Jenna Caplette
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  • jack o lantern pictures

Jenna Caplette Jenna Caplette migrated from California to Montana in the early 1970s, first living on the Crow Indian reservation. A Healing Arts Practitioner, she owns Bozeman BodyTalk & Integrative Healthcare.  She says, " Health is resiliency, a zest for the journey. It’s about coming awake to the joy of being alive.  As a practitioner, its a privilege to facilitate that healing process, to help weave new patterns of health & well-being. “ And by the way, healthier, happier people help create a healthier, happier world.

I remember the fun of carving a pumpkin every year with my dad. Actually, each of us three girls would carve and he’d help us. Or, that’s what I think I remember.

As many photos as my dad took, he didn’t document the family pumpkins. Too bad.

In fact, the only surviving photo I have from childhood Halloween is myself in this truly tremendous squirrel costume my mom sewed. I loved squirrels. They were my California suburban wildlife. But my dad didn’t take that image -- the local newspaper did.

I haven’t carved a pumpkin for years so I still don’t have any images of them. My daughter and I might carve one this year just to try some of these tips from photographer Andre Costantini. I hope you find the same inspiration.

Tamron’s Andre Costantini reminds you that two 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 right shutter speed

Here’s a few other tips to capture the spirit of your “ultimate” jack-o’-lantern, 

  1. Lenses with aperture settings of F/2.8 or wider have a larger opening to let more light in. Costantini finds this especially helpful when the light is low, such as when photographing a candlelit pumpkin in the chilly evening hours. Another helpful feature is Vibration Control. It compensates for any slight movements that you might make, helping you to achieve sharper hand-held images of your pumpkin props. (Use a tripod for long exposures and you’ll want to turn the VC off).
  2. If your camera has a "Full Auto" mode, as soon as the light gets low, the camera’s going to add flash whether you want it or not. Turn your camera to the "A" or "AV” mode (“aperture priority” mode) and choose the aperture yourself. By choosing F/2.8 you'll get the fastest shutter speed available. 
  3. Compose your shots carefully to give your pumpkin pal some context. Costantini suggests creatively setting up your jack-o’-lantern, perhaps placing him on the side of the frame, leaving plenty of room for the tree line and sky, which can make the jack-o’-lantern appear as if he’s popping into the frame with a boisterous “Boo!” In that case, a wide-angle lens helps incorporate the background into the images, creating a perfectly ominous environment from which the pumpkin can emerge.