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How To Create Scary Halloween Portrait

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  • How To Create Scary Halloween Portrait

    Dramatic Portrait with Halloween Twist. 6 Steps:

    Step 1. Use dark background

    Step 2. Position your lights low. Light from below creates a sinister look.

    Step 3. Add a background light with colored gel - red or blue or green... to match the look

    Step 4. Add some make up, perhaps?

    Step 5. Add Smoke: smoke machine can come in handy, if one is not available you can use a bunch of incense. Add a separate light to back-light the smoke. Smoke shows better when lit from the back.

    Step 6. Horrify your image even more in photoshop....
    If you like to see step by step video for lighting setup plus quick photoshop tips please see my blog:
    How to Create a Really Really SCARY Photo - Tutorial

    Please Post Your Scary Portrait Here...
    Last edited by LearnMyShot; 10-28-2010, 02:54 AM. Reason: spelling
    Robert Grant - learn how to photograph anything
    Connect @ | flickr | facebook

  • #2
    Nice write up, and good shots, perfect for this weekend lol.
    Canon XS w/ 18-55mm kit lens & Canon EF 75-300mm
    Check out my flickr


    • #3
      Thanks. I can't wait to see what folks will shoot this weekend.
      Robert Grant - learn how to photograph anything
      Connect @ | flickr | facebook


      • #4
        Wow!! great post! thanks for sharing the tips.

        I will try to make some excercises, I love this time of the year and I always wanted to make a scary self-portrait but had no idea where to start.



        • #5
          The incense idea is a good trick.. I would never have thought of substituting that for a smoke machine. Great post and good info!
          I write at: Bumblejax - Wall Art from Digital Photos

          I work at:


          • #6
            thanks man ,,its so cool
            Flickr My Site


            • #7
              Photoshop Halloween Jack-O-Lantern Time-Lapse

              Yo Robert,

              I posted mine on your blog, and was going to post mine here as well but then saw your thread, so i decided to put it in here

              here is mine:

              and I also have a time-lapse of me making the image in Photoshop here: YouTube - Halloween Photoshop Time-Lapse
              Blog / Flickr / YouTube / My instructional photo e-book: Trick Photography and Special Effects


              • #8
                Hi Robert,

                Here is my try. I couldn┤t achieve neither the red background light nor the smoke effect, because I only have two chea 55w photography lamps and no smoke machine, eventhough I lit up a bunch of inciense I couldn┤t throw light ot it.

                I will post my photo in your blog too.



                • #9
                  the final result is fantastic
                  Me on Youtube:


                  • #10
                    Great write up and great results! Love the other contributions to the thread, too! Very cool! I wish Halloween was bigger here so I could use it as an excuse to do such things without looking like a weirdo
                    Peter (Oeter) Bower << Website | flickr | Twitter >>
                    Gear: Canon EOS 450D; 18-200mm IS f/3.5-5.6; 50mm f/1.8 II; Canon 430EX II.


                    • #11

                      Thank you for your replies guys! Really Great Images!!! I will try to write up some new stuff to post, soon.
                      Robert Grant
             - learn how to photograph anything
                      Connect @ | flickr | facebook