I've always wanted to do a photoshoot/video-shoot during night time, to see what the challenges and difficulties are. So finally one day I asked Alex Lv, a Sydney based fashion photographer to come with me on an un-official, not planned night-shoot in the Rocks Sydney.
Maybe you are one of the people who loves the look of the urban street at night, and wants to take good photos/videos but often find your pictures come out either having really bad lighting or just too dark. Then hopefully this post will give you some inspiration.
A couple of technical stuff in the beginning.
- Bring A DSLR or Mirrorless Camera with a lens that has a big aperture, e.g. 50mm F1.8 (Cheapest fast prime lens that costs $1xx)
- Try not to go above iso 1600 for Video Shoot, If you are using a Cinema camera that is great for low light, you still shouldn't go above iso 5000. If it is for Photoshoot, depend on your camera low light performance, you can go up accordingly. With my 5d iv I often find 6400 iso my threshold. But if you did took noisy pictures, often putting a black & white filter will save the picture.
- Bring a light source, It could be a flash or a continuous light, I didn't use flash this time because We didn't plan enough for it. Flash photography can be complicated especially when mixed with ambient light in the city. But once mastered it can produce amazing results. More on that in my future Blogs.
What we used:
Sony A7 ii with 35mm F1.4
Canon C200 with 50mm F1.2 & 35mm T1.5
Aperture: At maximum all the time
Shooting mode: Internal Raw 4k 50p
Adobe Premiere Pro CC 2018 with latest Canon Raw Lite plug-in Installed.
Glide-cam Devin Graham Signature Series
So, These are our very simple preparation for a casual night-shoot. Once you have prepared these, all you need to do is to scope out the place you are going, and find large light sources around the place, large light source often render the best result since the quality of the light depends largely on the size. We avoided street lamp post because they are directly from above and has a very ugly yellow tint, small lights from directly above usually are bad lightings that should be avoided. Other than that, you can have the model standing next to shop front window lights, next to a bus stop sign, or get creative with LED panels and even car head lights.
Check out the Video and Photography below :
A few things to reflect after the shooting:
The biggest challenge for me as a videographer, was to focus, In lowlight, even Canon's dual sensor focus system struggles to get things in focus especially if the model is back lit. The best I could do was to focus before hand and keep the same distance with the model while shooting. Pulling focus is really out of the option since I'm using the glide-cam.
Anyway, this is my first night-shoot with the Canon cinema lens, I hope you guys learnt something from out experience too since we sure learnt a few. If you like our videos, or blogs, like it, share it, subscribe to it :P There will be plenty more coming !
Thanks for reading， and Happy shooting!