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35+ Inspiring Nightscape photography and Tips

35+ Inspiring Nightscape photography and Tips

Nightscape Photography is one of the eluding styles of photography in lines of selection of photography-style by a photographer. It is sometime possible to shoot Landscape panorama, sea views, and bridges at night in such a manner as if, it has been taken at day time. A cityscape at night with lights blazing away like stars in the sky can be a scintillating show, and when captured in a photo, it can dazzle the eye. The twinkling effect in the photograph is mainly controlled by the exposure time and the size of aperture. By setting smaller apertures will create and exaggerate the star-like radiating shafts of light that can appear to emanate from small points of light in a scene. To take an excellent Night shot, you may need to setup the camera settings to different values, so I have included the common settings which most prefer for Nightscape photographs.

Useful Tips
  • Tripod is very important; in fact it’s the basic need. You won’t be able to hold a camera steady enough for long time without a tripod.
  • Using a remote release that will allow you to hold the exposure open for as long as you need is advisable.
  • Always use ISO 100. But I have seen few recommending ISO 200, I really don’t go with that value because high value of ISO settings though reduce the capture time but it will introduce high noise in the final image.
  • For Nightscape the advisable aperture is F8-F16. But it really depends on the subject you want to capture
  • Use Slow shutter speed, it always depends on your subject and effect you want to reach at. Darkness is another factor to consider. Many use Bulb Mode which need ir remote control but in camera its 30 sec if you don’t have remote.
  • If you are taking pictures of street lights, transportation, automobile trails, moving cars , bridge lights etc., then remove your UV filter you have in your lens, as it will cause blaze or haze which will disrupt your photo.
  • Turn off your noise reduction in your camera (if have). Because if you are using a file format of large size like 6.1 megapixel then you really don’t need it, moreover you are on the long night exposure. Noise reduction on your night shot just reduces some detail on your images. Your reading and storing process of data also slows down, so turn it off and have a night shot, after your shutter turns off, you will get your image on the screen.
  • White balance is really important. If you are shooting trailing lights, bridges, cityscape then you can use this settings
    WB=incandescent +3
    For other shooter, you can have auto white balance +3 too.
    You can set your exposure compensation around +1–+3
  • Always hold your patience as night shooting really takes lot of time.


Night Shot Camera Settings
Camera: Canon EOS 5D ( Any of the type )
Lens: Canon 17-40mm f4 L
Exposure: 100+ sec (100 and above)
White balance: +3
Aperture: F8-F16
Focal Length: 17 mm
ISO Speed: 100 - 200
Exposure Bias: 0 EV

35+ Inspiring Nightscape Photographs

Stockholm night


Stockholm night - Nightscape photography

A nightly prayer – Nightshot Photograph


A nightly prayer - Nightscape photography

Light Painting by MagLite – Night Shot photography


Light Painting by MagLite - Nightscape photography

Taichung City, Taiwan – Nightscape photography


Taichung City, Taiwan - Nightscape photography

Severn Glow – Nightscape photography


Severn Glow - Nightscape photography

Manhattan, New York City – Nightscape photography


Manhattan, New York City - Nightscape photography

Olympic Pacific Coast Last Light Catchers


Olympic Pacific Coast Last Light Catchers - Nightscape photography

A 30 second exposure (f/5.6 @ ISO 400) captures a purple fog produced by the lapping waves ephemeral presence along the line of an advancing tide. The longer exposure also allows the last of an already set sun to paint rocks on the beach with a warm glow.

Red clouds – Night Photograph


Red clouds - Nightscape photography

Magical Snow – Nightscape


Magical Snow - Nightscape photography

Boston Skyline in the Blue Hour


Boston Skyline - Nightscape photography

The Light of Greality – Nightscape


The Light of Greality - Nightscape photography

Repose – Nightscape photography


Repose - Nightscape photography
Lonely hut at the top of the mountain in wilderness. Moon and stars shines the sky. Morning Sun starts to make some appear in the backround.

Forth Rail Bridge @ Sunset – Scotland


Forth Rail Bridge @ Sunset - Scotland - Nightscape photography
This is a view of the famous forth rail bridge taken from the north bank of the firth of forth in Scotland.

