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Old 22nd of March 2012 (Thu)   #1
ChaseMe
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Default Night skyline shots advice

I'm sure this has been discussed so I hope I'm not being annoying!

I'm a bit of a n00b so I'm looking for some help with shooting a skyline at night. How do I keep the blacks black and not wash it out with light pollution with a long'ish shutter?

I'll be using a 60D w/ sigma 10-20, maybe my 50 1.8 a bit. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 22nd of March 2012 (Thu)   #2
Sirrith
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Default Re: Night skyline shots advice

I don't really think there's much you can do. It just depends on the place and atmospheric conditions.

For example, this is taken in Scotland, nice clean air:

IMG_9260 by noobographer, on Flickr

whereas this was taken in Hong Kong, not so nice hazy air:

peak panorama by noobographer, on Flickr

Exposure was about the same, yet one is brownish, one is less so. If you go on a clear night, you'll have less light pollution visible.
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Old 22nd of March 2012 (Thu)   #3
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Default Re: Night skyline shots advice

Ya I hear that, I was going to go tomorrow night since it's forcasted to be clear and cold'ish. Your Scotland pic do you mind telling me the settings you used (f, ISO, etc)? That's where I'm most uncertain.
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Old 22nd of March 2012 (Thu)   #4
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Default Re: Night skyline shots advice

That shot was taken at f10, 30 sec, ISO 200. Its usually just trial and error to get the balance you like between the lights and the darkness. Make sure to use a remote release or at the 2 sec timer.
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Old 22nd of March 2012 (Thu)   #5
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Default Re: Night skyline shots advice

Perfect, thanks so much. I have a remote yes.
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Old 28th of March 2012 (Wed)   #6
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Default Re: Night skyline shots advice

Forgive me for hijacking this thread, however I am also after some night time skyline advice as well.

I was wondering any tips to stop the lights flaring so much, so the neon signs and such just has a nice glow and are able to be seen clearly.

Here are a couple I have taken recently and I am just not happy with some of the lights.


Brisbane by ScottyK86, on Flickr


Cockle Bay by ScottyK86, on Flickr
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Old 29th of March 2012 (Thu)   #7
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Default Re: Night skyline shots advice

^Try to shoot the 'night sky' in the earlier evening before totally dark: as in total darkness, the camera need to get correct exposure from the lighting from surrounding buildings. So the building lighting / Neon will be inevitable "over-exposure' and loss all their 'detail'.
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Old 2nd of April 2012 (Mon)   #8
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Default Re: Night skyline shots advice

Yes, shoot at dusk (usually) - this takes experience to know exactly what the right light is, it usually lasts just about 10-15 minutes.

Also aperture is important. Large-ish (2.8-5.6) and lights will be crisp, small (f16-22) and they will be star-like.
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Old 3rd of April 2012 (Tue)   #9
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Default Re: Night skyline shots advice

Being from Chicago, I have photographed the skyline a lot. Shooting at blue hour is one of the best tips I can share with you, but you dont have to shoot then to get good results. You just have to learn the proper techniques. The way that I have found to get a perfect exposure everytime is to bracket your shots and then merge them manually in photoshop using layer masks... You just have to learn to recognize what parts of the skyline are going to be your problem areas and make sure you expose for them. Then master the art of blending each layer together to get the perfect exposure... Manual HDR if you will.

Here are a few of my night Chicago shots as examples...



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As you can see, you can achieve great results both during and even after the magic light of blue hour is gone...!
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Old 4th of April 2012 (Wed)   #10
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Default Re: Night skyline shots advice

^^^ Great shots
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Old 25th of April 2012 (Wed)   #11
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Default Re: Night skyline shots advice

Sorry newbie question here but what do you mean by blue hour?
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Old 25th of April 2012 (Wed)   #12
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Default Re: Night skyline shots advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by gt1cm2 View Post
Sorry newbie question here but what do you mean by blue hour?
That time at dusk when the exposure includes some natural sky colour. Too late and what you see is reflected light from the artificial lighting.
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Old 25th of April 2012 (Wed)   #13
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Default Re: Night skyline shots advice

great shots. Thankyou for sharing them with us
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Old 25th of April 2012 (Wed)   #14
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Default Re: Night skyline shots advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowner View Post
That time at dusk when the exposure includes some natural sky colour. Too late and what you see is reflected light from the artificial lighting.
Right, gotcha. Thanks
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Old 12th of May 2012 (Sat)   #15
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Default Re: Night skyline shots advice

Finally got a chance to go and take the shots. I'm not unhappy, but didn't really get what I had in mind in the end. Regardless, here they are:

Montreal from Mill


Montreal from Concorde Bridge
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