Friday, October 24, 2014

Creepy Photos for Halloween

A week from today is Halloween. That day, and in the days leading up to it, it's time for all things creepy, when people  innocently entertain the macabre, in  thought and deed.

Typically protective parents take their kids to haunted events, where organizers have designed tableaux meant to terrify. These are the places where monsters lurk, all in the name of fun.

After all, who doesn't like to be scared? The horror genre is becoming increasingly popular in movies and television, many shows based on characters first introduced in literature, such as the enigmatic Dracula and his later counterpart Edward from Twilight. The youth culture in particular today seems to find a great deal of attraction in heroes with fangs. Dark gloomy gothic fashion has also been adopted by many angst-ridden teens.

Though I'm more likely to pick a tear-jerker over a spine-tingler when choosing a movie, I am a big fan of the horror genre in literatrue. Perhaps it's because the terror is less in your face, but don't suggest for a moment that a scary story can't have the same kind of power. I recall sitting on the couch for half an hour one night after reading a Dean Koontz classic, before being able to put my foot on the floor and make my way upstairs to bed. Funny in retrospect, but real fear at the time.

Who knows what attracts us to things that leave us quaking. I suspect it's adrenaline, and our fight or flight response. But, whatever the reason, it's obvious seeing the many people who get into the Halloween spirit wholeheartedly that there's something there.  Dressing up in ghoulish attire,  setting the stage in home decorating or scary haunted house events, there's no doubt that may feel the grisly and unexpected can be lots of fun.

Here then are some spooky photographs to get you in the mood for the bigger thrills on the way next Friday:

iPHOTOS.com Spooky Pictures

iCLIPART.com Spooky Photos

Clipart.com Scary Photos

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tips for Great Halloween Photos

Take trick-or-treating out of the equation and the real fun of Halloween is in the images that surround it. Nothing is more visually entertaining than a home transformed into a place suitable for haunting, each meticulous detail designed to chill and thrill, 

Then there are tiny hands helping carve impressive pumpkins, while special treats — candy apples, iced cookies and caramel corn — are prepared for little trick-or-treaters. Of course, there are the children themselves, faces alive with excitement during the preparations,  completely charming dressed in adorable costumes for the big night around town. 

For photography buffs, it's a great opportunity for some terrific pictures, full of colour and personality.  With an endless supply of subject material inspiration should be easy to find. If you need a little help, though,  there are always plenty of expert tips to be found online. Here's a sampling:

Digital Photography School Halloween Photography Tips

NY Institure of Photography Take Great Halloween Photos

Kodak Tips for Halloween Photography

takegreatpictures.com Halloween Photography

Digital Photo Secreat Tips for Great Halloween Photography

cameras.about.com Tips for Halloween Pictures

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

244 Spooky Animations for Halloween Fun

While Halloween doesn't fall on my list of favourite holidays to celebrate, I have a modicum of appreciation for people who get into the spirit of the occasion. The haunted houses, the witches that greet little trick-or-treaters at their door, the massively decorated homes with stereophonic shrieks and howls emanating from within, certainly grab my attention.

The effort is obviously appreciated too as these are the places where tots converge en masse. With shivers in their giggles they respond to the spooky aura and spine-tingling atmosphere that's been created with delighted, albeit nervous, glee.  While there might be a hesitancy to their step, you know too there is eager anticipation as they await any chills and thrills promised by the sights and sounds around.

I've tried on occasion to add a little more enthusiasm in welcoming tiny ghouls and goblins to my porch. With cackle and sneer I've greeted them at the door in full hag attire (no, not the usual). I've laced wispy phantoms from the walls, hung skeletons in windows and piped creepy music through open windows. One year my then teenage son and a friend dressed up in coveralls and hard hats and sat in silence on the front porch, heads bowed, baskets of candy on their laps, waiting to see who would be brave enough to approach.

It was fun, in retrospect. The problem is that there doesn't seem to be much incentive to get me into the Halloween spirit in time to prepare. Usually, it's just a rushed trip to the store for goodies a few days ahead. I wondered if infusing a little of the excitement and entertainment value of the event into some of my personal projects and messages in these days leading up to Halloween might spark that necessary enthusiasm.  I think this fun collection from AnimationFactory is a treat that just might do the trick

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Dozens of Awesome Halloween Photoshop Tutorials

It might still be several days before we get to Halloween, but there are signs of the imminent arrival of ghouls and goblins, witches and warlocks at every turn. From decorated houses and storefront windows, to promotional materials and classroom activities,  the minds of parents, merchants, teachers and tiny tots are full of spooky images and ghostly themes.

Artists too can add a little "Boo" to their work with their version of terror in image form.  Check out these intense paintings from some masters for example:

Top 10 Terrifying Paintings by Great Artists

And for folks who like to play in Photoshop there are also a number of really great tutorials out there to help them create special Halloween fun. Whether it's a graphic element to serve as a starting point, a photo alteration, or a creepy background to which you can add text for ads, flyers or posters, there's no need to fear you won't be able to find something to elevate the scare factor.

To dress up your Halloween projects, then,  here's a one-stop shopping guide to some of the best to be found, including a poster for a horror movie and an icky text effect:

DigitalArts Halloween Photoshop Tutorials

tuts+ Tutorials for Halloween

WebDesignDev Creepy Halloween Tutorials

Inspiredmag Halloween Photoshop Tutorials

DesignBump Photoshop and Illustrator Tutorials for Halloween

youthedesigner Halloween Tutorials You Should Try

garmahis.com Halloween Photoshop Tutorials

Monday, October 20, 2014

Hundreds of Colouring Pages to Get Tots in the Halloween Spirit

In 11 days, little ghosts and goblins will be haunting the streets, gliding figures silhouetted in the glow of streetlamps. Front porches will be festooned with gauzy spectres and sneering jack-o-lanterns attracting  tiny trick-or-treaters, and some young-at-heart ones as well. Up to the door they will come, baskets and bags in hand, in search of  sugary sweets.

Until then though, the excitement of the upcoming occasion will have children full of chatter and energy. For moms at home, or educators in classrooms, finding activities to entertain and occupy the mind goes a long way toward filling the days and making the wait until Halloween tolerable.

In keeping with the spirit of the ghoulish holiday, there are many fun projects and crafts  to be found on the internet that will help active little minds and hands keep busy. As well,  a subscription to an online graphics service can provide an endless supply of  colouring pages with themes for Halloween, as well as many other child-preferred celebrations throughout the year.

This collection from Clipart.com has wonderful variety with something for everyone from baby scribblers to the more experienced young artists, while these adorable illustration from  iCLIPART.com also add a different element to the fun giving tots to option to use the handy tool that lets them colour the illustrations right on the website. And all of them are in the 'spirit' of Halloween fun.