I can see three very clear aspects that all three photos share, so let's concentrate on those.
Two can be done in camera, the third is a software process.
I didn't have time to costume a collection of actors or find a nice medieval-style location... but I have a toy bear & my living room, with a bookcase in the corner.
I didn't set up any lighting for ...
There are two ways to go about accomplishing this - in camera and in post.
Both techniques will rely on shooting a rim-lit subject.
Put a flash behind the subject. In my image, I actually had the flash cranked up WAY too much, so I'm getting additional light acting as fill (bouncing off the couch and back toward the front of the subject):
Set-up below ...
Directly with regards to the lighting:
Much of her recent work has strong light sources from behind the main subject(s). About 45° (either to the side or a combination of to the side and above) from directly behind the subject seems to be the most common angle in her examples on instagram. She's not afraid to let the highlights go to get the shot she wants.
A very long exposure doesn't help with shots like this due to the rotation of the Earth. Depending on your field of view you can get star trails (where instead of individual points of light you get lines where the stars have moved relative to the camera) with exposures of only 10 seconds. With a wide angle lens you can get away with longer exposures, e.g. 30 ...
Increase the contrast - globally and additional local contrast in the trees and other areas
(when you say amazing sharpness I think it's a big boost in contrast that you're noticing)
Warm the image - you can see the greens have gone yellow
In addtion, looks like they've applied some "glow" to the image. You can do this by ...
Short of asking Peter Lik himself, or finding he posted the techniques online, I could only speculate on which techniques he actually did use. I am assuming he did post processing. Some possibilities include:
Start with a good dark sky location. The Australian outback has a lot of that. Some places elsewhere are also good (at times).
Use prime focus ...
So, here's what I got in just a few minutes using two basic tools: Curves, and Unsharp mask:
I used Gimp, but this is basic stuff any decent image editing software will have. Here's all I did. First, I used the curves tool to dramatically increase the black point, increasing shadow contrast:
Then, I pulled the curve upwards to brighten the (new) midtones:
Background bokeh straight out of camera
The above picture isn't necessarily a composite. You can achieve a similar effect straight out of camera.
Here's a picture I took almost 10 years ago:
And here's the setup:
SB600+gridspot, back camera right, 1/16, 85mm
SB25+Plusgreen gel, camera left, 1/64, 24mm.
One chair as a big gobo to prevent light from ...
There are two main elements I see in your example images:
These images have relatively low contrast. The brightest whites are nowhere near pure white. They're light grey. The darkest blacks are nowhere near pure black. They're dark grey. You can do this by reducing overall contrast, by lightening up the shadows (also known as reducing the blacks, ...
There are several effects going on here.
The water effect must be done in camera, with a very long exposure. Probably during dusk or at night otherwise you'll have too much light, even with a strong ND filter.
The black and white conversion can be done in camera if shooting JPEG but is better done in post.
The gradient in the sky is either done with a ...
Luckily you don't need to drag round a full set of Profotos and car batteries to get this look, natural light is all you need. Shoot late in the day when the sun is low in the sky. This gives you a softer light, with natural fill, warmer colours and makes it easier to blow out (overexpose) the background and/or provide lots of highlights for great ...
The effect is due to combining flash and ambient light on a moving subject. The flash illuminates the subject which then moves. The subject blocks the ambient light creating a silhouette, and then moves before the flash fires so that the image lit by the flash is offset with the silhouette, giving the hard cartoon outline effect. No photoshop required for ...
You don't actually need a tilt-shift lens to do this. This particular image was taken with a standard lens (50mm f1.2 according to the filename of the image on Ryan's website) rather than with a tilt-shift.
The extreme bokeh effect here was achieved by using a freelensing technique, where the lens is detached from the camera body and held at a tilted angle ...
In your question I recognise two parts:
1. How to combine the day/night parts.
Take one photo of the daytime situation, take one photo of the evening situation. Use a tripod for the photos and let it stay there between the shots so the composition stays the same.
Another possibility is to tether your camera to a laptop and use the daytime image as an ...
Shoot with a small aperture, f22 or like. It is called diffraction.
There is a detailed answer Here
And here are some sample photos taken with Sony Alpha A35 and an old Carl Zeiss Sonnar 135mm f/3.5 lens. I choose this lens to experiment because it has six blades and has a nice octagonal aperture at f/22. And also being a lens from cold war era, it is much ...
Low contrast (just look at the areas of deep shadow-- grey instead of black), possible desaturation, plus possibly a slight touch of simulated cross-processing, I'd say. Note also that in the region of the head, the contrast is stronger, indicating that a mask was applied at some point. This tutorial on a washed-out look may be interesting to you-- I ...
The key is to find areas of the image with a lot of parallax, such as a foreground building and a background tree. Try to pick a point as close to one edge of frame as possible. Now walk left/right (green) to find the correct point of intersection from the old photograph.
Now that you've done that, you've established a straight line to move along (red).
The setup is relatively simple but to do this as one shot you will need space. An awful lot of space. Doing this indoors in a regular sized house is not going to work, the walls/ceiling are going to reflect light back filling in the shadows and you wont get the fading-into-black effect.
The easiest way to shoot this (short of renting a studio) would be to ...
I'm not seeing this as particularly pastel. What I do see is a very common and popular look we get asked about a lot, often does described as a "old film effect". (See also this and this.)
The black point this slightly raised. The deepest blacks are shown as medium/dark gray.
A color cast is applied. In this case, yellowish.
And that's really all there ...
I'm the photographer, who made the picture, and I used Photoshop to make the strings invisible holding the lenses.
This is not a composite. The picture was made from 1 shot. The CE logo on the lens confuses people, because it looks like it's upside down, but actually it's reflected from a mirror.
I recognize this exact picture - I've seen it before. There are two photography magazines that I read that showed how to do this exact type of family portrait.
This was done in a home with a simple black background. One article uses a softbox slightly off to the side and behind the subject. The other article uses a speedlight with a simple grid straight on (...
You can very well take night shots like this with D5100. I'll explain from my experience when i took this pic.
Timing is very important in city-light shots. You can see the deep-blue/purple color of sky in the example picture you posted. You get this color a bit after sunset (Twilight). Unlike other landscape shots, you need a clear sky. So plan your ...
This technique is called Selective color.
Sometimes, you select a point (in this case, somewhere on the CD-R case), and the region around that point that is close enough to the same color retains its color, while the rest of the picture becomes black and white.
Other times, as you mention, you can select a color and a tolerance, or a range of colors, and ...
I think it combines two techniques:
strong backlight (also known as contre-jour)
fill-flash to add light to the details of subjects
It can be created using lighting setups (absolutely artificial lighting), or using natural light as well (like sunset).