1. jpgreenwood

    jpgreenwood

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    jason
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    I'm off to NYC in October and want some nice night time city scape type shots over the Manhattan skyline, with all the buildings lit up etc.
    Can anyone recommend settings to use to get nice dark skies and bright lights, or should I be looking at bracketing, or exposure stacking? I will be using a m4/3 Panasonic LX100 with a 24-75mm fixed lens. I also have a ND8 screw on filter and a small table top tripod.
    Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. LojikDub

    LojikDub

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    Settings will be entirely dependent on the available light and artistic effects.

    Assuming you will be using a Tripod, for a bog standard shot I would start with ISO at base setting (200 I think on that camera?) and aperture for your desired depth of field. If you don't have any immediate foreground and you want the entire cityscape to be in focus something like f5.6 is a good start for a m4/3 sensor. Then just let the camera pick the appropriate shutter speed.

    For a longer exposure you may want to put the camera into manual, set ISO at base and aperture for required depth of field, then see what the shutter is with the ND8 - if it's not long enough for the effect you want stop down the aperture etc.

    With regards to bracketing - if the darkest and brightest parts of the shot (that you want to retain detail in) are clipping in a single exposure, you can bracket to bring the detail back in an exposure blend. Also be mindful that bringing up the shadows a lot on a m4/3 can bring a lot of noise, so you may want to give yourself some leeway by bracketing or exposing to the right of the histogram.

    Settings aren't really important - it's knowing how changing the settings can affect your shot in reference to your desired outcome.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
  3. Cagey75

    Cagey75

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    Keith
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    Are you going to go up the Rockefella tower? If so, bear in mind you will be shooting through glass way up there, but it has the best view. You can do the empire state either, but then that won't be in your shots. Bring a cloth to wipe the glass. A tripod doesn't really work, as there's a wall with glass panels on top. You might be able to get it to balance, but you want the lens pressed against the glass. If your camera has IBIS, you'll make good use of it. I took shots from up there a few years back, I just hand held, no IBIS, with the front of the lens pressed against the glass and managed some 1" shots It's about all you need, NYC is pretty bright!

    That would be for the more Ariel view. You probably mean more capturing the skyline from across the Hudson? In that case there is a thick wall along by the river that is perfect for resting your mini tripod on. With the ND8 filter you should be able to get a couple minutes of exposure without any need for bracketing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
  4. LojikDub

    LojikDub

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    The top level of ToTR doesn't have glass :)
     
  5. jpgreenwood

    jpgreenwood

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    I've seen a youtube video of TOTR and believe there are glass panels, with gaps that maybe big enough for the lens, or further back there is an elevated bit, a further back and slightly higher so you can rest on some big stone platforms and shoot over the glass.
     
  6. Cagey75

    Cagey75

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    I must not have been top then :(

    There could well be gaps between the panels on the not-so-top level, I can't remember exactly. It was made busy the time we decided to go , had to book our turn about 2hrs in advance. It was December when we were there so it was also bloody freezing ... wear a thick coat ;)

    Here's that 1" exposure I got. Well, i took tonnes but weirdly this was the only one I bothered uploading to Flickr
    [​IMG]View from the rock by K G, on Flickr
     
    omens likes this.
  7. jpgreenwood

    jpgreenwood

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    That's exactly the kind of shot I want. I know its been done to death but its a once in a lifetime trip probably. I love the contrast between the black sky and bright lights. Thanks for sharing.
     
  8. viewfromthenorth

    viewfromthenorth

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    I was at the Rockefeller two weeks back. The lower of the two levels has gaps in the glass panels that you can get a camera lens through. The upper level does not have the panels as it is set back from the edge. There is a large stone wall around this level at about waist height that you could get a table top tripod on.

    We went first thing in the morning so there were no queues, but I imagine there will be at night (and you pay a premium to go in the evening). You can book tickets in advance which is probably worth doing.

    I took my LX100 up there (primarily for video) as well as my SLR. I’m glad I took my SLR, the greater resolution has meant more detail has been captured and it’s more interesting to view the scenes at 100%. I’ve cropped more heavily as well. The LX100 shots are fine but I prefer the SLR ones!
     
  9. jpgreenwood

    jpgreenwood

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    would you be able to post the 2 shots for comparison please? Or, point me towards a hosting site where they are. Thanks.
     
  10. Defiance

    Defiance Green and Hairy

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    Many places in NYC do not allow a tripod, especially the taller buildings, but also some street locations and parks. It may be possible to 'sneak' in a compact monopod. Gorilla tripods or similar are good.

    Top of the Empire State building (86th floor) has large gap mesh on top of a wall. The wall is good to stand a smaller tripods on. The 102nd floor is indoors.

    Bear in mind that the most popular places get very busy and you will not always have lots of time to get your shots and lots of people will barge you.
     
  11. momoka

    momoka

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    Jasmine
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    I would be looking to consider shooting before the sky is completely dark.
     
  12. Ricardodaforce

    Ricardodaforce

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    You don’t need a tripod for shots from Top of the Rock or Empire State. You put the camera on the concrete and use self timer.
     
  13. tonybassplayer

    tonybassplayer

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    Not sure it has been mentioned earlier but we were in New York last August (bloody hell its totally amazing) and we did the TOTR and you get an option to book daytime and nighttime for a small premium which we opted for.
     
  14. LojikDub

    LojikDub

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    There is no difference in the 2 shots - you're talking about 10 feet difference view looking out onto the city which is insignificant...I 100% guarantee you that there is glass on the lower level and not glass on the upper level (as I was there a few months ago). As a few people mentioned, you can get away with a mini tripod on the top level, but won't be able to use a big tripod on either as it's not allowed. Here's what I got from the top level if it helps.

    [​IMG]
    USA 2017 - New York -
    by Andy Smith, on Flickr
     
  15. jpgreenwood

    jpgreenwood

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    jason
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    Sorry Lojik, I was asking "viewfromthenorth" as he took 2 shots with different camera systems. Sorry for any confusion. Great pic though.
     
    LojikDub likes this.
  16. viewfromthenorth

    viewfromthenorth

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    Sure, just message me with your email address and I’ll send you a couple. Bare in mind that I was using a Nikon D810 which is several leagues up from the LX100!
     

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