Halloween is upon us, which means all of us must face two truths: 1.) Yes, you are too old to dress up in a sheet to score free candy. 2.) Luckily, you'll never, ever age out of carving Jack-O-Lanterns.
Take a photo of a Jack-O-Lantern.
In my Google-based quest for the perfect Jack-O-Lantern photography tutorial, I came up dry. (If you have a good one, share it in the comments!) That said, it's actually pretty simple to take a decent photography of a glowing pumpkin.
Grab a tripod and put your camera on it. Toss several candles in your pumpkin to get a good glow. Turn the lights low (or even off). Then keep your ISO low (100 to 200) while lengthening your shutter speed. The result should be an awesome orange face cutting through the dark.
Of course, you can make the whole process more complicated. Use a light source on your pumpkin to bring out its skin. Or combine multiple exposures to bring out each feature you'd like. The good news is, there's really no wrong way to photography a Jack-O-Lantern, other than blurry. So use that tripod, or set your camera on the ground.
Our lead shot is by flickr's creepyhalloweenimages. It appears that the photographer has lit the pumpkin with a light source other than a flash, and taken the photo in front of a backdrop exposed to read as perfect black.
0. No watermarks. They're so ugly.
1. Submissions need to be your own.
2. Photos must be taken since this contest was announced.
3. Explain, briefly, the equipment, settings, technique and story behind shot.
4. Email submissions to email@example.com, not me.
5. Include 970px wide image (200KB or less) AND a native resolution sized shot in email.
6. One submission per person.
7. Use the proper SUBJECT line in your email (more info on that below)
8. You agree to the Standard Contest Rules - though we DO accept non-US resident submissions.
9. If the image contains any material or elements that are not owned by you and/or which are subject to the rights of third parties, and/or if any persons appear in the image, you are responsible for obtaining, prior to submission of the photograph, any and all releases and consents necessary to permit the exhibition and use of the image in the manner set forth in these rules without additional compensation. If any person appearing in any image is under the age of majority in their state/province/territory of residence the signature of a parent or legal guardian is required on each release.
Send your best photo by Monday, October 28th at 10AM Eastern to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Jack" in the subject line. Save your files as JPGs, and use a FirstnameLastnameJack.jpg (970px wide) and FirstnameLastnameJackWallpaper.jpg (2560px wide) naming conventions. Include your shooting summary (camera, lens, ISO, etc) in the body of the email along with a story of the shot in a few sentences. And don't skip this story part because it's often the most enjoyable part for us all beyond the shot itself!