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
The “other” famous bridge in San Francisco, the Bay Bridge, provides a nice foreground for the city at night.
9. St. Louis
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.
Cruise ships only seem to be part of the Miami skyline, as they frequently cruise in and out of port there.
The towering Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge has been a prominent feature in the Dallas skyline since it opened in 2012.
The right clouds and highway light trails always make a cityscape pop.
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.
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?
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.
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
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.