How to take a night landscape of city traffic!

Benjamin Franklin Bridge Pedestrian Walkway

Standing on Ben Franklin Bridge. Railing of Ben Franklin Bridge leading to a light. Philadelphia skyline to the left. On the bottom left corner are cars racing down a side street. There is a sunset with a pink blue and purple sky.
Photo 1
Night landscape of Schuylkill River. Two bridges in the distance. Railing is leading towards the Peco building in Philadelphia. 30th Street staion to the left of the river.
Photo 2
I95 highway of speeding cars in motion. Sunset with a dark blue sky on the top right corner. Bright lights of the city in the distance.
Photo 3

I am so happy that you took the time to watch my first tutorial! I really have enjoyed taking night portraits and landscapes. I have also been learning a whole lot of how to navigate the settings on my camera. For this specific photo in my tutorial, I used Aperture Priority Autoexposure (Av) exposure mode. This means that the user selects the f-stop (aperture setting) and the camera selects the shutter speed (the length of time a shutter is open to either freeze action or blur motion).

What I learned from last night was that I should have used the Shutter-Priority Autoexposure (Tv). This specific exposure mode allows the user to set the shutter speed and the camera selects the f-stop. Large aperture (f/1.4) has a fast shutter speed to freeze motion and is mainly used for focusing on a subject and blurring out any distractions around the subject. Large aperture is mainly used for portraits or closeups, like a picture of a flower or of a human. Small aperture (f/22) is a perfect for landscapes since it focuses on everything rather than a main subject. Small aperture also has a slow shutter speed which is great to use if you want to show motion like cars speeding on a highway (what I used).

If I used the Tv exposure mode, I think that I could have allowed more blurred motion of the cars passing by. There were a few complications though. First off there was very little traffic on I-95 which interfered with the length of my shutter speed. Instead of 15 seconds it should have been set for a minute. That could have been accomplished if the security guard wasn’t telling Chris and I that the foot walk was closed and that we had to get off.

One huge tip I advise is that you use a TRIPOD! One thing about using slow shutter speeds especially for night landscapes is that, slightest movement can ruin a picture causing it to become completely blurry. So I strongly suggest getting a Tripod if you want to take some sweet night shots! I have a Ravelli 50-inch that works very well, but is relatively short and was not taller than the railing. I would go for at least a 60-inch or 70-inch. You can get them on Amazon and are fairly cheap and work very well. I got mine for $14.00, the 60 and 70 inch are no higher than $30.

Lastly another tip for slow shutter speeds is to get a remote like I showed in my video. They are also fairly cheap ranging from $5 to $10 on Amazon. It works like a charm and all you have to do is, set your camera on continues/remote then press the S on your remote to open the shutter. This will allow you to capture the picture without pressing any button and causing movement that can potentially ruin your picture and make it blurry. The one I have is only for Canon, but you can find a remote for you camera by typing on Google.

What I hope you take away is that shutter speed, is mainly good for night landscapes. Especially for the kind of pictures I took. Make sure you have a tripod and remote to illuminate any movement since that can totally ruin your picture! Lastly set your exposure mode to Tv not Av! Even though I only spent 15 minutes on the Benjamin Franklin Bridge before being ask to leave, I had a really great time learning more about the settings and sharing how I take night landscapes.

I am still learning as well so if you have any additional comments I am definitely willing to hear!

Camera Settings

Photo 1

ISO: 100

Focal Length: 18mm

Exposure Compensation: -2 EV

Aperture: F/22

Shutter Speed: 30.0

Photo 2

ISO: 100

Focal Length: 18mm

Exposure Compensation: -2 EV

Aperture: f/22

Shutter Speed: 25.0

Photo 3

ISO: 100

Focal Length: 18mm

Exposure Compensation: -2 EV

Aperture: f/22

Shutter Speed: 15.0

Where to buy a remote for your camera:  http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=vello+ir+remote&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Avello+ir+remote

Where to buy a tripod for your camera:   http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=tripod&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Atripod

Some more info about setting on Canon’s:   http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/canon-eos-rebel-t3i600d-for-dummies.html

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