The first thing that comes to mind when the words landscape photography is mentioned is an image of the natural world. There is no question about the lure of open spaces, trees, mountains, and water but sometimes, capturing stunning landscape shots means just having to put one foot out of the door.
Urban landscapes can be equally compelling as the best things that nature has to offer. Cities are so busy and full of life that it’s worth trying to capture that vibe in a photograph.
Here are some urban landscape photography tips to help build your portfolio:
Plan ahead, even when in your own city
You might have lived all your life in a particular city, but still doing a bit of research helps you compose better shots. For example, you might want to shoot the cityscape from a place without any windows or at the very least, windows that are not reflective.
This involves looking at maps and considering transport options in case you don’t have your own vehicle. The location of choice doesn’t also have to be within the city, but a location a bit further offering a great view of the city.
Planning takes on even a greater importance when visiting another city. It helps to have a list of shots you want to take then research the spots where you can take them. But you also have to be sensitive towards others as some may not be too happy about a stranger clicking away. Always ask when in doubt.
Go up high
There’s no question that compelling images can be captured when shooting at street level. A number of stunning photographs have also been created when pointing the camera upwards. But getting an overall sense of the city is better captured from up above.
Most cities these days are known for constantly sprouting towers and trying out one after another can give you different perspectives and views of the city. Planning ahead will help you find the perfect spot to set up to take photographs.
Get away from the city
A view of the city doesn’t necessarily have to be taken within the city. Heading a bit further away can also provide a different perspective of urban life. This location can be high up the mountains or near the river but whichever the case, shooting away from the city brings something different to your urban landscape shots.
Pay attention to details
The beauty of cities is the array of detail that can be found; you just have to know how to look for them. Keep looking around for patterns and shapes because they are just right there in front of you.
Urban landscapes usually depict the frenzy that is located outside. But you can find the same level of busy-ness when you head indoors. A transport hub during peak travel times is a great opportunity to take photos. A packed café or an indoor event also provides lots of opportunities to take great shots.
People, whether moving or sitting in place, make great subjects. Just sitting down and observing for a few moments can give you ideas on what scene you’d like to capture.
Urban landscape photography isn’t all about how many skyscrapers you can fit into a shot; it’s also about the people and the surrounding environment. Take time to observe and ideas for shots will surely come.