View Full Version : Taking photos of a 3d haunt

11-08-2010, 06:49 PM
Anyone have some advice on how to properly set a digital camera to best capture images of a 3d haunt? No matter what I have tried, I cant get pictures to properly show the details. If I use a flash, it basically eliminates all of the uv and looks like the lights are on. If I dont use a flash it is very dark, and some of the images come out all blury and sometimes the image is doubled. I have tried taking them in portrait mode, landscape mode, nighttime mode etc. I am not using a really expensive camera, but it is not cheap either, I think it was about $300 when I bought it, its a Canon PowerShot A620. Just trying to get clear pics that show the quality of the artwork, there has to be a way to get better quality than I am getting now?

11-08-2010, 07:19 PM
The best results I have gotten have been using no flash, setting camera up on a tripod and playing with any exposure/shutter settings you might have. Even the cheaper point and clicks usually have something. If you dont have that option...drop an extra (black)light in on what you are photographing....get a CFL with a clip light and point in direction you are shooting.

If you are shooting characters...try to get them to stay as still as possible.

I attached 3 samples of photos I have taken (room one was taken with same method but by a friend I have a lot more and better ones but these were the only ones I have immediate access to)...the one with actors is a tad blurry because we moved a little and I didnt use enough light. Im actually at bottom right (set up and used timer) in the main group photo, and the one with the gas mask on the group photo in the room. The single actor one we actually had a 4 foot blacklight facing him, then he held an 18inch one in his arms to give it more glow.

Hope this helps a little. Ill post other pics when I can get to them.

11-08-2010, 07:23 PM
As long as you can MANUALLY change the iris/exposure settings you should play around with it!

Having a wide open iris will allow ALOT more light to come in... having the iris open (exposure) for a certain length of time will give you better results!


For the picture I attached, I had our camera on a tripod with a "2.5" setting, this basically keeps the iris open for 2.5 seconds, allowing more light to come in. However, you can see that the spin of our vortex tunnel created a "blur" of color... when you have your iris open for long periods of time, you MUST use a tripod and your shot MUST be COMPLETELY stationary... the smallest movement will cause a blur!

Hope this helps.


11-08-2010, 07:32 PM
A tripod is a must due to the longer exposure time.
Use manual (not autofocus) for the shots.
No flash, this will flood out the UV light and kill any effect.

We've created numerous 3D attractions and have played around with several cameras and techniques in photographing them, but I have found that patience and a tripod make a world of difference.


11-08-2010, 08:42 PM
I agree, a tripod is a must! From what I can see your camera should have a "Manual Mode" This should allow you to adjust your shutter speed. You really want to slow it down. You also want to open the aperture to 2.8. Again like stated above this will let light in a lot faster. I have attached a few photos for examples and given the settings we used for them.

First one is the miner. This was sot at
ISO 400
F 2.8
Exposure of 3 sec.

Second (Guy with long hair in green)
This was much faster because we where working directly under this green light. I was able to shoot at

ISO 100
f 2.8
1/6 sec

Next is the clown

ISO 400
f 2.8
1.5 sec

and last is a shot of Eric Lowther (creator of Haunted Overload) on Halloween night photographed by my wife Suzanne

ISO 400
f 2.8
10 sec (ya 10 whole seconds)

So with static props the long shutter speeds are no problem. The actors on the other hand are a different story. you really have to be able to figure out how long people can hold still for then work the shot around that.

Hope this helps.

Dan & Suzanne


11-11-2010, 05:12 PM
Thanks guys. I am going to play around with it. I have never been a great photographer, I just know how to point and click, which works fine for me in daylight. So I am going to have to read the manual and learn the shutter speeds and such. Thanks for all the info and examples. Dan, where in NH are you, and are you ever in the Salem MA area? I love those pics you did for HO, and may want to have to stop by sometime and do a quick session for me!

11-11-2010, 07:26 PM
No problem, I am in southern NH so Salem isn't far. You can email me at.


I look forward to it.


11-11-2010, 08:19 PM

Dan & Sue @ Artifact Images are the best!

Their portfolio includes but is not limited to Corporate, Fine Arts, Commercial & Event photography (including Haunted Overload of course! :-)

Yes, a shameless plug but ...only because they deserve it!

A picture IS worth a thousand words...especially when viewing photos of Haunted Overload taken by Artifact Images...but honestly...

I'm usually left speechless!!!


Creative Consultant/Stage Manager