Nikon D4 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24mm — 2.5 sec, f/9, ISO 1000 — map & image data — nearby photos
compared to this shot
In “Snowy Frigid Ohio Morning” a few days ago, I posted a photo of the back of the house that I grew up in and that my folks have lived in for 49½ years. I captioned it “Warm”, but commented that I had hoped for more orange spill from the incandescent lighting inside.
I hadn't gotten what I wanted because I was too late in the morning, where ambient light from the pre-dawn sky was already bright enough to overpower the house lights.
So I tried again this morning. We had quite a bit of snow last night, and I happened to get up early enough (and as a bonus it was much warmer than the previous time). The result above is more what I was looking for.
The earlier time also benefited the result with a deeper blue light filtering in through the clouds, providing more contrast to the orange of the incandescent lights.
This same technique applies to photographing buildings or Christmas lights (or cherry-blossom lightups or campfires or airplanes, etc.) in the morning or evening... photos taken at dawn or dusk can be much more compelling than those taken when the sky is completely dark or bright.