Shooting impressive cityscapes at night
Take impressive photographs of cityscapes with these few easy steps.
Arrive in time
To find the best spot for your night shot, you may want to arrive early. Check out the best location to take your shot while it's still day and plan ahead. Nothing worse like stumbling through a dark alley at night, not knowing where to go.
GET IN FRONT
Especially in crowded areas, you may want to make sure to stand front row. Make sure no one is walking through your shot and always pay attention to set up your shooting location at a space where your view won't get obstructed while you wait by parking vehicles, pedestrians, etc.
KNOW YOUR GEAR
When shooting at night, you will probably deal with longer exposure times. Setup your camera ahead and be sure you know how to find everything you need in the dark. A super organized backpack is always helpful, and so is a small flashlight. Make sure to bring your sharpest wide angle lens, And don't forget a steady tripod. Check ahead if all the screws are tight.
USE THE BLUE HOUR
Even though you aim to take a night shot, consider using the blue hour, when the sun has just vanished beyond the horizon, and there is still enough blue in the sky. Start taking your shot every few minutes and see how the look and feel changes as the sky goes darker and the city lights start to stand out brighter. Patience is key.
COMBINE MULTIPLE EXPOSURES
Areas close to the horizon may look more interesting with some blue still visible in the sky, whereas city lights may be brighter when exposed against a full black sky. Consider combining multiple shots and exposures in post to save the best out of each shot.
Don't forget to utilize the highest possible dynamic range your camera has to offer, by shooting raw. Avoid high ISO settings if possible, to avoid grain in your image. Make sure your tripod is steady so you can expose as long as needed with a low ISO.
Make sure you don't forget to capture a few extra long exposures to see what the effect does to your shot. Light streaks from passing cars and super flat river surfaces can produce amazing surreal results you might like!
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