Cityscape Night Photo


#1
Hi All,

Newbie here, bought my camera 2 weeks ago.
First time shot Singapore cityscape night photo. did alittle post-processing with lightroom.

1. in what area is critique to be sought?
-Anything u think, even negative ones. Im sure there are alot. lol

2. what one hopes to achieve with the piece of work?
- Just a try out. hoping to get better one next time

3. under what circumstance is the picture taken? (physical conditions/emotions)
- Night time. abit cloudy.

4. what the critique seeker personally thinks of the picture
- Well, a little too dark? and rough..


 

Last edited:

thoongeng

Senior Member
Jan 26, 2010
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#2
hi welcome to clubsnap!

I think this is a good attempt. Control of exposure is quite good, considering the less-than-optimal lighting.

The usual advice here for shooting cityscapes:
- level your camera to keep the vertical lines of the buildings straight/parallel so that they don't look like they're falling backwards
- shoot at around twilight/dawn/dusk where the sky is still blue, so that there is better lighting and contrast between the sky and the buildings (some darker buildings in the photo are blending into the background)
- you may want to shoot at a longer shutter speed (increase aperture F-number or use filters) so that the water looks smoother (or wait for a day without much wind and current to get the perfect reflection)

I would also leave a bit more space on the left, or crop out a bit more of the right so it will look more balanced to me.

But in the end photography is subjective, it's up to you to whether follow the usual or create your own style :)

Thanks for sharing and happy shooting!
 

nitewalk

Moderator
Staff member
May 31, 2010
4,647
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#3
Alignment of verticals is off, which I think was pointed out by thoongeng. As recommended by thoongeng, you should try to shoot earlier when the sky is not completely dark. I think many would also echo the same. The completely dark sky will cause the difference in exposure between the highlight (building lights) and the sky beiong too large. This can be addressed by doing multiple exposures. But a bigger problem is shooting when the sky is completely dark will cause the edges of the buildings to be not well defined. The lack of delineation of edges of buildings is quite clear from some of the buildings. Hence, this is also why it is more advisable to shoot earlier.
 

#4
Thanks Thoongeng and nitewalk for comments.
Yes u both are right. the ground was not balance when i set up my tripod.
didn't really bother that time. now i know :D:D

Setting i used is 4 sec f5.6. Will try as per ur advice next time :). this helps!!

Oh mod, thanks for fixing my image links.

hi welcome to clubsnap!

I think this is a good attempt. Control of exposure is quite good, considering the less-than-optimal lighting.

The usual advice here for shooting cityscapes:
- level your camera to keep the vertical lines of the buildings straight/parallel so that they don't look like they're falling backwards
- shoot at around twilight/dawn/dusk where the sky is still blue, so that there is better lighting and contrast between the sky and the buildings (some darker buildings in the photo are blending into the background)
- you may want to shoot at a longer shutter speed (increase aperture F-number or use filters) so that the water looks smoother (or wait for a day without much wind and current to get the perfect reflection)

I would also leave a bit more space on the left, or crop out a bit more of the right so it will look more balanced to me.

But in the end photography is subjective, it's up to you to whether follow the usual or create your own style :)

Thanks for sharing and happy shooting!
 

nitewalk

Moderator
Staff member
May 31, 2010
4,647
35
48
Singapore
#6
wxzhuo said:
Flickr is a good place to start learning - Why other photographers choose to frame up this way, what settings, what time, what angle, etc...

One of these cheap $10 spirit level does a lot of magic :)
http://acratech.net/images/P/doube-axis-spirit-level.jpg
On the orher hand, i don't have one. Loses it too often and gave up. :bsmilie: nowadays i just judge by eye
 

#7
Thanks thoongeng, nitewalk and wxzhuo for comments.

yes, ur right, i didn't setup my tripod properly. :D
Didn't know it made such a difference that time..

Will try as per ur advice next time.

Thanks mod for fixing the image link.


hi welcome to clubsnap!

I think this is a good attempt. Control of exposure is quite good, considering the less-than-optimal lighting.

