How to Fake a Sunset Using Gels and Flash Photography

You have no control over the weather, but you do have influence over how it seems to be the weather. Check out this video to see what went on behind the scenes of this shot featuring a stunning Porsche 911 GT3 RS, as well as how one photographer managed to make a cloudy day appear like an awesome sunset.

Unfortunately, the photographer in this video has the same difficulty with outdoor photoshoots as I do: we’re both from the United Kingdom. You have to adapt because those apocalyptic sunsets and sunrises that provide magnificent, bright-orange light and strong contrast are rare in this place — as is any weather that isn’t gloomy or drizzled — and you have to be creative.

In any seriousness, no matter where you are, it’s important to understand how to transform the situation you’re in into something entirely different, whether it’s from day to night, from night to day, or from cloud to bright sun. In addition, it is not restricted to only outside shooting. Many of my portrait sessions have taken place indoors in rooms with huge windows, yet the scenery beyond the large windows is dominated by large clouds and nothing else. I’ll frequently grab for gels or RGB LEDs to completely transform the tone of a scene – it’s a handy talent to have in your toolkit, to be sure.

As you observe in this video, Mark McGee photographs a gorgeous Porsche 911 in unimpressive lighting circumstances, but with the use of a strobe and an orange gel, he transforms the results into something absolutely remarkable.

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