Okay, guys, there were many questions after this post about bonfire and sky on the lead photo. Somehow people had the impression that it must have had a lot of layering and HDRing involved. In fact, it wasn’t the case, I just used curves like always. Let me elaborate.

My first attempt to include bonfire in the frame was some 4 years ago during mountain photoshoot, and it was terrible. We started way too early, the fire was too dim and too low, the model had to pose too close to the ground, and shots through the flame proved to suck also.

So next time, I took the whole evening from sunset to dark to play with fire, and I knew the fire should be big. Now, there are 3 different cases:

  1. When you use fire in twilights, and the model is lit by ambient light:

2. When the model is actually lit by fire:

3. (My favorite) When you use both fire and ambient like on a picture initially in question:

The trick with this 3rd option is, you will have only 10–15 minutes soon after sunset when the ratio of fire brightness and sky brightness will work together. That’s your window.

ProTip: the snow here acts like a big reflector, further softening the light.

That’s all to know here, no complicated post-prod :) As a bonus the biggest fire we made for a shoot:

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