The usual advice here for shooting cityscapes:
- level your camera to keep the vertical lines of the buildings straight/parallel so that they don't look like they're falling backwards
- shoot at around twilight/dawn/dusk where the sky is still blue, so that there is better lighting and contrast between the sky and the buildings (some darker buildings in the photo are blending into the background)
- you may want to shoot at a longer shutter speed (increase aperture F-number or use filters) so that the water looks smoother (or wait for a day without much wind and current to get the perfect reflection)

I would also leave a bit more space on the left, or crop out a bit more of the right so it will look more balanced to me.

But in the end photography is subjective, it's up to you to whether follow the usual or create your own style :)

Thanks for sharing and happy shooting!
 

MGohzxc

Senior Member
Jun 12, 2010
2,365
25
48
Singapore
#8
Yes, the sky is too dark and could have shot it earlier during the sunset blue . Good time to shoot is around 7:15pm to 7:30pm where you could see the different tones of blue in the sky. One way to experiment is to shoot as many as you want during this period and see which blue tone is suitable for the image and to your liking. Of course, you have to watch your exposure as it gets darker.

This image link here is shot during the very last part of the blue hour.

*radiance* | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Hope you will try again and happy shooting...
 

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#9
Wow! very nice..
better angle of view also,

definitely will try that next shot. Thanks.

Yes, the sky is too dark and could have shot it earlier during the sunset blue . Good time to shoot is around 7:15pm to 7:30pm where you could see the different tones of blue in the sky. One way to experiment is to shoot as many as you want during this period and see which blue tone is suitable for the image and to your liking. Of course, you have to watch your exposure as it gets darker.

This image link here is shot during the very last part of the blue hour.

Hope you will try again and happy shooting...
 

MGohzxc

Senior Member
Jun 12, 2010
2,365
25
48
Singapore
#10
It would be meaningless to ask for critiques if you don't go back and do a re-shoot. Is a location that everyone goes there often and is a public place. Go early and walk along the bay front platform and see which angle is suitable for a nice sunset shot and comeback to critique corner again for another round of C&C. I am quite sure you will improve from there...
Enjoy...
 

#11
I did a re-shoot. still feel it's very rough...
Mayb need more post-processing?




It would be meaningless to ask for critiques if you don't go back and do a re-shoot. Is a location that everyone goes there often and is a public place. Go early and walk along the bay front platform and see which angle is suitable for a nice sunset shot and comeback to critique corner again for another round of C&C. I am quite sure you will improve from there...
Enjoy...
 

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nitewalk

Moderator
Staff member
May 31, 2010
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#12
I did a re-shoot. still feel it's very rough...
Mayb need more post-processing?

Doing a reshoot is one thing, may I ask what did you apply from the critique for your reshoot? As I see, one of the main critique was the timing you shoot at, basically I'm still seeing the same timing you have shot this at. Granted, you may not have been able to shoot at blue hour for work reasons. Actually the first shot was framed better compared to your reshoot.

It is one thing to ask for critique, but another to do your own self-critique. I think based on the critique earlier, those were platforms on which you can do your own critique of your reshoot. Do a critique of your own and from there you will learn a lot.
 

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#13
ya didn't manage to be there before blue hour.
This time round, i tried to shoot longer shutter speed. 30Sec.

Doing a reshoot is one thing, may I ask what did you apply from the critique for your reshoot? As I see, one of the main critique was the timing you shoot at, basically I'm still seeing the same timing you have shot this at. Granted, you may not have been able to shoot at blue hour for work reasons. Actually the first shot was framed better compared to your reshoot.

It is one thing to ask for critique, but another to do your own self-critique. I think based on the critique earlier, those were platforms on which you can do your own critique of your reshoot. Do a critique of your own and from there you will learn a lot.
 

Kit

Senior Member
Jan 19, 2002
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#14
If you've missed the time, no amount of exposure tweaking is going to help. Timing is most critical in this instance and probably the least understood aspect.
 

Dec 31, 2012
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Woodlands
#15
I think the dark sky suits the photo. Whether a blue sky with the added contrast will improve it or not doesn't really concern me that much. To me both the first and second photo looks vertically aligned enough even after close inspection.

What I think you need to improve on is the exposure and framing.

