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5 tips for successful urban night photography


5 tips for successful urban night photography

When night falls and covers the city in all its darkness, the lights begin to shine. In addition to the yellow and fluorescent light bulbs inside buildings, there are street lights and car headlights. A magical moment that gives the photographer the opportunity to play with the illuminations and produce incredible snapshots. If you want to capture the essence of a city at night, follow these 5 super useful tips for successful urban night photography.

5 useful tips for successful urban night photography

There are cities that never sleep and the night becomes the perfect time to get to know the other side of the cities. Follow these basic tips and you’ll get the most out of every take.

1.  Take advantage of the “blue hour”.

From the end of the sunset until about an hour later, the sky turns an intense blue colour that eventually turns to the deepest black. Try to take advantage of this sky colour for your shots because, combined with the lights on, it will give you the best results.

Getting to the chosen location for the photo at the right time of day requires patience and organization. Probably, the first time, it will seem difficult to identify exactly the best time to press the shutter release. But don’t worry: you’ll be able to recognize it quickly afterwards.

2. Use your best friend the tripod

This type of shot requires a relatively high exposure time, of the order of several seconds. A tripod must be used to avoid “shaking” the picture. The shutter release cable (or the camera’s timer, if you do not have one) is very handy to prevent camera movement when you release the shot.

If you don’t have a tripod yet, you can lean against a window sill, a ramp, or any other urban landscape feature that helps stabilize your camera. But if you want to make sure you get the stability you need in the exact spot you want, we recommend the Gloxy GX-T6662A tripod: it can support a maximum load of 10 kilos, has a spirit level built into the head for guaranteed completely straight horizons and is very light due to its aluminium alloy construction.

Read More : 10 tips for photographing your family

3. Focus in the dark

Although most cameras today have a light assist for focusing, this is of no use at all when it comes to illuminating far away subjects such as buildings, bridges, etc. You can solve the problem of focusing in dark environments in a very simple way: by focusing on a street lamp or any other bright point for your shot. To do this, select the point of focus on your camera that best suits the area of the frame where the light point is located, focus the camera automatically and then switch to manual focus (only after you have focused). Manual mode will ensure that these settings are maintained: when you press the shutter release button, the camera will not try to focus again without taking into account all the previous settings.

4. Configure the appropriate settings on the camera.

You can use these values as a reference:

    ISO 100: try to use the lowest value allowed by your camera. Remember, once the tripod is set up, you need to make sure that the shot is as sharp as possible. In addition, a very low ISO value will ensure a longer exposure time. And a beautiful urban night shot.

    f/8-f/11: An intermediate diaphragm provides the best compromise between depth of field and sharpness. Try using wide-angle lenses, which give great results in cityscape photography and increase depth of field.

    Speed: Set it according to the indications of the exposimeter, but keep in mind that a relatively long exposure time gives you a very advantageous effect on urban water features and allows you to capture moving lights.

5. Experiment with moving lights

One of the best opportunities given by urban night photography is the ability to integrate the headlights of moving cars into your shots. With a long enough exposure time (about one or two seconds), you will be able to capture the light wakes without the cars seeing each other, so you’ll get an extended line of light.

Really take care of the composition on this plug because you will be able to get more or less striking shots, it all depends on the direction and relative size of these headlights on your plug. If you don’t know where to start, we suggest that you stand at the top of a bridge and enjoy the silhouettes of buildings in the background, with the white headlights of cars coming from across the street and the red tail lights of vehicles moving away.

Urban night photography is a challenge for any photographer and is a good option to stimulate your creativity and test your imagination. All it takes is a little organization, patience and ingenuity. Any other tips come to mind? Feel free to share them with us in the comments section.