Even though it’s not Halloween and this may be a bit late, it’s still a good time for a night photography challenge! It’s challenging but oh so much fun, and it allows you to experiment and get super creative.
So this month I want you to get out there after dark and do some night photography – there will be one prize awarded! Keep reading to get all the details.
Night photography challenge with a twist
I want to challenge you to get even further out of your comfort zone than doing just regular night photography. The twist is you need to photograph someone or something. A literal creature of the night.
So find your zombie friends, try your hand at a light-painted portrait, experiment with flash, or something else entirely. But your photos must contain a subject (human or animal, yes it CAN be your cat) and be photographed after dark!
Inspiration and assistance
If you need some help with camera settings here are a few articles to help you out.
- Guide to Photographing Light Trails at Night (but add a person!)
- Night Photography Settings – Guide to Getting the Best Exposure
- Tips and Tools for Light Painting – Review of Light Painting Brushes
- Light Painting Experiments to Improve Your Photography
- How to Use Off-Camera Flash to Create a Dramatic Night Portrait
- Three Special Effects for Night Photography
For inspiration here are some of my images of some night creatures.
Make a ghost
By using a long exposure, and having your subject only there for about half of the exposure time – you can make a ghost. Here are some examples:
Use flash to make dramatic photos
Illuminate the subject with flash and expose for them correctly. Let the rest go dark for added drama.
Try some light painting
I love using light as a paintbrush and creating unique images like these. You can use a flashlight, sparkler, laser pointer, or even your car headlights. Just try it!
If you really want to challenge yourself you could try fire spinning or combining images in Photoshop later.
NOTE: If you want to attempt fire spinning, it is crucial that you follow all the safety precautions when doing so!! Use goggles and gloves, and never do it in an area where there is a risk of starting a fire. Choose a large concrete parking lot, a sandy beach, or a snowy field with no trees.
You can also create multiple image composites. I used the flash image (seen earlier in the article above) and the four images below and combined them to make the final image (above).
Details of the challenge
To participate in the challenge and be eligible to win a prize (a $100 coupon valid off any product in our DPM store) this is what you need to do:
- Get out there and take a NEW of a night creature (yes you could use an old photo but the idea is to try something you’ve never done before – push yourself!)
- Post a comment below and share one or more images
- Everyone that shares an image will be entered to win a random draw
The deadline to enter is Monday, December 19th.
Someone will get an early Christmas present! Don’t miss your chance.
Two Wolves movie set stills
If you follow me on Facebook or are in our DPM Facebook group you may have seen that I was a still photographer at a recent movie set doing behind-the-scenes photos. If not, well, that happened!
The Two Wolves trailer was directed and produced by Georgina Lightning and Tribal Alliance Productions. I am now allowed to share some of them with you so I thought some of the images from a night scene would be appropriate here.
NOTE: Just some quick info about the movie and the story. The premise of the scene is a waitress at a diner was killed in a gruesome manner by what seems to be a wild animal, a wolf of enormous size (or maybe a werewolf!).
So there was a special effects makeup artist (Leilani McDougall) and a stunt woman (Sheena T. Kaine). They created a very realistic look of blood and guts – so if you have a squeamish stomach you may not want to look (I’ll put those at the bottom and give you a warning).
But it’s super fun and creepy at the same time!
Warning – blood and guts next!
The image below is actually a combination of four images. The executive producer wanted steam coming off the body and the steam added to the scene wasn’t showing up enough for my liking. So I added some more using Photoshop.
I have to give credit for this idea to fellow stills photographer Ernest Augustus. He suggested we put Sheena under the pot lights in the hallway. So I did just that, then darkened the background and made it more blue using Lightroom’s new masking tools.
I took several images of her in different poses and tried some longer exposures to add some motion blur (had her move her arms during the exposure). Then I combined four of them together to make the final haunting image below.
Over to you
Okay, I hope you are sufficiently inspired and motivated to go do this. So what are you waiting for?
Get going, and come back here and share your images. Don’t forget to tell us about it!
- What was your idea?
- Who or what is your night creature?
- How did you do the lighting?
- If you did any special effects processing later – tell us about that. What software did you use?
- And so on . . .
Have some fun with this. I can’t wait to see your photos of your creatures of the night!