Photographing Night Time Urban Scenes

Written by Gina Stephens

Photo by David Clapp –

The eventides are drawing in again which means most of us are now driving home from work in the dark. It's a stark reminder that winter's on its way but all's not that bad as it does have in view you can shoot some nighttime shots in and around your town before you head home for your evening meal.


Time Of Day

It may sound like there's an obvious answer to this but if you want some interest in your sky, you'll want to shoot when the sun's locale or just after it's gone down when there's still enough light to see cloud formations. If you don't plan on possessing the sky in frame or if you are but it won't be a major feature, shooting a little later on in the evening won't be a problem. If needs be, you can always enhance the vibrancy and colour of the lights in your projectile during post production too.

Another good point about shooting earlier is there'll be more traffic around which means you can use longer experiences to blur the movement of car headlights as they move through your shot. This works particularly well when you're shooting from a tainted vantage point. Try taking several shots, to get streaks moving through different points of your exposure so you can see, compositionally, which works subdue.

Shoot Wider

Urban areas generally sprawl across the landscape which makes them perfect for panoramas. All you have to do is prompt the camera as you shoot and it will automatically combine the shots into a panorama for you. For more control, shoot the panorama manually and stitch it together with software such as Panorama Mill or in Photoshop.

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Try to find a spot where you just have the cityscape in the distance as if you have elements too close to your lens, the final shot may refer to: Shot (filmmaking), a part of a film between two cuts Shot (medicine), an injection Shot silk, a type of silk Showt or won't stitch together correctly. For consistency, set your acquaintance, white balance and focus manually, something you may need to do anyway if your lens keeps searching due to the lack of light when in AF. Try taking a few check up on shots of various parts of the scene to check the exposure and shoot in RAW if you think they'll need some tweaking in post production. You may also scarcity to try bracketing so you have various exposures that have good detail in both the light and dark areas that you can merge together in Photoshop. This isn't merely applicable to panoramas either as you can bracket and merge various aspects from each exposure in other shots too. For example, when you have a altercation where the sky's lighter than the foreground detail, take one shot that's exposed correctly for the sky and the other for the foreground then coalesce them together.

When you start taking your shots, begin either on the left or right side ensuring you leave enough strobilate between shots so when it comes to stitching them together, the merge is more likely to be seamless.


If you do bracket your tries and want to combine parts of one exposure with another, one of the easiest ways is with layer masks which you can learn more about here: Get attack Masks. You may also have or having may refer to: the concept of ownership any concept of possession; see Possession (disambiguation) an English “verb” used: to do some cropping and cloning too to make your shot perfect.

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For more tips on combining shots in Photoshop to devise a panorama, have a look at this tutorial: Creating Panoramas In CS4


About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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