Cap­ture a class ic view

Fit it all in

NPhoto - - Night Vision -

1 Fill the Frame The key to the clas­sic shot was get­ting the com­po­si­tion right, and tweak­ing it so that the frame was filled by the bridges and the re­flec­tions, with­out any dead space at the top or bot­tom. Once the com­po­si­tion was sorted, it was sim­ply a mat­ter of set­ting an aper­ture of f/13 at ISO100 in aper­ture-pri­or­ity mode to max­imise depth of field and min­imise noise.

2 Un­der-ex­pose slightly This gave us a shut­ter speed of 20 seconds, but a quick look at the pre­view im­age on our LCD re­vealed that the im­age was slightly over-ex­posed, as the cam­era’s built-in light me­ter was try­ing to turn our pre­dom­i­nantly dark scene into an av­er­age mid-tone. To counter this we set ex­po­sure com­pen­sa­tion to -1EV, which gave us a shut­ter speed of 10 seconds.

3 Check your his­togram LCD screens have a habit of mak­ing images taken at night look much brighter than they re­ally are, so once you’re happy with your ex­po­sure set­tings, it pays to check your his­togram. For cityscapes at night, it should be stacked over the left (since your im­age will mostly be made up of darker tones), but not cut off or ‘clipped’, as this will re­sult ar­eas of pure black, with­out any de­tail present.

4 Time your ex­po­sure We knew a shut­ter speed of 10 seconds would be enough to blur any traf­fic trails on the Tyne Bridge, so we waited un­til a bus was cross­ing, and timed our shot (us­ing a re­mote re­lease) so that the light trail went all the way from left to right (see de­tail be­low). We also set mir­ror lock-up, to re­duce the risk of cam­era shake from mir­ror slap, and high-ISO noise re­duc­tion, to min­imise noise, es­pe­cially in the sky.

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