How To: Shoot in the Dark

We talk to four pros who thrive in the shadows, creating blazingly brilliant images

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Enterprising Michael Shane covered the unveiling of the space shuttle Enterprise aboard the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum in New York last July for The Verge (www.theverge.com). Shooting with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II and 16–35mm f/2.8L Canon zoom, he managed to hold detail in both the bright highlights and inky shadows. The two he describes as being “about 10,000 stops apart.” Exposure: 1/80 sec at f/2.8, ISO 1000. Photo: Michael Shane
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Night Hawk Shooting from a helicopter, Cameron Davidson scored this dusky New York scene using a Nikon D3s. His lens was the 70–200mm f/2.8 VR II, which he set to f/3.5, exposing for 1/500 sec at a noise–free ISO 6400. Taken handheld in a vibrating TwinStar copter, the image is sharp because Cameron mounted the camera on a $4,000 gyro stabilizer. Photo: Cameron Davidson
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Femme Fatale Jorge Moreno, Jr. created a mysterious, shadowed portrait in a garage studio by reining in his lighting to minimize spill. He housed a Nikon SB-900 Speedlight (used at minimum power) in a 28-inch Westcott Apollo soft box, and shot with a Nikon D300 at 1/200 sec at f/5.6, ISO 125. Photo Jorge Moreno Jr.