how to carve a pumpkin: photograph it
Photo: Courtesy JP of Jammin' Pumpkins
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5. Photograph It

The best way to preserve your pumpkin is to take a good picture of it. But photographing lighted objects can be tricky. Eric Wilhelm, CEO of, who photographs his own jack-o'-lanterns every year, says there are three keys to the perfect capture:

• A steady camera
• Longer than usual exposure times (he photographs his carvings using 0.8 to 2.5 seconds of exposure time)
• No flash.

A tripod is best for keeping the camera steady, because even slight movement can blur your image. If you're just going to rest the camera on a table or other surface, Wilhelm advises using the delayed shutter function (or timer) to give the camera a chance to stop shaking after you hit the button.

Wilhelm also recommends eliminating any background light and placing minimal light sources in front of the pumpkin. "I photograph in a dark room with two side-mounted, low-wattage flood lights pointing toward reflective surfaces," Gene Granata of Masterpiece Pumpkins adds. This gives the pumpkin a presence in the photo.

Shown: A perfect pumpkin picture by JP of Jammin' Pumpkins that shows a blur-free, lighted carving.
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