How to Shoot Amazing City Skylines at Night in Low Light

City skylines and bridges at night are popular subjects that benefit from long exposure photography. Even if the landscape is bright enough to shoot hand held, camera stabilization for time exposures offers definite advantages. A low ISO setting and smaller aperture will maximize image quality.

Panorama Ferry Bldg San Francisco skyline

Use Long Exposures and Panorama Stitching

Such subjects often benefit from a panorama treatment that stitches two or more photos together. This creates a wide angle view to take in more subject than your widest angle lens can cover. Again, camera stabilization is an advantage since a tripod or alternative support makes it easier to keep successive photos aligned with each other.

Panorama software such as Serif Panorama Plus will automatically align photos and some cameras will do the same internally. But a reliable camera support will maintain perfect alignment for best results.

The photo at top is an example of such a panorama. It is two photographs taken at f8 for eight seconds. The ISO setting was 200. Obviously such an exposure could not be hand held. The camera was supported on a HandlePod attached to railing on a pier. The photographs were stitched together using Serif Panorama Plus software.

Bay Bridge panorama

San Francisco Bay Bridge and full moon panorama.

The photo above is another panorama consisting of two 30-second exposures at f14. Again the camera was supported on HandlePod secured to a barrier wall.

Such supports are readily available for urban night landscapes. They provide solid support for long night exposures using HandlePod.


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