- Exposure: From Snapshots to Great Shots
- Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera
- Master Photo Exposure
The first step in becoming a good photographer is mastering basic settings like exposure and white balance. After shooting enough to master the basics, you will start to realize you can actually "trick" your audience with a few interesting effects. One of the coolest things you can do is a photo shoot outdoors in daylight and make it look like the photos were taken at night. It sounds a lot harder than it actually is. Of course in order to pull off this trick, you're going to need full manual settings on your camera and the external flash unit. While we're at it, you don't need a lot of gear. Other than the camera and a regular speed light that you're going to use externally, you will need a light modifier like a softbox or octodome and a colored gel to recreate the tonal range of night shots.
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The technique isn't very difficult as I mentioned earlier. Basically, you're going to have to reduce the exposure of ambient light to a point where you barely see the elements in the background, but without having a completely dark image. After that, you're going to have to work on properly setting the flash for a correct exposure of your model. You use a light meter for this, or you can do it the "simple way", by taking several test shots until you arrive at the desired result. Depending on the theme of the shot, you can add other effects like smoke or steam to give it a little more impact.
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Here's a great tutorial on how to turn day into night from photographer Gavin Hoey in this video for Adorama TV.