Talking about night time events, well, dusk really, one of the key things a photographer has to prepare for is the need to add light, that is, more light than is available from the sky.
At one of our recent Meetups, we started at The Haven in Terrigal. There were birds, boats, waves and people. The best part was the gorgeous setting sun and glowing skies which made a beautiful backdrop to all of those subjects.
Under such circumstances, the front of a subject is facing the camera and therefore in shadow. And too dark. But there’s a solution: the trusty fill light from a flash unit.
Otherwise, f you exposed for the subject, all the background colours would wash out from the overexposure. Some people try to compensate in post-processing. I’ve done it myself, but the effect is not the same. I find there is a lack of detail and crispness compared to using flash at the time of capture.
Even as the “magic hour” of sunset gives way to the “blue hour” and eventually to a black sky, the principle remains. You can always add some flash to lighten the foreground subjects. It’s the only way to preserve the deep sky colours whether gold tones or blue ones.
I wish more people would be brave enough to turn on or attach their flash units. Sometimes you don’t even have to do any calculations because almost any amount of blitz from your flash unit will work.
Go on. If you’re reading, this, just pop on your flash unit and do some dusk or nighttime scenics. Or am I missing something and there are heaps of you people already out there doing just that?