Malibu CA, Residential exterior at 5-15 minutes after sunset, ambient light, Mole Richardson lights used. 1-650w, red scrim, camera left foreground to lighten grass and rocks, 3-200w left of house, 2-200w for patio furniture, 2-200w camera right of house.
Mulholland Drive overlook, Los Angeles, CA. 30 minutes after sunset +1 stop over exposure, all ambient light
In photography, exposure is the total amount of light allowed to create an image. Here I used a tripod and waited for the light to evenly balance between the sky and foreground. I usually start shooting a little early and slightly under/overexpose to get a darker/lighter sky and detail in the buildings. As the golden hour (sometimes known as magic hour) approaches near sunset I keep shooting and bracket along the way.
After the sun goes down you have a small window of light that is perfect and which will only last 10-20 minitues depending on the time of year (summer longer, winter shorter). I also bracket in 1/3 increments along the way to allow for the fluctuation of light.
After 30 minutes or so my exposures are usually all over exposing by 1-2 stops to bring back detail in the sky and car tail lights become streaks of light painting your photograph.
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