Hollywood trickery! Turn the daytime to night in-camera

Peter Fenech
Before: This scene suffers from a lack of attractive lighting, but is itself a fetching location. Currently there is insufficient interest to make an enticing image. (Image credit: Peter Fenech)

Shooting at night can produce extremely atmospheric images, with deep shadows and strong contrast complimenting a predominance of cool hues. However, the low light conditions can introduce many challenges, with camera shake and difficult focussing working to degrade image quality. 

A creative solution is to shoot during the day, when ambient light is in greater supply and then adjust exposure and colour to produce a ‘fake’ nighttime effect. This is a technique commonly employed in cinema camera work and which, using a sharp eye, can be identified in many blockbuster films.

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Peter Fenech

As the Editor for  Digital Photographer magazine, Peter is a specialist in camera tutorials and creative projects to help you get the most out of your camera, lens, tripod, filters, gimbal, lighting and other imaging equipment.

After cutting his teeth working in retail for camera specialists like Jessops, he has spent 11 years as a photography journalist and freelance writer – and he is a Getty Images-registered photographer, to boot.

No matter what you want to shoot, Peter can help you sharpen your skills and elevate your ability, whether it’s taking portraits, capturing landscapes, shooting architecture, creating macro and still life, photographing action… he can help you learn and improve.