07 Shoot cityscapes at dusk
Travel photographer Tony Burns is drawn to cityscapes, because they present lots of photographic possibilities. This image was taken besides Millennium Bridge, looking towards St. Paul’s Cathedral in London as the daylight was fading into dusk.
“Dusk is the best time of day to shoot cityscapes, skylines and landmarks,” Tony advises. “The light changes rapidly during the magic hour, so you can get a lot of varied shots.”
To take a great image like this, preparation is key. Tony advises you take some test shots in the daylight before the conditions change.
“Try out different focal lengths, angles and compositions. Pay attention to composition at this stage and watch out for other elements creeping in that may lead the viewer’s eye away from your main subject.
“When I arrived at Millennium Bridge, for example, my first instinct was to shoot as wide as I could to capture as much of the scene as possible, but I found that a tighter crop of St. Paul’s provided the best composition.”
Taken on Tony’s Canon EOS 5D Mark II with a 24-105mm lens, this shot was exposed for 25 seconds at f/10 using a low ISO of 125.
“Make sure you’re getting technically clean results by ensuring that everything is tightly locked on your tripod,” he says.
“Ideally you want to use a cable release and shutter delay to avoid any movement. If your lens has image stabilisation, turn it off when the camera is on a tripod to get the sharpest results.”
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- Pack a tripod, as you’ll need to use very slow shutter speeds to expose images correctly.
- Use a versatile lens such as a 24-105mm, so you can be flexible with the focal length.
- All cities have clear vantage points that show off the iconic views. Familiarise yourself with these, and before the light changes make sure you’ve already got the composition of your shot/s firmly in mind.
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