And why not? That is the joy of digital photography. It it doesn’t work, try something else!
I had a reminder of that recently at Vermejo Park Ranch in New Mexico. A late evening electrical storm suddenly popped up after sunset, creating some really interesting light and colors in the clouds when the distant lighting hit. I drove out to a spot I had previously scouted where I could frame a nicely shaped tree against the “V” of a distant valley. I set up my tripod, focused on the tree, framed the picture and shot.
Unfortunately, the silhouette against the sky really did not work. . . . At all. . . . In fact, it really sucked. The lighting did not really light up the clouds and the foreground was way too dark. But it was a start . . .
Looking at the back of my camera, I realized that I needed to light up the foreground and tree so they stood out more (plus get the lighting to hit during the exposure). I had left the parking lights of my truck on during the shot, and lo and behold, they were sort of hitting the foreground grasses with a nice warm glow. . . . Hmmm. Interesting. . . .
I walked back to my truck, turned on the headlight low beams, grabbed a role of gaffers tape*** from my toolkit, and taped up the headlights so that the light would just hit the tops of the grasses, but not blow out the foreground. Then with a little flashlight, I walked around during the 30 second exposure and “painted” the main tree with light.
Much better! So my light sources were (1) lighting lighting up the clouds to the left; (2) starlight; (3) flashlight; (4) truck headlights; and (5) light from the distant Casa Grande Lodge and other buildings.
***Gaffers tape is a photographer’s best friend. It grips like duct tape but does not leave a sticky residue behind. About $20 for a big roll, but well worth it. If you use duct tape on your headlights, the tape would have melted into a gooey mess!