BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Debbie Crowe

cityscapes/water at night - what am i doing wrong

I see some fabulous pictures taken of lakes and city scenes at night - the lights are so pretty and the cities or waterways are beautiful to view. I think I have the "right" equipment but just not the KNOW - HOW. My pictures never look "lit up" like these. I have a Canon XTI, lens that include 70-30 IS, 10-22, and macro 100M. The lens that came with the camera is the standard 18-22. Do I need a different lens?
I have tried shooting in manual with the settings adjusted as best I can but I am convinced there is a trick to this! Using a tripod as well, of course.

Surely you know the kind of pictures I am talking about. Standing on hill tops etc, and looking out over a city at night, or a lake, etc. mine are simply too dark and do not pick up the beautiful lighting.
thanks for any help at all. I am going out again this weekend to give it a try.

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8/8/2008 11:35:08 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
  If they're simply too dark, you already know what longer exposures do.

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8/8/2008 12:44:38 PM

Dennis Flanagan
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/31/2005
  As Greg suggested, it might simply be too short of an exposure time. Make you are using a cable release and try longer exposures. Another trick if you want to camp by your camera a bit is to take an intentionally underexposed shot of the scene just before dusk so that you get some background other than black. Then once it is dark out, take your planned night time shot and combine them in photoshop.

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8/8/2008 1:26:45 PM

Debbie, Dennis already gave away half the secret. The whole secret is "HDR": High Dynamic Range imaging.

You don't need any more equipment, just another M.O.

Have fun!

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8/8/2008 2:00:16 PM

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