Harrowing Halloween Photos

Halloween Super Hero

Guys and ghouls and getting ready for the scary season, which means an opportunity to have some fun with spooky photos! There’s playfulness with Halloween that allows us to create whimsical fantasies in photography. Let your kids of all ages enjoy posing and getting in character for the camera. It’s the perfect time to have some fun creating ghastly good images.

Here are some of our favorite tricky tips:

Snap a Few Photos Early:If you want to shoot indoors or want to experiment with such things as flash diffusion, it might bode well to take some practice shots the night before and note your settings or adjustments. While it’s always fun to experiment on the fly, you’ll have young kids all dressed up and anxious to hit the streets for free treats. By experimenting early, you’ll be ready to apply what you’ve learned on the big night.

Take Photos of the Transformation: We often take photos once the kids (and kids at heart) are already in costume, but this year, begin taking photographs as they prepare to transform themselves from mild mannered school children to mighty ninjas. Photos of them having their faces painted and putting on their masks and capes are a wonderful way to showcase the anticipation of the evening. You can also photograph their costumes laid out in advance or close ups of a particular item such as a sword, headdress or shield.

Get into Character!: Let your kids indulge their imaginations by getting into character. You can take a few standard posed photos in front of the house, but this is the perfect opportunity to let them feel free to pose and play. Have them leap through the air in superhero fashion or strike poses with siblings and friends. If you’ve got a pet pooch that’s attracted to all the action, let him join in the fun, too!

Spooky Night Loves Low Light: Halloween images are ideal for darker backgrounds and low light conditions because they enhance the mood of the holiday. If you can get your young models to stay still, use your tripod, slow your shutter speed and tighten the frame to create haunting close-ups of their faces. Play with different angles – try shooting a bit lower to the ground and looking up at your goblins to create a more menacing effect.

Make More Lighting: If you’re photographing jack-o-lanterns, you may want to add more than a single candle inside. These carved pumpkins can be tricky subjects, so boosting the light inside may yield more needed contrast. You can also try using a small flashlight angled inside or even outside and propped up to create drama.

Happy Halloween!

How Histograms Help Snowy Shots

Photographing in the Snow
Photographing in the Snow

A histogram is a graph of the exposure of each image and can help you determine if images are over or underexposed. The ‘true black’ is illustrated at the far left of the graph and ‘true white’ is found on the far right. A well-exposed image will generally show points close to both ends. Each histogram graph tells a story about the exposure of the image and can guide you in making adjustments so that images are properly exposed.

For winter shooting, a histogram can be very useful in showing if bright white snow is spiking your exposure and causing your image to appear ‘blown out’ or overexposed. If this happens while you’re shooting, you can trick your camera by adjusting your +/- compensation button to adjust for this situation. And, if you’re shooting in RAW format, you’ll have the ability to adjust your highlights and mid-tones in post-processing if necessary. That said, it’s a lot easier to get the shot the way you want it the first time as opposed to having to make corrections at a later time.

Winter Fun in the Snow!
Funtime in the Snow!

Bergen County Polaroid Camera Club @ Wholesale Photo

We are interested in starting a Polaroid Camera Club in the Bergen County NJ area. We want to begin stocking our store shelves with Polaroid products but want to be sure there is enough interest in our area. So we want to start simple and first collect enough email addresses to create a small newsletter that will keep you informed on when we have Polaroid film and products in-stock.

If you are interested in being a part of this newsletter group please send an email to us with the words “Polaroid Club” in the title, to:

polaroid@wholesalephoto.com

When Polaroid closed a few years ago we – as a photo store – moved to selling Fuji Instax cameras and film in our shop. The Fuji instant cameras are great and Fuji has brought some interesting improvements to the instant picture market. Like a mini-printer (Instax Share) that make printing wirelessly from your smartphone a breeze.

We have noticed that there are still customers that are interested in Polaroid and wish we would be their local one-stop shop for Polaroid film for their Spectra, SX-70, OneStep 600 and Polaroid “pack” film cameras. But we need your help before we can invest in bringing in these films. We need to know that we have a group of people that have an interest in buying and using this unique film. So please signup with our newsletter and let’s see if we can get a Polaroid “movement” going in Northern New Jersey. Wholesale Photo wants to do this. Do you?  Let us know.

Polaroid Films we were thinking of starting with:
600 B/W Hardcolor Edition
600 B/W Round Frame
600 Magenta Type Monochromatic
600 Color Poison Paradise Edition (Hibiscus)
600 Color Poison Paradise Edition (Fuchsia)
600 Color Poison Paradise Edition (Frangipani)
SX-70 Color Lulu Guinness Edition

Are there any other types of Polaroid film that are not listed here that you know you would buy if we stocked it?

Wholesale Photo Cafe
Midland Park Shopping Center
85 Godwin Ave.
Midland Park, New Jersey 07432
polaroid@wholesalephoto.com

Tim’s Photo Tips: lightning Photos

lightning storm blogI  was lucky enough to spent some time at the beach this past week and came away with lots of photos. One of my favorite things is to shoot summer lightning storms over the water. A lot has to do with timing so it is not something you can schedule but there is a greater chance of thunder storms at the beach. You just have to be prepared and patient.

In order to take these kind of photos you will need a Digital camera with manual control and a good wide-angle lens. Probably a 24mm or 28mm lens is ideal to get the most coverage. A  D-SLR is preferred for this type of photography because of how much more light it gathers. Some of today’s Point and Shoot cameras have the capability to take this type of photo but it is much harder to do. You will also need a good stable tripod. It takes a longer time exposure to get the photo so the camera has to be steady while the shutter is open. To start , you need to take the camera off of Auto ISO and to set the ISO manually to a low setting. (100 ISO or 200 ISO) The simplest way to shoot is to then set the camera for manual exposure. You will have to set the shutter speed and aperture. For shutter speed you want to set it to “B”. This stands for “bulb” which means as long as you hold your finger on the shutter release the shutter stays open. Another option is to use a remote control and lock the shutter open so that you do not risk shaking the camera with your hand. Then you want to start with an aperture somewhere in the middle like F-8. As you shoot and check out your images on play back you will then raise or lower the aperture for the correct lighting.

So, the camera is on the tripod and locked in the proper position to over see a wide view of the lightning. Turn the Auto Focus off on the lens and set the focus for infinity. If you are using a Point and Shoot camera set it for the Mountain setting in Scene Mode.Also, because you are using a tripod you have to turn off the image stabilization (VR). Open the shutter and keep it open until you see your 1st good strike. Close the shutter and check out the image on the LCD. If it looks too dark open the aperture another stop to F-5.6 or lower. If it looks too bright close the aperture down to F-11 or higher. Depending on how close to your postion the lightning strikes are will determine how bright or dark the light will be. For my photo, the strikes were very far away and required a 32 second exposure time at an aperture of F-5.6. Of course it is a double-edged sword. The closer you are to the lightning the better the photo but the closer you are to lightning. I waited until the storm had passed over head and then when it was miles away and the rain had stopped I went out to shoot.

Hopefully I have not left anything out but I’ve gone on long enough. Happy shooting. I would love to see your results so please share. And I am always willing to give more advice here in the store.
The best thing I can tell everyone is that if you ever take a photo and it is not what you thought it should be then that is when you need to learn. That is what we are here for at Wholesale Photo. Bring in your camera and the photo and let us help you understand how to get the photo the way you would like.