I've been trying to figure out the best approach to take for some shots I will be doing this weekend of landscape lighting for a friend's business. I want to try B&W and color. What is the best way to get the most dynamic range? Here are my ideas:

  • Shoot at dusk instead of in complete darkness
  • Expose the house without lighting and then turn on the lights briefly
  • Do one exposure for shadows and one for highlights and combine (printing or digitally)
  • Use B&W filim and stand develop

Obviously it will be difficult to get a good exposure of the house/property without blowing out the highlights (lighting fixtures and the light they cast on the house). I have had some success in doing a long exposure on my own house with the lighting off and then flicking the lights on for a brief second, but I don't know if I'll be able to do that on these houses. I'm going to do some tests but I'd like to get some keepers the first time around.

Can this be done with color film or is it best to stick with B&W for best results? Is this something best controlled during exposure/developing or during printing?

The films I was planning to use are TMY-2 and Ektar 100. I remember a couple of years ago learning on APUG that TMY-2 was a great film for long exposures. I also have the new Portra 400 but I don't think that would be of much help here. For gear I will be using my RZ67, 50mm lens, and a sturdy Manfrotto tripod. Any experience on the matter would be greatly appreciated!