Hi guys!

In today’s blog we will face a photographic theme not so easy.. i.e. the night photography with subject.

This is quite different from the night landscape photography because it’s very difficult to find the equilibrium between the parameters, the ambient light and the artificial light.

Hereafter you can find a technical description quite heavy if you are not a photographer, so for whom is not interested I tell you immediatly to jump to the end and just look at the photos and if possible to tell me your impression 🙂

Technical description

Let’s start with the technical part: first of all we need a reflex with low noise with high ISOs, because we’ll be obliged to use them. Further, we need good aperture lenses.. at least f2.8, but if f2 or f1.4 better! While for the photography of night landscape we can use ISO 100 and f8 with the use of a simple tripod, for the night photography with a subject we are obliged to use high ISOs, often over 800, and with the diaphragm completely open. I don’t know anything about astronomic night photography, but there’s a friend of mine who know it, so maybe we will do a collaboration!

Here it is how to set everything:

  • First of all let’s put our camera on a tripod with the lens we will use and the diaphragm completely open.
  • Let’s focus on a point about where the model will be and in aperture priority mode increase the ISOs in order to have a shutter speed of 1/50-1/60. This because even though it is possible also to do photos with slower shutter speeds, there’s the risk to have some blur of the model, even if it should be “freezed” from the strobes. This will oblige us to use 1600 or 3200 ISO.. if there’s enough light we can still use 800 ISO, in order to have less noise.
  • Let’s put now the camera on manual mode.
  • It is very important at this point to set well the white balance on camera. We will shot in raw, but given that we will have to make a fusion of flash lights with ambiend lights, we have to perfectly know what we are doing. City lights are very variable, going from the intense yellow to orange, from green to magenta.. At the end the two best white balance temperatures are the fluorescent and the tungsten, you have to evaluate in every situation.. if they won’t work you have to set the white balance manually. In the photos you’ll find after the white balance was set on tungsten.
  • At this point you have to make your subject enter the scene (in this case the great Giada ^_^) and evaluate the strobes lights. You have already to know perfectly how to position the lights to illuminate the subject and then just play with the powers manually until you find the right equilibrium. Often, given that you’ll use the widest aperture and high ISO, it will not be necessary to stress a lot flashes. The powers will be of the order of 1/64-1/16 usually.. this will allow you to do a lot of shots rapidly, because the flash lights will have the time to recharge.
  • It is foundamental to evaluate the flash colors. If you have the white balance on tungsten and you leave the flash without a color in front of it, this will make a light blue light. It is necessary then to put a colored flash in front of the flash to equilibrate all. If you have the white balance on tungsten you’ll have to put a CTO (Color To Orange) gel on it in order to make the subject well colored.
  • Now you only have to enjoy the moment 😀
I hope I have been clear in this explanation, and I hope if you have some questions to expose them in the comments and I will answer you!

This photographic set has been a good occasion to try my new lens, i.e. the 135mm f2. What have I to say? It’s great, and it gave me immediatly a lot of satisfaction (you can see its fantastic bokeh in the photo of the “funicolare”..).

I leave you to the photos of Giada, who I thank a lot for accepting to do photos at night dressed with her ballerina dresses!! I also thank Simona and Patrizia for their help 🙂


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