Shooting Day For Night

I love old westerns from the 1970s. Those movies are a guilty pleasure for an afternoon on the couch or a late night "work" session. One of my favorite techniques from many of those westerns is the "day for night" shooting trick. By photographing a scene in the middle of the day, but dramatically underexposing and shifting the tones to blue (presumably via the use of a filter or a processing adjustment) suddenly the good guys are outrunning the bad guys under the light of a full moon—not under a harsh midday sun. So this video by Jay P. Morgan of the Slanted Lens, about turning daylight into moonlight with a few simple tricks, really strikes a chord with me. Maybe I’ll make my own westerns now? Or maybe I’ll just put it to use as a way to understand illuminating subject and background separately by controlling ambient and flash exposures independently in the same scene. It’s powerful stuff if you really want to be the kind of photographer who takes control of lighting, rather than the kind who just takes what he can get.

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