Three sim­ple steps to cap­ture the city

A deep depth of field is the foundation of any en­gag­ing city shot. Fol­low these steps to start shoot­ing like a pro

Digital Photo (UK) - - HOW TO SHOOT -

Cap­tur­ing a vi­brant city shot is a won­der­ful me­mento of a visit some­where, as well as an op­por­tu­nity to show off your shoot­ing skills! With the right ap­proach, it’s easy to cre­ate en­gag­ing and ex­cit­ing im­ages of any ur­ban space, whether it’s Manch­ester or Man­hat­tan: size doesn’t mat­ter, it’s how you shoot that counts.

Be­fore you start set­ting up your cam­era, it’s worth spend­ing some time to find the per­fect view­point. This can be dif­fi­cult at street level, so look to get up higher, or shoot across the open space cre­ated by a river. Also con­sider what time of day would be best for your shot. One of the most aes­thetic hours for cityscapes is dusk when the elec­tric lights be­gin to shine.

1 Set up your cam­era

Switch your cam­era to Aper­ture pri­or­ity (A or Av on the mode dial) and se­lect the high­est f/num­ber pos­si­ble – us­ally f/22 on most lenses – to cre­ate a large depth of field for sharp de­tail through­out the frame. Set your ISO to its low­est set­ting, on most cam­eras this is ISO 100 and will pro­duce the best im­age qual­ity free from grain. For the most con­trol when you edit your shots, in­clud­ing res­cu­ing de­tail and White Bal­ance (WB) con­trol, it’s best to set your cam­era’s Im­age Qual­ity to RAW rather than JPEG within the shoot­ing menu.

2 Frame up on a tri­pod

To keep a sub­ject pin-sharp use a tri­pod to keep your cam­era steady dur­ing the ex­po­sure. When us­ing a tri­pod, it’s al­ways best to use the thick­est legs first, and only the thin­ner legs if you need the height. You’ll also re­main more sta­ble if you re­frain from ex­tend­ing the cen­tre col­umn. Hang­ing your kit­bag from the hook be­low the cen­tre col­umn will also weigh the tri­pod down for added sta­bil­ity. To avoid any shake in your shots, you should set a 2sec self-timer or use a shut­ter re­lease cable when it comes to tak­ing the shot.

3 Fo­cus and shoot!

To set the fo­cus with fine pre­ci­sion it’s best to do it man­u­ally. Se­lect Man­ual Fo­cus by set­ting the AF/M switch on your cam­era or lens to the M po­si­tion. Ac­ti­vate Live View and use the mag­nify con­trols to zoom into the im­age, and nav­i­gate with the D-pad to the area you want to set as the fo­cal point. Twist the ro­tat­ing fo­cus ring on the front of your lens to set the fo­cus. Exit Live View to save your bat­tery, and you’re now all set up to shoot – so cap­ture the scene and ad­mire the re­sults!

An aper­ture set­ting of f/22 has pro­duced a big depth of field for front to back sharp­ness.

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