Night time shots …

Auckland City at night

Auckland City at night taken from the northern side of Auckland’s Harbour Bridge.

Last night I headed into Auckland with a fellow South Auckland photography enthusiast.  The idea was to take some night time shots and then head over to Grand Central in Ponsonby to see the Alan Brown Project.  Sadly I got the days muddled … Alan Brown isn’t performing until next week … typical!!

The first stop was just over the harbour bridge.  I usually take the Stafford Road exit and work my way back to get close to the water to get a shot looking back towards the city.  It’s quiet here and so we had a chance to experiment with different camera settings to see the changes to the image as ISO, shutter speed or aperture are changed.  The thing that made the biggest impression on me was the effect the tripod had on the image as the exposure time was increased.  My friend had a slightly shorter tripod than me and had extended the centre column to get more height.  Multi-second images taken with the centre column extend were blurry compared to those with the centre column fully lowered.  I was really quite surprised by the level of camera movement as it was quite a still night.

Before heading into the city we tried a few more shots in an attempt to get car head and tail light trails. The long exposures help smooth out the water as well as give a pleasing effect with the lights from the cars on the motorway. The aperture in this shot was quite small and has given the street lights a pleasing star burst effect. I can recall many years ago I bought a special starburst filter for my old Pentax. I don’t recall using it much … and I can’t even find it now!

After shooting the passing cars we tried the Grand Central only to discover we had the wrong day for Alan Brown. Thankfully Hopetoun Road is close by, so a few more shots looking towards Skytower before heading home. Quite a pleasant evening and something we should try again … perhaps when the Alan Brown Project is performing!

I’ve uploaded each of these images to my Auckland City Gallery. Please take a look. There may be other images there that you’ll find interesting or even some you may like to purchase 😉

Skytower from Hopetoun Road

Skytower from Hopetoun Road

This entry was posted in Blog.


  1. nic June 14, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

    With reference to blurry shots when using a tripod extended, are you using a cable release or the timer (most cameras have a 2 and 10 second timer), or finger on the button? Even when I do slow hand-held shots, I will use the 2 second timer to avoid the button push movement.

    • admin June 14, 2013 at 9:12 pm #

      Hi Nic, my friend was just using the shutter release … as I admit I did also that night!
      For long exposures I usually do as you say, using either the interval timer option as this has a delay and will then take several shots for HDR work, or the self timer option. I can’t say I’ve ever used the self timer for handheld shots though. I might try this if I don’t have my tripod with me 😉

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