Here it is, the spookiest and most anticipated PhotoChallenge ever, right in time for Halloween 2015. Your Challenge, if you’re not too afraid to accept it, will be to create the spookiest animated infrared GIF ever.

Steve Troletti Photography: animated gif &emdash;

Every year for Halloween, I create an image for my blog. Last year I created the above image. This year I wanted to do a little something more and share the process as a Challenge for the week of Halloween. Hopefully, you’ll find it challenging, rewarding, and a great motivation for your creative mind.

Post from RICOH THETA. – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Your first step will be to find the Spookiest location for your PhotoChallenge shoot. We chose to set up in front of a Mausoleum at a local cemetery as illustrated in the above Infrared PhotoSphere.  We’ll leave the details of your spooky location up to you. However since this is an Infrared Challenge, you’ll most probably have to stay outdoors in the mid-day sun to maximize your exposure capabilities.

For the last two months, I’ve given you a heads up on the fact that we will be shooting an Infrared Challenge. Hopefully, by now you should have purchased a filter or created one with the DIY video posted above.

Steve Troletti Photography: animated gif &emdash;

Once you’ve chosen your spooky location, you’ll need your spooky subject such as a goblin. In my case, my standard-issue wildlife photographer camo-pants with my Laguna Beach Hoody complimented my Dollar Store Halloween Mask.

Steve Troletti Photography: animated gif &emdash;

If you’ve been following The 2015 PhotoChallenge and participated in the WEEK 35: Translucent Outdoor Long Exposures Challenge, then you should be able to create an image as pictured above, left. The left image is the result of a long exposure with the subject only exposed for a fraction of the total exposure, thus making it translucent. The right image is done in the same process, a long exposure but with an Infrared Filter fitted to a non-converted DSLR instead of a Neutral Density filter.

Steve Troletti Photography: animated gif &emdash;

Installing a 720nm IR filter on your non-converted camera will have a result equivalent to at least 5 stops of light reduction depending on the hotfilter used by your camera manufacturer. The effect will be similar to that of an ND filter but the image will be red unless you can set an in-camera white balance under IR. Then you will have rusty and copper tones instead of a monochromatic red. A simple B&W conversion will suffice for the challenge. If you wish, you can attempt false IR colors to make everything even more bizarre.

Steve Troletti Photography: animated gif &emdash;

In order to fulfill the challenge, you will need to capture a minimum of two images in Infrared. One with just your scene as in SPOOKY IMAGE 1 above. You will also need to capture a second image. This one will be of a translucent ghostly apparition as we’ve practiced in a past challenge. This time we’re just looking for Infrared images processed in B&W to facilitate the challenge and increase the eerie spook factor. This is a simple approach. You can as an alternative shoot your subject elsewhere and with the use of a layer mask, animate it atop your original image.

Now that you have your two or more images, it’s time to put them together into one animated gif. Remember the larger the image size and the more images you animate together, the bigger your file size will be. Keep your final image size as small as possible and limit the number of images animated to no more than four. Processing and saving your image as a grayscale will also decrease the final file size of your B&W image. The above video illustrates the technique to create an animated gif with Photoshop. There are several online animated gif creators that should work. I haven’t tried any but click here to search.

Happy Halloween Steve Troletti Photography

…and voila, by now the above GIF should have completely loaded and you should see the animation of four images in an endless loop. This will be my 2015 Happy Halloween image for my Blog at Steve Troletti Photography.

You should be able to post your animated GIF directly to Google+ or Facebook with no problems. In Flickr, you will have to provide the link to the original photo.


If you want to venture into false color IR, I suggest you take a look at this article by Chris Swarbri

Here’s another one by John Harte

Here’s a video illustrating one more technique

Wishing you all a great Halloween on behalf of the entire PhotoChalenge Team (Trevor, Jeremy, Gary & Myself) Have a great week of Spooky Photography.

The rules are pretty simple:

  • Post one original photograph (Your Image) shot each week per theme posted on this blog to Google+Facebook, or Flickr (or all three). Tag the photo #photochallenge.org or #photochallenge2015.
  • The shot should be a new shot you took for the current weekly theme, not something from your back catalog or someone else’s image.
  • The posted image should be a photograph, not a video.
  • Don’t leave home without your camera. Participating in the 2015 Photo Challenge is fun and easy.

A special thanks to Eugenie Robitaille Design Media for technical assistance.

About Steve Troletti

I'm a Location Scout, Editorial, Nature, Wildlife and Environmental Photographer based in Malibu, California. I specialize in Nature and Urban Nature photography including Infrared Landscapes. The Bulk of my work takes place in the Los Angeles, California area, Greater Montreal Region, Canada, Switzerland, France and Varese in Northern Italy. Ethical wildlife photography is the main priority and focus of my work. A minimum disturbance of the animals, their habitat and the environment is my top priority. This applies as much to total wilderness areas as it does to urban nature environments. Ongoing education of environmental issues and building awareness for the protection of wildlife and wilderness areas around the world is what drives me to document the beauty that surrounds us.