Manhattan Skyline via Long Exposure


“If you are out there shooting, things will happen for you. If you’re not out there, you’ll only hear about it.”

– Jay Maisel


The other night I met up with a friend who recently got a Fujifilm X-E2 mirror less camera, which is one of the best cameras in its class. And since I’ve got its older brother as my second, carry-everywhere camera, the X-T1, he wanted to go on a photo walk with me after work so he could pick up some tips and tricks from me.


It was right after sundown, so we chose a location that faces Manhattan skyline to shoot the city lights, Gantry State Park in Long Island City. I’m going to share a couple of simple tips I did with my friend, which can be of help for any beginner who has a mirror less, point and shoot, or dslr camera with a manual setting on.


First thing to remember is to have a tripod with you when shooting after sunset, to minimize camera shake that results in blurry photos because of the slow shutter speeds.


Once you have your camera on your tripod, or on a sturdy platform, we need to get our manual settings right:


  • Lower the ISO to a minimum. Since you’ll have plenty of light going into the sensor from leaving your shutter on for a while, you don’t need the extra noise that ISO would naturally create. ISO 100 or 200.
  • Close down your aperture to its minimum: F22, or F16, whatever your camera/lens allows. This will limit the light that gets in, and will make the bright lights look like starbursts.
  • Bring your shutter speed to 30 seconds, or as long as your camera allows before it goes to ‘bulb’ mode. It can be 10 seconds, 15 seconds, or 5. You can play with this setting to create different results.


That’s about it! Feel free to play around with each setting to see what you get. If it’s too dark, open up your aperture a bit, to F11, F8, etc. If it’s too bright, choose a faster shutter speed, 1 second, 1/10th of a second, etc.


Here are some of the shots we took from that evening. Feel free to share your long exposure photos with us on Instagram with @Post_Beam mention and #longexposure.





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