With Halloween right around the corner, you'll likely be busy snapping all sorts of spooky, dark photography with your mobile phones. Whether you're trick-or-treating, at a haunted house party, or under the moonlit sky, getting quality photos from your phone at night can be a challenge. The lack of light puts a big disadvantage on mobile photography. Your photos can turn out grainy, partially visible, and sometimes your subject's eyes light up like a red demon (fitting for the holiday, but not for photos).
Although it's Halloween, have no fear! Here are some easy tips to improve your image quality when shooting in low light.
1. Don't zoom
Zooming in on a subject will only make your photos more grainy. Avoid the grain, and shuffle your feet closer to that zombie you're trying to 'shoot'. This will help you frame your photo better as well.
As you can see in the video, the image rapidly increases in graininess as you zoom.
Here is the same photo taken closer to the subject versus zoomed in:
The pumpkins are much more clear when the photographer is closer to the subject.
2. Find the light
A street light, candle, or flashlight can give you some great ominous photos fit for Halloween. Play with the available light and see what unique photos you can capture (and remember light should always be behind the photographer, not the subjects). Using a flashlight, we made this rubber mouse seem a lot scarier!
3. Steady does it
If you can use both hands to hold your mobile phone, you'll lessen the chance of blur. A steady hand helps the phone focus in on the dark and thus creating a better quality image.
4. Exposure is key
Most people don't realize that you can set your mobile phone's exposure via the camera app. Setting the exposure to match the brightest part of your photo will lead to a much sharper photo. Take a look at how to set your exposure on an iPhone and Android device:
Iphone (via iMore)
Android (via ITJungles)
5. Invest in Photo Apps
You can trick-or-treat-yourself to a camera app that will give you more settings to adjust to your shooting style. Check out these iOS and Android favorites below:
VSCO Cam (Free, additional purchases in-app)
Night Camera (Free - iOS only)
6. Bring those photos to life!
Mosaic photo books are a great way to publish your Halloween photos. Just download the app and in under five minutes, you can create a high-quality photo book using the images you captured that night! Just pick your favorite 20 spooktacular photos and hit order! You'll get your product shipped to you in four days. For only $25 before shipping, Mosaic photo books are a sweet treat.