City life's not for everyone but as the sun begins to set find yourself a vantage point where you can see most of the city skyline and you'll soon have a photograph that may make you rethink your dislike for cities.
Pack a wide lens for capturing the big picture and a telephoto for singling out individual buildings and pulling distant objects towards you on your evening jaunt. Taking a tripod with you is advised but it's not a necessity but do leave your flash gun at home and turn your on-camera flash off as if it fires, it can ruin your skyline shot.
Most cameras, even compacts and phone cameras, are capable of producing night shots of a decent quality but if you're planning on using much lengthier exposure times, you'll want to pack a more advanced camera such as a DSLR. Another advantage of using a DSLR is the ISO range they offer. For example, the Canon EOS 70D
has an ISO range that reaches 12800 meaning it can capture great low light shots.
One of the best times for photographing city skylines is when the sun's begun to set so there's still a touch of blue in the sky but the light's not too harsh.
While on holiday (if you have a room with a view) make use of the balcony to give you a high vantage point of the city. You'll also find buildings with observation decks, bridges to stand on and if you're in a city such as Sheffield which has the peak district on its doorstep, try heading for the hills to give you a sweeping shot of the whole city. From high locations you'll be able to capture patterns you can't see at street level such as the lines street lights form as they turn on or the shapes created as city dwellers switch on their lights at home. Street lights look particularly good twinkling against the deep blue sky still lit by the setting sun.
Silhouetted cityscapes are popular subjects and they work well against a plain but bright background. Even though they're a little clichéd sunsets do work well particularly if it's one that's rich with colour. To create your silhouette you need to expose for the background and not the buildings you want to silhouette. You may need to fool your camera when it comes to metering as using the camera's automatic metering won't always give you the silhouette you're after. Try half pressing the shutter button while focused on the brightest part of your scene before moving back to frame the shot but this means your camera will focus on this and not your subject. Manual focus or using a smaller aperture can combat this problem.
Pay attention to your horizon and the angle of the buildings as you don't want them to be slanting to one side of the image. A tripod with a spirit level can he handy although many cameras now have these or gridlines built-in. One such camera is the Canon EOS 70D with its Electronic Level that helps level the camera so horizons are straight.
and if you're using higher ISOs keep an eye out for noise A feature on the Canon EOS 70D
which can help ensure the horizon's straight is its Electronic Level that's built-in.
As well as getting up high working at street level can work well in the evening too. Try using long exposures to set the dark sky and buildings against the streak of lights that come from the traffic as it moves through the city streets.
Canon EOS 70D - Capture the moment at seven frames per second. Click here for more information on the high performance EOS 70D, featuring 7fps full resolution shooting, an advanced 19-point AF system and Canon’s unique Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology.