How to photograph pumpkins

Wahoo! Tonight is the night! I get to really tear one up tonight with several flaming pumpkins, lots of candy, creepy music and some scary movies. I’m all excited.

But, the big question is, how do you take pictures of pumpkins that look good, but don’t have a 3 foot flame shooting out of them? There are several things to do depending on what equipment you want to take with you.

Unless you have a stabilizing lens, the sure fire method is the tripod. Shutter speeds of 1/5 sec give great results if you want the pumpkin to really glow or if there isn’t much light inside it. In most cases the longer exposure the better. Most of my pumpkins are taken at 1/5 sec – 2 sec exposures with a setting of ISO 100. It’s best to use a remote trigger/shutter release to make sure you don’t bump the camera.

If you don’t want to wander around with a tripod, set the camera to ISO 400 or so and you should be able to get 1/80 sec or higher shutter speeds. This should allow you to capture the pumpkin with plenty of detail and no blur. They’re stationary so you just need to worry about your own hand shake.

You can also turn on the porch light, shine a flashlight near the pumpkin or get low and focus right on the light source. Using a flash will take out of a lot of the warm orange color and give you an obvious bright spot so make sure it’s off. If there are multiple pumpkins together, try to use the light of all of them to grab the shot. They will help illuminate each other.

If you have a small point and shoot camera like my Sony WC100 you can use one of the minature tripods to hold the camera. They’re about $12-15 from places like BestBuy, they’re collapsible and lightweight. Very easy to take with you.

If you’re not using a tripod the best time for the photos is right at dusk. You can use the light to grab all the details.

I will hopefully have several new specimens for my gallery tonight. We’ll see what dastardly creations I can come up with.

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