Photography tips for atmospheric shots in autumn
Lantern parades, Halloween, etc. - How to set the scene
Autumn is a great season for atmospheric shots at dusk or night. A special occasion for capturing this atmosphere is the popular lantern parades, where children and adults walk through the streets singing while holding lanterns. The children's lanterns light the way during the procession and create a moody atmosphere. The popular Halloween custom of making spooky lanterns from pumpkins into spooky lanterns to keep away evil spirits also creates an atmospheric mood that is great for photography.
A lantern parade or Halloween offers great photo moments thanks to the special lighting. We show you how you can best capture these atmospheric moments with your camera.
Tips for atmospheric autumn photos with lanterns
The special challenge when taking pictures in the evening is using the lanterns as a light source in the darkness of the night. To ensure that your pictures are not underexposed or over-expose the lights from the lanterns, the right equipment and settings such as exposure time, ISO value, and focus play an important role.
The right camera equipment for night photography
For great shots in the dark, a tripod is a good idea. Otherwise, the longer exposure times can lead to unsightly camera shake. A remote shutter release is also useful to protect the camera from shaking when you press the shutter button. If you don't have a remote shutter release, you can also use the built-in self-timer.
Don't have a tripod handy? No problem. Look for a wall or bench. You can place your camera there. Walls or any solid surface are good places to rest your camera to avoid blurry pictures.
A ‘fast’ lens is also recommended to ensure that as much light as possible gets to the sensor A fast lens has a large aperture. Examples of wide apertures would be an f2.8 or f1.4.
Night photography: ISO, exposure time, and aperture
In a lantern parade, the beautiful lanterns are the main subject. Same with Halloween pumpkins with their spooky decorations. To capture them in the dark, setting the correct ISO, aperture, and exposure time are important. To do this, switch to manual mode on your camera. First, start with the ISO value. To avoid image noise, the ISO value should not be too high. The higher the ISO value, the more your camera artificially brightens up your image which creates more noise on the image. Start with an ISO value of about 400 and adjust it to the lighting conditions with some test shots.
Photographing lanterns or pumpkins when they are hanging in a tree or sitting on a wall is a good time to play with exposure time as they are still and will not blur. It is best to use a tripod. The longer the exposure time the more light will be let into the sensor. This makes your shot brighter.
If, on the other hand, you want to take pictures during a lantern procession, you should reduce the exposure time further. As a rule of thumb, a shutter speed of 1/50 will allow you to hold the camera steady in your hand and capture normal human movement without blurring. To brighten your shots, lower the aperture and adjust the ISO. The lower the f-stop number and the higher the ISO, the brighter your shots will be.
Even without professional equipment, you can take beautiful pictures with your smartphone camera or compact digital camera. Select night mode and always focus manually on the subject. SLR cameras also have special modes for night photography.
Get the correct focus
To take great night shots of your lanterns and the procession, you should deactivate the autofocus. Due to the high contrast differences, the autofocus cannot work correctly in the dark. Switch to the live view function and set the focus manually via the display. The camera will fix the focus point and the lantern lights will be sharper. In addition, other image settings can be found and adjusted quickly in Live View mode.
For atmospheric shots, shoot without the flash. The light from the flash makes subjects in the foreground appear far too bright and the background becomes almost black.
Create great photo moments and capture your memories
It's not just the lanterns and bright-eyed children that make for a great photo moment. Create a cool Halloween or autumn mug in advance. This way you can enjoy the procession or the festival with hot chocolate in your hand and have a fantastic photo at the same time.
If you've followed all our tips for taking atmospheric photos, you'll have captured some great memories. Share them with your loved ones! For example, create a booklet for your grandparents. Use our practical ifolor app to do this. With it, you can preserve your best photos in a Photo Book, Booklet or Wall Decoration in no time at all.