function right here is utilizing darkish shadows. Reap the benefits of obscurity and don’t be afraid to use more durable mild sources.

Create some spots of full darkness to make your pictures extra dramatic.

Atmospheric still life featuring a box of mushrooms, smoke, candles and other spooky Halloween photography props against a dark background

Additionally you’ll be able to stress the temper of an image with the gentle glow of candles or hearth. The sunshine from burning candles is often a bit hotter than the remainder of the scene.

You’ll be able to play it as a deliberate distinction or modify for it utilizing a heat coloured gel in your speedlight.

I want the primary strategy, leaving tender heat spots of fireside in distinction with blue smoke and a cool background.

Atmospheric still life featuring boxes, smoke, candles and other spooky Halloween photography props against a dark background

Furthermore, there are many cool Halloween lights you should use. From glowing skulls to small electrical torches.

We’re going to use a DIY strategy to create a shining moon for a artistic Halloween nonetheless life.

5. What Props and Gear Do You Want

We don’t want something fancy right here when it comes to gear. For the shining moon, you want two issues: thick paper and a light-weight supply.

The remaining may be freely changed, modified or excluded.

Flat lay of materials needed to create a spooky castle silhouette photo

So, the record of props for this challenge is fairly easy:

  • darkish thick paper for moon and Halloween silhouettes;
  • one thing to make smoke or steam: from fragrant sticks to dry ice or hand steamer;
  • darkish background;
  • gadgets of your nonetheless life like crooked tree branches, picket packing containers, scrolls, candles, tiny pumpkins, should you like (I’m extra of a persimmon individual);
  • a light-weight supply, one to make your moon shine and one other to carry the shadows (however if in case you have just one mild supply, you possibly can make-do with a reflector);
  • a digital camera and a tripod.

6. How to Mild Up the Moon for the Creepy Issue

One other essential element of Halloween nonetheless life is a full or a shining crescent. Minimize a circle out of a sheet of paper.

Place the sheet immediately in entrance of your key mild supply and be sure that mild comes solely from this circle and never creeping by means of the perimeter.

Right here, that is your Moon.

Set up of creating a moon for Halloween still life photo

That’s how my scene seems to be like with simply ambient mild.

Set up for creating a moon for a Halloween still life, with speedlight turned on

And that’s the scene with one speedlight turned on.

I exploit A4 paper, which is a comparatively small format. So I had to stick collectively the sheet with my moon and a few different sheets of black paper to create the background I wanted.

In my case, the scene is sort of small. So I didn’t have a lot hassle masking every part with black paper to depart solely the circle of sunshine seen.

Atmospheric still life diptych of a paper wolf howling against a full moon and other spooky Halloween photography props against a dark background

7. What Mild Setup Will You Want

The sunshine behind our moon goes to be our key mild. Backlight works nice for dramatic nonetheless life photographs, that’s why I’m all the time glad to use it.

I exploit a speedlight inside a small strip field. One other speedlight behind a big diffuser on the suitable aspect of the scene is working as a fill mild.

And eventually, to make shadows a bit softer, I positioned a reflector on the correct aspect.

Set up for photography a spooky castle silhouette

I needed to embrace a few candles as ambient lighting.

So I had to hold the facility of my speedlights down (about 1/16 for the important thing mild and 1/32 for the fill mild) to let the candlelight forged reflections on my nonetheless life.

eight. Composing Your Spooky Scene

Begin from the most important objects and transfer to the little particulars when arranging your Halloween scene.

Place your haunted citadel or different spooky Halloween silhouettes in entrance of a light-weight moon circle.

This creates a pleasant distinction and makes your silhouette the visible centre of the composition.

Set up for photography a spooky castle silhouette

I began with a pile of books as probably the most large object. I put my haunted citadel on the highest of it, fixing it in place with scotch tape.

After that, I added moss, crystals, hawthorn branches with leaves and berries, and a few alchemy check tubes.

For final yr’s Halloween collection, I used tree branches as a stand for my castles and spiders.

