I like Halloween. Mainly because every year, the Upper Main Line YMCA runs a Haunted Mansion that I get to help plan. The Y is built around a 110-year-old, Victorian mansion, which makes it pretty easy to transform into FOUR FLOORS OF TERROR!!! Or something like that. It's actually a big fundraising event, and last year we made more than $10,000. All of that is used as financial aid to help families and individuals pay for Y memberships, so we're scaring for a cause.
I also like pirates, which makes this year's theme particularly awesome: "The Curse of Blackbeard". Yes, I know PotC 4 was released last week, but we've been using pirates and Blackbeard for six years now and already had the theme picked out before the movie was announced. Just saying...we were first.
Shooting this year's marketing image, we wanted something closer to a graphic in appearance. We have these skeletons that we "gorrified", giving some added dimension. After dressing, hanging him from the ceiling and gripping him to the ships wheel, we were ready to go.
|Here's a look at me awkwardly trying to shove a speedlight up a fake skeleton's chest cavity.|
I worked on this thing for close to an hour, and just really wasn't getting anything I thought looked very creepy. I tried lights in all different places, but after going through the images, I settle on one with one speedlight coming through a Softlighter II creating a soft glow on the outside, with another on full-blast coming from inside. That seemed to give some life to the scene, instead of just a fake skeleton holding a wheel.
|A look after editing the RAW file, but before full post-production.|
I had already been shooting with the white balance set to cloudy to give it a warm glow, but I pushed it a bit further in RAW (seen above). In post, I replaced the background with another photo of mine with a cloudy sky, added in some rain, motion blur, and lightning, and called it a day. Now if it could only get to be October...