10 Great Photos of U.S. City Skylines at Night

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In theory, it’s easy capturing a great photo of a city skyline at night. All you need is a tripod and the right exposure. In reality, you need some other intangibles. The right weather and cloud formations help. So does good framing. And just as in real estate, a critical aspect is location, location, location. It’s not easy getting all these elements lined up, but when it happens, the results can be spectacular. Here are a few great images of U.S. cityscapes at night.

10. San Francisco

© Anthony Quintano

© Anthony Quintano

The “other” famous bridge in San Francisco, the Bay Bridge, provides a nice foreground for the city at night.

 

9. St. Louis

© Spencer Goad

© Spencer Goad

Busch Stadium, home of the St. Louis Cardinals, features one of the best downtown views of any stadium in baseball. That includes a great view of the Gateway Arch (center right in photo). Here, fans enjoy a Fourth of July fireworks display.

 

8. Miami

© Matthew Paulson

© Matthew Paulson

Cruise ships only seem to be part of the Miami skyline, as they frequently cruise in and out of port there.

 

7. Dallas

© Robert Hensley

© Robert Hensley

The towering Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge has been a prominent feature in the Dallas skyline since it opened in 2012.

 

6. Atlanta

© David Kosmos Smith

© David Kosmos Smith

The right clouds and highway light trails always make a cityscape pop.

 

5. Pittsburgh

© Erik Jähnke

© Erik Jähnke

Pittsburgh’s three rivers, distinctive bridges and the “Golden Triangle” of downtown make it a favorite for night photographers. And there are some great vantage points, in the surrounding hills, including West End (where this image was taken) and Mount Washington.

 

4. Boise

© Charles Knowles

© Charles Knowles

A city doesn’t need a forest of skyscrapers to have a great skyline. Boise has the Idaho state capitol building (left center of photo) and the rugged Boise foothills. What more do you need?

 

3. Chicago

© Paul Frederickson

© Paul Frederickson

A high vantage point always helps in getting a great cityscape photo. This shot was taken from the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), 1,353 above the Windy City.

 

2. Seattle

© Tiffany Von Arnim

© Tiffany Von Arnim

Seattle’s skyline always boasts one strikingly distinctive feature — the Space Needle. But when the weather is clear, you can also see the snow-covered peak of Mount Rainier about 50 miles away.

 

1. New York

© Gigi via Flickr

© Gigi via Flickr

New York’s Manhattan skyline is arguably the most photographed skyline in the world. The trick is to find a unique perspective. We’ll give this photo an A+ for creativity, with the skyline framed by the pedestrian walkway of the Brooklyn Bridge.

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