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Spooky Lighting Techniques: Pitch Black and Uplighting.

If you want to try something a little whacky and totally unpredictable, try these two tips for a scary halloween feel.

Photo by adam_g2000

Pitch Black
My kids and I love doing this, it helps them get over their fear of the dark and at the same time is totally unpredictable. I used my Lubitel for this one. Attach the flash (I used the Diana F+ flash for this) and load up a film. I love black and white for the Nosferatu look – I think it depends on it.

Set up your aperture, shutter speed etc for the film you want to use, then Zone Focus the camera on your subject. Shut all the curtains, turn off the light then shout “POSE!” Your subject pulls a scary face and you fire the shutter. That’s all there is too it. As the only light source in the room is the flash you get brilliant shadows and dark areas in the background!

Ghost Face
The LCA is the best for this, though any aperture priority camera will do. Blacken the room, or add (as we did) some freaky, dim coloured lighting, then use a torch to ‘uplight’ the subjects face. What a supernatural look!

Photo by adam_g2000

written by adam_g2000


  1. bsdunek


    Hate to be critical, but you didn't really show or explain up-lighting. This is mostly washed out images. I expect better from these articles.

    about 2 years ago · report as spam
  2. adam_g2000


    @bsdunek I'm truly, truly sorry to disappoint. You get a torch, and you point it upwards underneath the subject. Happy now? This is just a bit of fun, monkeying around for Halloween with the kids or friends. Not a serious discussion on lighting for photography. If you mistook this for one of my serious Back to Basics articles, it wasn't. Hence the lack of 'Back to Basics' in the title.

    about 2 years ago · report as spam

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