Tokyo tower – Nightscape


Tokyo tower - Nightscape photography

Provencher Bridge – Nightscape


Provencher Bridge - Nightscape photography

Punggol beach – Late night shot


Punggol beach - Nightscape photography
This has plenty of my favourties in one frame – long exposure (121 seconds), wide angle (17mm), late night, surreal water and gorgeous textures. From a late night shoot with the gajman. We drove up to Punggol beach to shoot something different, and were very happy with the results.

Neustift – Nightscape


Inspiring Nightscape photography and Tips

A thunderstorm over Kansas at night


A thunderstorm over Kansas at night - Nightscape photography

Chennai Marina beach Nightscape


Chennai Marina beach - Nightscape photography

Long Exposure Cityscape Nightscape


Long Exposure Cityscape - Nightscape photography

Jersey City, New York – Nightscape


Jersey City, New York - Nightscape photography

Pacific Coast Highway – Nightscape


Pacific Coast Highway - Nightscape photography

Playground – Nightscape Photograph


Playground at Night - Night shots

Rowes Wharf and Custom House Tower at Dusk, Boston


Rowes Wharf and Custom House Tower at Dusk, Boston - Nightscape photography

North Point Park at Sunset- Nightscape photography


North Point Park at Sunset- Nightscape photography

Nightscape photography


Inspiring Nightscape photography and Tips


Nightscape photography


Inspiring Nightscape photography and Tips

Capetown – Nightscape Photograph


Inspiring Nightscape photography and Tips

Evening Flow Nightscape Photograph by Skarpi


Evening Flow - Inspiring Nightscape photography

Dubai Marina Nightscape Photograph by Daniel Cheong


Dubai Marina Blue - Inspiring Nightscape photography

Ligth House Nightscape Photography


Ligth House Nightscape Photography

Dubai Nightshot by Daniel Cheong


Dubai Marina - Inspiring Nightscape photography

Water candles – Nightscape


Water Candles - Nightscape photography
Taken from the same view point of my previous shot, but this time zooming in with my Sigma 18-200mm (Focal Length = 65mm). A total of 4 exposures, 3 at f/8 for the foreground and one at f/18 for the fountains

Austria Nightscape Photograph


Inspiring Nightscape photography and Tips

Las Vegas – Nightscape


Las Vegas - Nightscape

South Africa – Nightscape Photograph


Inspiring Nightscape photography and Tips

Need your feedback

The most important thing to remember when taking nightscapes, is that you need to be patient. When each photograph takes at minimum 10 minutes to complete, you need to be prepared to be in for a long night. After taking a few under or over exposed shots, or wobbly ones where a gust of wind blows at the wrong moment, you might end up with a keeper.

I guess that i have included most of the best Nightscape photographs available. In case if i missed your work, then please let me know via comments. I am happy to include yours.


- has written 23 posts on Smashing Tips


19 Responses to “35+ Inspiring Nightscape photography and Tips”

  1. hai rias your works are excellent..

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  3. Very useful photography blog! Keep up the great work!!!

  4. some truly magnificent shots there, examples for me to strive for as a photographer in this coming year

  5. hello
    nice photography

  6. I also try nightscape photography whenever opportunity emerges. Have observed some night photos were shot with very long exposures like 5 minutes or above.

    My question is; how to determine the duration of exposer? What should be the criteria?

    Thanks in advance.

  7. Really useful tips for photography and inspired by Night scape Photographs…

    Photographer Sydney

  8. Great collection you have here. And thanks for those awesome tips for photography. Thank you very much.

  9. These are just fantastic and very good advice too. Have retweeted and uploaded link to facebook to share with friends.

  10. Great photos shooting…I like it

  11. Thanks for the interesting information, I am surprised by the seen

  12. pretty good

  13. meenakshi phodase Reply 24. Jan, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    Superb photos..lovely view u have g8 shot.:-)

  14. Night time images are really magnificent with their grandeur.The lighting is just awesome

  15. Mohamed, I am a student. I currently study photography at Santa Fe University. I was wondering if you have any tips for aspiring photographers who want to land traveling jobs after graduation? Btw I put a link to my school since it said to include a link, in case you want to check out where I am studying.

  16. “Chennai Marina beach”, “Pacific Coast Highway” and
    “Rowes Wharf and Custom House Tower at Dusk, Boston” are my favourites. They are pretty inspiring!

  17. Life is Beautiful. Thank God for Nature!