94 — Turning day into night

Pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast #94 teaches how to turn day into night or late after­noon for por­trait pur­poses. This tech­nique is often used by wed­ding, fash­ion and por­trait pho­tog­ra­phers. The goal of the tech­nique is to make the sky look darker so that the model pops against the sky. This often adds mood and/or drama to a shot. We dis­cuss 2 tech­niques; using flash and cam­era in man­ual non TTL (Through the lens) mode as well as TTL mode. We also touch on flash sync speeds.

This image looks like it was shot in the late after­noon but it was shot at 1pm. Cam­era mode was aper­ture pri­or­ity using TTL flash. Expo­sure com­pen­sa­tion was set to –3 on cam­era and +2 for the direct on cam­era flash. I would have taken the flash off cam­era for a bet­ter light­ing pat­tern but it was minus 15 C and my model only had 5 min­utes in her.

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  1. Good to know! What about using blue fil­ters, adjust­ing white bal­ance, etc.? Are there ways to turn day to night in post-production?

  2. This is a really cool trick, Marko. I hadn’t thought of using flash that way. I did a “day­time into night” once by look­ing into the sun and stop­ping way down to f22 to turn all the details into sil­hou­ettes but I never thought of fir­ing the flash for details. I’m going to have to try it out.

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