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Here are some easy to follow tips, which explain how to shoot impressive night time cityscapes.

  • Assemble your kit. You can not shoot at night without a sturdy tripod. If you have a choice of cameras, pick the one with the largest sensor as this will work better in the low light. You don't need a specialist lens for cityscapes - a 17-40mm (35mm equivalent) will do a great job. You need a way to time long exposures by hand, maybe a stopwatch on your smartphone or a wristwatch with second hand.
  • Know how you are going to keep warm in the winter months!
  • Pick a time when there is still colour in the sky, so immediately after sunset. The 'Rizon' app for your smartphone will help you pick a time of day just after sunset. If you shoot when the sky is completely black your images will be boring.
  • Buildings lit with artificial lighting often work well as subjects for these shots.
  • Pick a night with little or no wind as your exposure time will be very long and it's important for the camera not to move. Secure your camera to the tripod and ensure that it is not capable of moving independently.
  • Start a capture at f/16 for 30 seconds at ISO 100, in manual mode.
  • If the image is too bright or dark, then double or half the exposure time. Maintain the same ISO and aperture and just vary the exposure time.
  • Compose to deliberately capture movement. Try traffic - this can lead to powerful leading lines in your composition. Try water - this will blur to a smooth silky texture.
  • Experiment with white-balance! Daylight is good for realistic looking colours, but if there is a lot of artificial light in the scene try tungsten or fluorescent.

That's all ! It's an easy way to record impressive and different images.