- It's a nice shot, but not a wow show. I think it is the blown out lights that is making is look just normal. Furthermore, the lights seems to have a glow around them that looks like you used a glow filter in photo shop to achieve. I'm not sure if this is because of your camera or not. You could try and experiment with shorter exposure, lower ISO or maybe a smaller aperture and see which one give a well defined bright color for the lights but not a blown out hallowy one.

- The shot will looks nicer with less water and more sky. You should emphasize the height of the building and let the eye have more space to travel within the frame. Having half water half sky makes the buildings looked cramped in a box.
 

Dec 31, 2012
4
0
0
32
Woodlands
#16
I think the dark sky suits the photo. Whether a blue sky with the added contrast will improve it or not doesn't really concern me that much. To me both the first and second photo looks vertically aligned enough even after close inspection.

What I think you need to improve on is the exposure and framing.

- It's a nice shot, but not a wow show. I think it is the blown out lights that is making is look just normal. Furthermore, the lights seems to have a glow around them that looks like you used a glow filter in photo shop to achieve. I'm not sure if this is because of your camera or not. You could try and experiment with shorter exposure, lower ISO or maybe a smaller aperture and see which one give a well defined bright color for the lights but not a blown out hallowy one.

- The shot will looks nicer with less water and more sky. You should emphasize the height of the building and let the eye have more space to travel within the frame. Having half water half sky makes the buildings looked cramped in a box.

For reference I've found this picture of Singapore's bay. Here you can see the well defined lights makes the scenery look dazzling instead of simply lit up.

link:= flickr.com/photos/epsos/6749361323/lightbox/ (sorry I'm a new member so I can't post links., you'll have to copy pasta)
 

Kit

Senior Member
Jan 19, 2002
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Upper Bukit Timah
Visit site
#17
- It's a nice shot, but not a wow show. I think it is the blown out lights that is making is look just normal. Furthermore, the lights seems to have a glow around them that looks like you used a glow filter in photo shop to achieve. I'm not sure if this is because of your camera or not. You could try and experiment with shorter exposure, lower ISO or maybe a smaller aperture and see which one give a well defined bright color for the lights but not a blown out hallowy one.
That's because the photo was taken too late in the evening and the building lights are too bright and surrounding too dark. Keeping the highlights in check will mean that surrounding will be even darker. You'd be left with a bunch of floating lights across the frame. I can't say this enough but timing is everything and being neglected the most.
 

nitewalk

Moderator
Staff member
May 31, 2010
4,647
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Singapore
#18
I think the dark sky suits the photo. Whether a blue sky with the added contrast will improve it or not doesn't really concern me that much. To me both the first and second photo looks vertically aligned enough even after close inspection.

What I think you need to improve on is the exposure and framing.

- It's a nice shot, but not a wow show. I think it is the blown out lights that is making is look just normal. Furthermore, the lights seems to have a glow around them that looks like you used a glow filter in photo shop to achieve. I'm not sure if this is because of your camera or not. You could try and experiment with shorter exposure, lower ISO or maybe a smaller aperture and see which one give a well defined bright color for the lights but not a blown out hallowy one.

- The shot will looks nicer with less water and more sky. You should emphasize the height of the building and let the eye have more space to travel within the frame. Having half water half sky makes the buildings looked cramped in a box.

For reference I've found this picture of Singapore's bay. Here you can see the well defined lights makes the scenery look dazzling instead of simply lit up.

link:= flickr.com/photos/epsos/6749361323/lightbox/ (sorry I'm a new member so I can't post links., you'll have to copy pasta)
With a dark sky, the outlines of some buildings are not even clear, then what are you going to show? Nice colour and light from the building only?
 

nitewalk

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Staff member
May 31, 2010
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#20
For discussion sake.....

For dark background to work well, buildings must be well lit and for well - delineated by the artificial lights. If not, composition will usually turn out lacklustre and lacks interest.

marina bay sands | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
For ts, the buildings are not well delineated. A few of the buildings are decently delineated but most of them, I'd say, are not. If I am someone unfamiliar with the cbd of singapore, I'd not get a clear impression of the outline of some of the buildings in the area. Therefore, aside from what Kit has mentioned about contrast, the other issue is the delineating of the edges of the buildings.
 

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