Fall is a great time to photograph kids in costume, pumpkins, and scarecrows, as well as catch the last of the colored leaves. Fog and decay can be be fascinating things to witness in nature, and late October/early November can be the best time to make pictures of these transitory phenomena.

The origins of the name Halloween harkens back to a Scottish variant of the fuller All-Hallows-Even (“evening”), that is, the night before All Hallows Day (All Saints’ Day). Further back it is more typically linked to Samhain, a Gaelic festival held on October 31–November 1. The name Samhain is derived from Old Irish and means roughly “summer’s end,” signifying the end of the lighter half of the year and the beginning of the darker half. The ancient Celts believed that the border between this world and the otherworld became thin on Samhain, allowing spirits to pass through. It is believed that the need to ward off harmful spirits led to the wearing of costumes and masks. Their purpose was to disguise oneself as a harmful spirit and thus avoid harm. Boo!