September 29th, 2015
Andy asked the following question:
I did some shots for free a few weeks ago and I wanted to do “twilight” shots so I went to the house at night. The street lights turned on and the whole picture pretty much turned yellow because I was doing a slow exposure (the color of the street lights). How do I avoid it? Do I have to use flash?
It’s hard to tell for sure without seeing the specific photo you are talking about. A couple of approaches come to mind:
- You may be able to correct the problem in Lightroom or Photoshop depending on how bad it is. This would be done with the Temp and Tint sliders in Lightroom. Of course, these are global adjustments that affect the whole image. You also can also do a similar thing in areas that are worse than others with the Adjustment brush.
- If the street lights are coming on, you many be shooting when it’s too dark. The ideal time to a twilight shoot about 15 to 20 minutes after sunset. Since this may vary due to the cloud cover etc., it’s a good idea to be ready to shoot at sunset and then take a series of shots as it gets darker and darker. That way you can decide later which is the best.
Using flash in a twilight shot is not going to change the color balance of the whole image. Usually, the way flash is used in twilight shots it to go around flashing many different areas to highlight them and then combine all the flashed areas in Photoshop as layers, this isn’t a solution to the problem you describe.
The photo above by Iran Watson, is in the PFRE Flickr group and Iran describes how he added supplemental lighting to this twilight shot. Notice from the sky in Iran’s photo, it’s not all that dark. My guess it that you are waiting to shoot your twilight until it gets too dark.