In this chapter, let me share with you about 3 ideas for shooting cityscape photography at blue hour.
Choose Water Front
In my humble opinion, blue hour cityscape photos without any water element is only half good. It’s the silky smooth water effect that makes your long exposure photos extra special, like the photo below I shot at Singapore CBD. So, find a location that has cityscape + water.
By choosing water front, you’ll be able to add silky smooth water effect to your cityscape photos (Singapore Skyline, 18mm, f/13, 162 seconds [with 6 stop ND filter attached], ISO 100, shot 7 minutes before the end of dusk).
Shooting from Elevated View Point
This is cliche, but works! Look for a location in your city where you can have an elevated view, such as an observation deck of a tower, (publicly accessible) roof top, top of a hill (see the photo below I shot at The Peak in Hong Kong), high floor hotel room to name but a few. The wind is strong higher up, so try not to set tripod up too high. Remember that the higher the tripod legs are extended, the less stable it gets, leaving more prone to high winds and undermining your chance of taking sharp photos.
Shooting from an elevated view point always works great. Look for one in your local city or in your travelling destination (Hong Kong Skyline, 18mm, f/10, 199 seconds [with 6 stop ND filter attached], ISO 100, shot 7 minutes before the end of dusk).
Shooting Light Trails of Moving Cars
Have you ever seen cityscape photos captured at dusk with light streaks of moving cars, such as the photo below I shot in Hong Kong? An ideal place to try light trails is somewhere with plenty of traffic going by (this is obvious!), and slightly higher than ground level, such as shooting from a footbridge so that you can get up above the moving cars.
Shooting light trails of moving cars is also one form of long exposure photography. Find a location with a great city view plus plenty of traffic going by. FYI, light trails photography doesn’t require a very long shutter speed (this photo was shot with 25 seconds exposure).
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