Night photography requires long exposures, photo strobes, or cinema lights. In still photography the solution is usually a combination of the first two, while in cinema it's almost always the latter.
The larger the subject or more distant the landscape is the more difficult and expensive it is to light it with cinema lights. When still photography techniques are used, as is possible with Digital Air's systems, the solution can be much simpler. Long exposures can be used to
capture night landscapes and other under-lit or otherwise unlightable scenes from a moving point of view. High powered strobes such as Lightning Strikes (Luminys - link) can be used to illuminate city-scapes and landscapes momentarily with the effect of looking like constant light sources in the final shot (imagine a strobe-lit cityscape as a frozen moment).
Long exposure techniques are useful in their simplest forms for capturing background plates of distant night exteriors. In more complex forms these techniques blend into the open flash and flash trail techniques.
Very long exposures (several minutes or more) can also be used to photograph scenes in which everything moving disappears due to motion blur. This technique has been used in still photography for example to make a busy train station appear empty.
photo: Weegee note the motion blur in the water due to the long exposure
EXAMPLE - LONG EXPOSURE
Project: out-take from Samsung CDMA TV commercial
Equipment: Timetrack™ 40 lens straight camera Client: Samsung Agency: Cheil Communications (Seoul) Director: Chee-Whan Chung Production Company: Duo Films (LA) Producer: Won Park Post Production: Rainmaker (LA)
This example of a long exposure is an outtake of the crew standing around after this shoot was over. We chose to include it here because it's a night cityscape shot with a long exposure and only ambient light -- streetlights, etc. (as opposed to using cinema or strobe lights).