Years ago when film makers needed to shoot a night scene for a movie they used a technique which has long ago been forgotten by most. Film was slow back then night scenes were quite difficult due to the lack of technology that we have today. Back then if you wanted to create a night scene you would simply place a blue filter over the lens and under expose by about two f-stops of light. Viola – instant night scene. The sunlight became moonlight as if by magic.
A short time ago I was asked to photograph a campus scene at night to illustrate a story about evening students. The problem was that the students to be photographed could not stick around until night time. I had to shoot this in the late afternoon under bright sunlight. Here is what I did. I changed my white balance to tungsten which gave a early evening timbre to the existing light. I then under exposed by about two f stops and places a CTO filter on a speed light flash to give the correct white balance to the subjects and create the illusion of a street lamp illumination. I have mixed emotions about the outcome so will leave it up to the viewer to tell me if the fake works. Hopefully I’ll get to do this over at a later date as dusk or later when the light will be a little more realistic.