Their silhouettes seemed nice even with out paper cutouts.

Set up for photography a spooky castle silhouette

When you don’t need to place your object on a strong floor, you can also make it fly within the night time sky as an alternative. Use a string of wire to maintain a paper silhouette within the air.

I did it with my bats, you are able to do it with a witch or a flying vampire. And at Christmas, you’ll be able to attempt to shoot Santa’s sled that approach.

Close up of spooky Halloween silhouettes for a still life photo

9. Add Some Smoke for Motion

Do you want your composition? Sure? Then it’s time to add some motion!

Some smoke or steam, which will probably be lit from the again, will make it look superb!

To create smoke I used three burning fragrant sticks.

A still life featuring spooky halloween castle silhouette, a full moon and other photography props

You possibly can attempt utilizing dry ice, a garments steamer or a particular smoke machine for those who’re fortunate to have one. I’m not that fortunate, so I exploit incense.

Aroma sticks are cheaper than a fog machine, extra accessible then dry ice and safer than an open flame.

You simply have to watch out with ashes and shoot in a well-ventilated room.

A still life featuring spooky halloween silhouettes, a full moon and other photography props

Take a look at my particular tutorial on capturing smoke in a nonetheless life to see the small print.

10. What Settings to Use When Photographing

Ignite your aroma sticks, place them in order that the smoke can fill the background and take a sequence of photographs.

A still life featuring a spooky castle silhouette, a full moon, candles and other spooky props - cool halloween photos

This is my greatest shot. Transformed from RAW however with out another post-processing.

My digital camera settings on the time seemed like this: f/6.three, 1/100s, ISO 125.

The aperture is quite open for my part, however I wanted it to make the moon a bit blurry.

And 1/100s is a bit longer than my traditional sync shutter velocity for my speedlights, nevertheless it allowed me to showcase extra candlelight.

11. Add Some Magic in Publish-Processing

Decide the shot that appears most spooky and Halloween-esque on your tastes and provides it just a little polish.

A still life featuring a spooky castle silhouette, a full moon, candles and other spooky props - cool halloween pictures

I merged collectively a few photographs with the bits of smoke I like most. This could be very straightforward to do with a Layer Masks and a gentle brush.

Place these photographs as separate layers one above one other. Click on on „Add Layer Masks“ button within the layer window.

Invert the masks by typing „Ctrl-I“ („Cmd-I“ for Mac) to disguise the complete layer.

And use a delicate white brush to reveal the elements that ought to be seen.

A still life featuring a spooky plant silhouette, a crescent moon, candles and other spooky props - cool halloween pictures

Additionally, I adjusted the distinction barely and made the foreground a bit lighter.

Voila! Your Halloween images shot with a full moon and a spooky fort is prepared!

A still life featuring a spooky castle silhouette, a full moon, candles and other spooky props - cool halloween pictures

Listed here are a few photographs made with the identical trick.

A scary still life featuring the silhouette of a spider, a full moon, candles and other spooky props

Atmospheric Halloween still life featuring a a cauldron, a full moon, candles and other spooky props

Atmospheric Halloween still life featuring the silhouettes, a crescent moon and other spooky props

This trick is a really versatile one. You’ll be able to attempt creating an analogous Halloween images nonetheless life with a crescent of stars.

Use totally different moon shapes or totally different silhouettes and check out to provide you with your personal interpretation of this trick.

Let your creativeness run wild and share your outcomes with us. Have a cheerful Halloween!

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Dina Belenko

There’s one phrase I all the time use to introduce myself, it describes me exactly: “My name is Dina and I tell animate stories about inanimate objects”. I am an individual with little paper cities, sugar cubes, moon from polymer clay, doll’s miniatures, damaged cups, handmade Rube Goldberg machine, repainted puzzles, wire timber, cardboard dragons and spilled espresso. And with a photograph digital camera. That is fairly primarily me.

You possibly can see extra of my work right here: https://www.instagram.com/dinabelenko/