by Giorgio Vasari
When taking night time photos of cityscapes, there are a couple of planning tips you will need to bear in mind before you take any photos:
Set your camera up on a tripod so that you can capture long exposures. Make sure you place it out of the way of people passing by, as you don’t want it to get knocked during an exposure. If it’s windy you’ll need to shelter it – you can do this with your body, or weigh down the centre column with your camera bag if it has a hook for this purpose.
Set your camera to AV mode and set the aperture to f/16 – combined with the long exposure this will produce a ‘starburst’ effect from the lights in the scene (like on the left). Remember, the higher the F-number, the less light gets into the camera, so it will take longer to correctly expose the image. Noise can be a problem with long exposures in low light, so keep the ISO to 100 to counter this and shoot RAW files for maximum quality.
Switch to Live View mode to compose and focus the shot. Compose the shot using leading lines such as a bridge or river to draw the eye into the scene. To focus, switch your lens to manual, then zoom in on a key feature (churches in this case) and adjust the focus to get it perfectly sharp.
Use a remote release to fire the shutter so that you don’t jog the camera at the start of the exposure (if you don’t have one, you can use the 2-sec or 10-sec self-timer option in the settings). Make sure you don’t touch the camera during the exposure, and check your image is sharp when you’ve taken it.
My final tip is very simply: practice! Practice, and you will soon get a feeingl for what you will need for any given situation in the city. I hope this litte description helps you for your next nightshooting in the city. Have fun!
Please use ctrl+M for better view!