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EOS M3 Photo Techniques  - Nightscape -

The EOS M3 is a mirrorless camera that is also high performance, boasting a pixel count of approximately 24.2 megapixels—which makes it perfect for nightscape photography. I usually shoot nightscapes with a full-frame DSLR camera, but in this article I will introduce some tricks to capture captivating nightscape pictures using functions of the EOS M3 that can optimise the camera’s high image quality. (Reported by: Shigeki Kawakita)

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Capture the night city like a brilliant painting

Use the Art Bold Creative filter in HDR mode

When you want to emphasise the vibrancy of the city nightscape, you can achieve an interesting effect by using a Creative filter. If you capture the nightscape in HDR mode, you can give the picture a vivid and painting-like finishing touch. From an observation platform, look down at the streets and search for a position where there are as many light sources of different colour tones as possible. Just by turning the mode dial to [Creative Filter] and then selecting [Art Bold] in HDR mode, you will be able to capture a fairly brilliant HDR shot. For this picture, I focused on a bright building in Live View, and released the camera shutter using the Wireless Remote Controller RC-6 to prevent camera shake.

EOS M3/ EF-M22mm f/2.0 STM/ FL: 22mm (35mm-equivalent)/ Creative filter – HDR Art Bold (f/4.5, 1/4 sec, EV±0)/ ISO 1600/ WB: Auto/ Picture Style: Standard

The HDR mode can be used to capture subjects with a large difference in the brightness level without overexposing or underexposing the shot. In particular, [Art Bold] complements cities and factories in nightscape shots, bringing out a pulsating sense of excitement.

[My shooting procedure]

  1. Fixed the camera onto a handmade photography stand, and positioned it near the window of the observation platform.
  2. After deciding on the composition, set to [Art Bold] in HDR mode.
  3. Covered the camera with a black cloth to prevent reflections on the glass.
  4. Released the shutter with a remote control.

How to set the style to [Art Bold] in [HDR] mode

Set the mode dial to [Creative Filter]. Press the [Quick Set menu]/Set button, select [HDR] and then [Art Bold].

Image appears desolate without HDR

Shot taken without using a Creative filter. Although the nightscape in the captured image looked the same as that seen with the naked eye, it felt somewhat desolate.

A photography stand is convenient for nightscape shots

A handmade photography stand made by attaching a commercially-available camera platform to a plate using tripod screws. When shooting from observation towers, this is more stable than a tripod mount.

Lens used
EF-M22mm f/2.0 STM

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Give the futuristic-looking city nightscape a finishing touch with a tinge of blue

Set the WB to [Tungsten Light]

The view of the city nightscape from the Yokohama Landmark Tower in Japan is certainly a sight to behold. I wanted to express the beauty of this futuristic-looking nightscape by capturing the various city lights in a bluish tone. The night streets were lit up by a mixture of light sources such as fluorescent lights, sodium-vapour lamps and LEDs. Although WB is intended for colour correction, I wanted to use it as a filter to colour the entire picture. By setting the WB to [Tungsten Light], I covered the overall image in blue. An image of the room may be reflected onto the glass surface when shooting through a window. In this situation, cover the camera to prevent reflection (with a black cloth, for example). Since I wanted to achieve a bird's eye view of the nightscape, I narrowed the aperture to f/11. Then, I focused on a bright building in Live View.

EOS M3/ EF-M18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM/ FL: 49mm (78mm-equivalent)/ Aperture-priority AE mode (f/11, 15 sec, ±0EV)/ ISO 200/ WB: Tungsten light/ Picture Style: Landscape

Through the window in the observation tower, I aimed to capture a view of the streets that included the harbour. By setting the WB to [Tungsten Light], the entire shot was covered in a bluish tone, giving the city nightscape a translucent look.

[My shooting procedure]

  1. Fixed the camera onto a handmade photography stand, and positioned it near the window.
  2. After deciding on the composition, set the WB to [Tungsten Light]
  3. Covered the camera with a black cloth to prevent reflections on the glass.
  4. Released the shutter with a remote control.

Red tone becomes stronger if WB is set to [Shade]

WB [Shade] is primarily used to correct the bluish tone of images taken in shade, so it has an intense reddish tone. This emphasises the red lights of the roads and harbour.

How to change the WB

Press the [Quick Set menu]/Set button to display the WB. Select and set to your preferred WB at the bottom panel.

Lens used
EF-M18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM

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EOS M3 Kit II (EF-M18-55 IS STM & EF-M55-200 IS STM)

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Shigeki Kawakita

Born in Kyoto in 1967. Graduated from the Photography Department in the Osaka University of Arts . Nightscape photographer. Active in Japan and overseas as a photographer for books and stock photos. Currently, he takes mainly nightscape shots of new famous places in cities. A member of the Japan Professional Photographers Society (JPS).

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