For the past couple of years, I’ve been working on a photographic series dealing with the changing of the arabic part in the city of Haifa, Israel.
As many photographers, I was used to work with film and it isn’t natural to photograph at night with film, due to problems with exposure and color. Using digital cameras, made night photography very intuitive and natural for me. Still, two main technical questions had bothered me artistically:
- What is the appropriate color reproduction to reflect the sense of night time?
- What is the appropriate exposure (histogram) that will reproduce the best luminance transitions, which reflect night time experience?
Color reproduction – this issue disturbs all photographers. The camera sees only “daylight”, it does not understand that my eyes are looking at night time and sees palish warm colors of street lights, while sky colors are dark. So the first thing I began dealing with, was the reproduction of color and sky luminance.
Appropriate exposure – as we all know, the “correct” exposure we pick is based on histogram.
Actually, all of us work in a “zone system” when we use the histogram (making an exposure with all the details that the camera can reproduce). The camera however, is calibrated to 18% gray brightness. I felt that the photographs were to bright and when I darkened them, I didn’t receive the desired results, especially in darker areas (there were to many details in “correct” contrast). I decided to set the exposure so that the histogram would be “climbing” the left side with the Wide Range B&W presets and reconstruct the details afterwords using the Night Palettes presets.
This type of exposure and gleaning details in post production, makes the appropriate contrast for the very dark areas. Having the appropriate exposure and post production development of contrasts + one of the night palettes gives a very nice sense of night time, with very delicate warm colors.
You are most welcome to share your thought and night photos on our facebook page.
Thanks for your time and effort!