Capture a classic view
Shoot iconic sights
1 Blur the water The best night-time images often combine perfectly still and moving elements. Bodies of water are a reliable naturally moving feature. Long exposures have a wonderful effect on water, transforming the surface into a smooth, milky, reflective sheets. Slow-moving water like the river here will get smoother and glassier, while rough water takes on a misty appearance.
2 Create star-shaped highlights Narrow apertures don’t just allow for longer exposures and give you more depth of field, they also have an effect on specular highlights (those little spots of intensely bright light) within your scene. A high f-number, such as f/16, will turn bright spots into star-like shapes with pointed spikes.
3 Work out your exposu re Use a tripod and set manual (M) mode, and take test shots to work out an exposure. It’s always worth checking the image histogram after taking a shot. A few blown-out highlights are inevitable, but try not to overexpose the highlights too much, otherwise you’ll lose vital detail. Check that the peak on the right of the histogram isn’t abruptly cut off or ‘clipped’ by the end of the graph.
4 Try Exposure Delay Mode If you don’t have a remote release to hand, the next best thing is your Nikon’s Exposure Delay mode. Found within your Custom Setting menu, this locks up the mirror then, after the specified interval, triggers the shutter. You can set it to 1, 2 or 3 seconds. It’s perfect for tripodmounted long exposure shots where you need to minimise camera shake.