Picture This!
The City At Night

During the day cities can be mundane places, with commuters going about their business and trucks jamming streets making their deliveries. But at night cities can come alive with light and activities that speak to a different side of life, one where details fall in the shadows and edges are electrified. Night exposures create new challenges for photographers, ones where camera steadiness, composition, and proper exposure readings come into play. Our Picture This! assignment this month was the City at Night, and readers responded with images from cities around the world, with cityscapes of grandeur and street scenes that caught our eye.

Rockefeller Center

Tom Vogt combined two icons from the Rockefeller Center area in New York City in this shot of St. Patrick's Cathedral shot from behind the Atlas statue. This handheld shot with a Nikon Coolpix S1 set at ISO 400 was exposed at f/3 at 1/5 sec.
© 2008, Tom Vogt, All Rights Reserved

Eiffel Tower, Looking Up

David Olds made this unique view of the Eiffel Tower in Paris with a Canon PowerShot S110 with an exposure of f/2.8 at 0.8 seconds. Olds wrote, "It was steadied by resting (the camera) on a folded up coat on the ground...it was further stabilized by using the internal timer to release the shutter."
© 2008, David Olds, All Rights Reserved

Hong Kong Fireworks

There's nothing like fireworks to illuminate a night scene, as in this shot by Tom Stubbs of Hong Kong. He set his Canon PowerShot S70 camera on a railing and made an exposure at ISO 200 at f/2.8
at 1/6 sec.
© 2008, Tom Stubbs, All Rights Reserved

Las Vegas, From Stratosphere

Noted Bartley D'Alfonso, "Tripods are banned on the 866-foot elevation Observation Deck of the Las Vegas Stratosphere, but there are a half-dozen coin-operated telescopes there. You can improvise and use them like a tabletop for long nighttime exposure settings." He photographed with a Nikon D200 set at ISO 100 and exposed at f/8 at 3 seconds using a Nikkor 80-400mm lens.
© 2008, Bartley D'Alfonso, All Rights Reserved

Angel Over Vegas

This view of "The Strip" in Las Vegas was made closer to earth by Jessica Hollon with a Canon EOS 5D and a Canon 24-105mm L IS USM lens. Exposure was f/5 at 1/6 sec at ISO 1000.
© 2008, Jessica Hollon, All Rights Reserved

John Hancock Center

Chicago is one of the great architectural wonders of the world, and Ross Kaplan caught much of that charm at night with a Nikon D2X and a Nikkor 18-200mm lens. Exposure was f/8 at 4 seconds at ISO 200.
© 2008, Ross Kaplan, All Rights Reserved

North Beach

The famous Vesuvio Bar, a beat generation North Beach hangout, serves as a perfect counterpoint to the Financial Center building in San Francisco. Mark Optalka made this shot with a Canon A2
and a Canon 28-105mm lens on Kodak Ektachrome E100VS.
© 2008, Mark Optalka, All Rights Reserved

Chicago Reflections

The Chicago skyline is reflected in the "Cloud Gate" sculpture in Millennium Park. Gray Kerrick used a Canon PowerShot G7 with an exposure of f/2.8 at 0.8 seconds.
© 2008, Gray Kerrick, All Rights Reserved

Seattle At Night

This classic shot of Seattle at night was made by Greg Tucker with a Nikon F100 and a Nikkor 28-105mm lens on Fujichrome Velvia 50 film. While it might not show up in repro, you can see a dim but visible (on the print) Mt. Rainier in the background.
© 2008, Greg Tucker, All Rights Reserved

Street Scene

The billboard with the image of a lone figure and bus rushing by in a blur of light seemed a perfect counterpoint, and showed a unique photographic eye. Doug Dellinger made this shot with a Nikon D80 and a Tokina 19-35mm lens. Exposure at ISO 800 was f/11 at 1/5 sec.
© 2008, Doug Dellinger, All Rights Reserved