Taking great photos this All Hallow#039;s Eve

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 29, 2005

Holidays are often perfect days to get out the camera. Halloween, with its colorful decorations and kids in their creepy/ cute costumes, is one of the best. However, keeping a few rules in mind can take your Halloween photos from ho-hum to howlingly good.

n Shoot early and often. Kids of a certain age have those phony smiles ready for the camera. If they get used to you snapping away, they'll soon put the plastic grins aside and you will get some terrific candid shots.

The more shots you take, the more good photos you are likely to have. Be trigger happy!

n Stoop to their level. Bend down or stoop down so you are at eye level with the child.

n Move right in. Get close to your subjects; get them to make funny faces, or act out their character (a growling tiger, a scowling pirate waving his cutlass, for example). Halloween is all about playing pretend, so encourage the youngsters to put their imaginations into overdrive.

n Use props. Many people decorate for the season. Make use of those hay bales, pumpkins, scarecrows and other seasonal items to enhance your photos.

n Bunch'em together. When you have a group of trick-or-treaters to photograph, have them stand close together for the shot. Don't stand them in a single line, however. Put some on their knees or sitting down with others standing. Fill the frame!

n Home in on the range. If you use a flash, make sure you stay within the flash range on your camera.

n Consider special effects.

A flashlight held beneath the chin and switched on can give a very ghoulish effect to the photo.

n Jack-o'-lanterns? For a truly atmospheric photo, turn off the camera flash, and put extra candles inside the pumpkinŠplace camera on a table, or use a tripod to prevent camera shake.

n Have camera, will trick-or-treat. Take your camera along when you take the children trick-or-treating on Halloween. Capture some of the magic of the night!

So, stock up on your film, clear your digital camera cards, buy fresh batteries - and get ready to record Halloween 2005 for posterity!