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Brisbane at Night

By Broodhound
Hi there, this is one of my first attempts at a night cityscape, I was using a sony camera then, but have a Cannon 600D now, any tips on improving the clarity on this kind of shot would be welcome Smile

Tags: Night photography Cityscape Brisbane Landscape and travel

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


paulbroad 10 123 1244 United Kingdom
16 Jul 2013 8:33AM
This is quite good but could be a bit crisper. I assume you used a tripod. Remember, a tripod can move if there is traffic, a wind or so on. Many buildings are designed to move in strong winds, etc. You need to be sure the camera is dead still throughout the exposure. Try and use a slightly smaller aperture to get some depth of field, f5.6 or f8.

Focus manually. Auto focus will struggle to focus on what you want in this situation. Finally, use the delayed action to release the shutter as your finger will cause some movement, even on a tripod.


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banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3880 Canada
16 Jul 2013 6:50PM
Welcome to EPZ.

Good advice from Paul, and I look forward to shots from the DSLR. Ive uploaded a quick modification, - scroll up and click the modifications tab, and view large. Its just sharpened, and the highlights toned down a little.

With night shots, dont wait until there no light in the sky, - when the lights come on and theres twilight sky is when you get the very best shots. Expose for the brightest light, - so for example, set the camera in your hand to spot metering, ISO 100, and place the focus point (select a single focus point, not multiple) on what appears to be the brightest light; set to Av first, and select f/11 - f/16; view the exposure time the camera selects; set to M mode; then enter the same f value, and the shutter speed you noted. Manually set focus; and use Pauls tips.


Davesumner 11 28 300 Australia
17 Jul 2013 5:28AM
Looking at the camera model and the exposure time of 2 seconds I would suspect that you didn't use a tripod at all and that you've tried to handhold this. Was this taken from the Ferris wheel or are you further along by the footbridge? From memory that is the footbridge but I'm not sure, am I right? As Willie has said you need to take shots like this at dusk and not really at night time. However, you're never going to get a sharp shot without a tripod or a firm support such as a bean bag or the likes especially if you are handholding on the Ferris wheel. Some of the smaller Gorilla Pods work well with compact cameras and with the flexible legs they can be wrapped around balcony rails etc. As for exposing for the brightest part of the image, I would agree but not the lights, expose for the brighter parts of the roadway bridge across the river. The lights on the buildings and signs etc, you will have to accept that they will blow out (overexpose) unless you are prepared to do some multiple exposures.

Hope this helps

17 Jul 2013 8:46AM
Hi guys, thanks for your great comments and tips Smile , DaVeS - you are right about not using a tripod, I didn't have one at the time (I have now invested in one), but was resting the camera on a flat surface to try and reduce shake, it was taken from a mates apartment balcony Smile, the ferris wheel is at the other end of south bank park I believe Smile . Willie - your mods definitely gave it the crispness I was trying to achieve, what package are you using?, and like Paul, some great tips, I will go out and give them a go this weekend guys.
Resting your camera on a flat surface, using the self timer would make a difference in steadiness, if you are not using a tripod.


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