On Halloween day, I was rumbling toward an old airfield, littered with rusting abandoned vehicles, airplanes, and more. I had just called the previous day spontaneously, wondering if I could run up and photograph at night. It was a special day. Yes, Halloween, but a Halloween with a blue moon. What could be better? I was only too happy to make the three and a half hour drive to the airfield for some night photography.
In honor of Halloween, I had also brought a bag full of creepy looking dolls. They’d be difficult to explain if I got pulled over by California Highway Patrol. Thankfully, the only thing I stopped for was gas and tacos.
Just the right amount of cobwebs, dust and rust
After photographing some rusty airplanes and trucks, I found the perfect setting for my Halloween photo. I opened the creaky door of an abandoned Chevy flatbed. The cab was perfect. Just the right amount of cobwebs, dust and rust.
I became rather choosy about posing the bunny. The bunny should slump a certain way. I wanted the eye to look warily elsewhere. And also, I wanted one ear up, the other down. This was not something I usually did.
Setting up the camera
Satisfied, I set up the Pentax K-1, using a Lensbaby Edge 35 Optic. This creates these quasi-tilt-shift blurs, keeping a slice of the image in focus. During daylight, this lens is somewhat challenging to focus. At night, it was really difficult.
I managed to adjust the slice of focus so that it was on the eye and head of the bunny. The rest would fall into blur. I opened the shutter. Holding a ProtoMachines LED2 in my hand, I carefully shined it overhead, trying to get some texture and illuminate the bunny in an abnormal, creepy sort of way, keeping most of the cab in almost total darkness. I “grazed” some of the rusty springs, steering wheel and cobwebs with the light quickly, just for good measure. Satisfied that I completed the photo, I closed the shutter.
A 75-second exposure, all done. Good, weird, creepy, and dark, just as it should be.
I continued photographing among the creaky trucks and airplanes. Tonight was Halloween. Tonight was a good night.
VISIT ME, VISIT ME!
Head on over to the Ken Lee Photography website to purchase books or look at night photography and long exposure photos. My latest book, “Abandoned Southern California: The Slowing of Time” is available there and Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Target, Booktopia, Books A Million, IBS, and Aladin. If you enjoy the book, please leave a nice review.
Ken Lee Photography Facebook Page (poke your head in, say hi, and “like” the page if you would, uh, like)
Behind the Shot video podcast – interview February 2020
Conversation about night photography and my book with Lance Keimig of National Park At Night
A Photographer Captures Haunting Nighttime Images of Abandoned Buildings, Planes, and Cars in the American Southwest – Business Insider by Erin McDowell
A Photographer Explores Southern California’s Desert Ruins – Los Angeles Magazine article by Chris Nichols
One thought on “Halloween night photography: a creepy bunny, an abandoned Chevy truck, and a blue moon￼”
Just creepy enough.