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Regardless of skill level, most photographers have tried shooting landscape photos while on road trips or family vacations. But what about capturing a cityscape? Is it difficult to do? How hard is it to capture a brightly lit night skyline? Learn how to conquer cityscapes with these great tips.

Cities in Sunlight
Shooting cityscapes in broad daylight might seem easy, but to get the best results, you might want to experiment by tweaking exposure compensation.

Accentuate Features Using Exposure Compensation
When taking pictures of historic buildings, famous landmarks or interesting cityscapes, it is important to choose a time when there is good light. Additionally, you should try adjusting the exposure compensation towards the [-] to improve your results. If the building is illuminated by front light or side light, compensating the exposure towards [-] will darken the shaded parts of the building and bring out the bright parts, giving your picture more sense of depth.

Compare the effects of different values of exposure compensation.

Use the [SCENE] Mode's [SUNSET] Mode for Twilight Cityscapes
The [SCENE] modes in Olympus cameras change several settings automatically to match the subject. The [SUNSET] mode can be very effective for capturing city scenes illuminated by the warm glow of sunset. Using [SUNSET] mode can result in beautiful pictures, slightly tinged with red tones that reproduce the lifelike appearance of twilight scenes.

Try combining the use of SCENE modes with exposure compensation to further enhance the atmosphere of the scene.

The Night Time is the Right Time for Dramatic Cityscape Shots
An excellent way to remember a city vacation is to capture a night shot of the illuminated skyline. It's easy to take pictures of night scenes using the [SCENE] mode’s (Night Scene) setting, but the camera automatically sets slow shutter speeds in this setting, so blur is likely to occur if you don’t stabilize your camera.

To Reduce Blur, Try Any of These Tips:

  • Use a tripod.
  • Stabilize your camera using a ledge, railing or other nearby object and then set the self-timer to take the shot.
  • Increase the ISO sensitivity or turn on the (Image Stabilization mode) if your camera has these features.

When selecting a higher ISO setting you can get faster shutter speeds and reduce the probability of camera blur. However, a higher ISO sensitivity can introduce noise to the picture, so unless it is absolutely necessary, a lower setting is preferable.

Bonus Photo Tip
If you are in a city with a harbor or waterfront, take a harbor tour cruise to get skyline and waterfront activity photos. Try not to shoot toward the rear of the boat, or you will end up with a distracting wake in your pictures. Shoot from the bow or the side.

In cooperation with: Huis Ten Bosch.

Tips for Good City Shots
Here are a few more simple tricks that you can pull off with most Olympus point-and-shoot cameras.

  • Frame the picture paying attention to horizontal and vertical lines, so buildings don’t appear slanted. With camera models featuring the [FRAME ASSIST] function, you can display a grid on the monitor to serve as a reference.

  • Sunsets, artificial city lights at night, and other light sources can all influence the look of your photo. If your camera supports it, try taking several shots of the nights scene under various white balance settings to obtain different results. Click here to learn more about whitebalance.

  • Most night scene photos taken after it becomes completely dark will not produce the best results. Take “night” pictures around sunset while some sunlight remains. Cityscapes are beautiful in pictures taken at dusk when the sky is deep blue rather than black.