Shooting the Ultimate Jack-o’-lantern

Don’t be spooked by exposure and setup—it’s simple to put your carved creations in their best light.

Images and text by André Costantini

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The kids are settled into their school routine, the leaves are falling, and the nights are getting cooler—time to start setting up the Halloween décor! After you’ve scooped out the seeds, put your pumpkin under the knife, and strategically set up a lantern or candle inside its hollowed-out shell, what’s the best way to photograph your eerie orange orb?

The two major challenges to getting any good picture (not just spooky shots in October) are getting the right shutter speed and a balanced exposure. You also need to make sure you’re using the right equipment to get the shutter speed you desire. For this Halloween pictorial, I photographed a jack-o’-lantern with the Tamron SP 17-50mm F/2.8 Di II VC fast standard zoom. This lens is ideal for shooting a candlelit jack-o’-lantern due to its fast F/2.8 aperture and Tamron’s Vibration Compensation (VC) stabilization technology.

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