7 Tips for Shooting AMAZING Cityscape Photographs at Night (VIDEO)

It doesn’t take an experienced photographer to realize that uninspiring city scenes by day are often transformed into spectacular cityscapes once the sun drops below the horizon. What does require expertise, however, is an understanding of how to properly capture everything you see through the viewfinder at night.

Sparkling lights, vibrant colors and captivating nighttime skies are only some of the components that contribute to magical nighttime cityscapes, and the nine-minute video below provides seven simple tips for making the dark your friend.

Serge Ramelli is one of our favorite landscape/cityscape photographers, and he’s renowned for incredible photographs and easy-to-follow-tutorials for both shooting and editing. Here he demonstrates seven quick tips that will give your nighttime photography a real jolt of creativity.

Ramelli begins atop the iconic Shangri-La Hotel in Dubai, where he has a high vantage point enabling him to capture the entire city. He discusses everything it takes to get the job done, from composition and exposure, to his choice of lenses and other gear. All this encompasses the following seven suggestions:

1. Find an expansive view where tripods are allowed
2. Don’t hesitate to go wide
3. If tripods aren’t permitted, use a self-timer at ISO 2,000
4. It’s best to shoot at ISO 100 with an exposure of 5-10 seconds 
5. F/11 or above will provide better starlight effects
6. Shoot in the “Magic 15 minutes window”
7. Play with light streaks

If all this sounds simple, it really is. And some of Ramelli’s advice is equally appropriate for nighttime landscape photography. You can find more tips from Ramelli on his YouTube channel, and in an earlier video we posted with a simple Photoshop trick for making outdoor portraits look fantastic.