Erasing people

Unless you shoot really early in the day, people walking across the scene could spoil some of your pictures. You might be able to overcome this problem with a neutral density (ND) filter.

These filters reduce the amount of light passing through the lens and means that the exposure time increases to compensate. With exposures of 20 or 30 seconds any people moving in the scene will not be in one place long enough to form an image and the resulting street scene will appear to be deserted.

For this type of result you need a fairly extreme neutral density filter – one with a density of 3.0 is good, giving a 10-stop reduction in light. This means that instead of shooting at 1/30 second, you can shoot with an exposure time of 32 seconds.

You will need to use the camera on a sturdy tripod to avoid movement during these long exposure times. However, the use of tripods is banned in the busy areas of some cities, so check before travelling.

Monochrome images

Urban landscapes lend themselves to black-and-white photography – removing colour emphasises shapes and contrast. Many Canon cameras also allow you to shoot with a monochrome tone, such as Sepia or Vivid Red, using My Colors. Alternatively, you can highlight a particular tone using the Color Accent Shooting Mode. Check the Instruction Manual for details on your camera.

However, if you have image manipulation software on your computer – such as Canon’s Digital Photo Professional (supplied with all EOS and some PowerShot cameras) – you can create monochrome effects from a colour image. This means that you do not need to commit yourself to an effect when taking a picture and can experiment with different effects from the same original colour image. All the colour data is lost when the camera processes the image for black and white JPEGs.

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