How To: Shoot in the Dark

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

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 ( 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
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
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.