Go behind the scenes and discover how Patrick Shipstad created and gave this spooky Halloween shot a little something extra with the Twist 60.

Halloween is a good time to browse the thrift stores for inexpensive costumes and props… and those new-found treasures can sure bring some inspiration to photograph something a little out of the ordinary. Last October while thrift shopping, I found a headband with some horns, a feathered headdress, a nest, and some Easter eggs. In the past, I had done a few photoshoots with crows in them and it seemed like a good time to do another one. So, after putting together my props and costumes I decided to make what I call “The Mother of Crows” shot. And when I’m looking for that “wow factor” in a shot, I know my Lensbaby lenses will take a photo concept to the next level.

One of my favorite lenses is the Twist 60, and I knew that would be my lens of choice to bring this concept to life. Since the costume was pretty elaborate and hiking to locations can be a little tricky in full wardrobe, I decided to shoot the model (my lovely, patient and supportive wife) separately from the background, but both with the Twist 60. I live in Los Angeles so I went out to the Angeles Forest to shoot the background, where I know they have some beautiful foliage and landscapes. I found this little hillside that had these amazing roots sticking out of it and those exposed roots shot with the Twist 60 would give me a super eerie background to work with. I just put the background out of focus (knowing I’d put my model in the foreground) and let the Twist 60 do it’s magic on those tree roots. The swirly effect on the background was haunting as it was beautiful and it was the perfect lens to give me that surreal look I was going for.

Next was to photograph “the mother of crows” and some extra costume elements in front of a green screen in diffused, overcast light like it was in the forest, and with the same Twist 60 lens. After compositing all the elements and photoshopping my beautiful wife into some kind of fairy tale crow-witch thing, the photo was done and it was everything I had hoped for. But for all the post-processing work I did, there was one element that I would never attempt in post and that was the unique magic that the Twist 60 brought “in camera” to the shoot. And I’m positive the shot would not have that extra something special, if it were not for my trusty Lensbaby Twist 60.

Check out more of Patrick’s work on his website and Instagram.

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