How to take photos in a city?

city photography

Urban photography, which we also call city photography, has a lot of elements to capture. The firm standing buildings, the busy roads, the light-up streets, the footpaths, the people on their way to work, the kids playing in the evening, and soo much more. Along with these factors, photographers might want to look at a few things to produce an exceptional piece of photography. Following are the tips that can aid you with the process:

Unique camera angles:

Capturing every single picture at eye level can dull the final results. In the city, one should try different and unique camera angles that will aid in capturing brilliant photographs. The tilt angle on the harbor or the low angle on streets can prove to be pretty amazing composition-wise. One should give it a shot!

Add reflections in your photography

If you look around, the city has a lot of reflecting surfaces and areas. Be it tall standing glass buildings, the fountain area and the puddle after rain, you can always find such places. The reflecting areas can interact and result in a beautiful pattern that can give you exciting photos to capture. Play with these patterns and produce photos that can stand out.

Catch the city life:

While you are just getting tips on how to get photos of the city, you might as well show the city and its life. Yes, getting a building and sky aesthetics is pretty cool, but including the everyday life around it will make it even better. The busy life in the day, people going to work, the evening with kids playing, people coming back from work, catching taxis and trains, laughing, smiling, focused and all that shows the city life should be there in your photographs. Let your photos show city stories. 

Use Long Exposure:

With a narrow aperture, you should set your equipment on long exposure and add the movements in your shots. Capturing the city life, one will usually get cars moving fast, people rushing on streets, kids running around. All the movements seen in the camera will capture it in the long exposure. Bring the wow element in the results.

Artificial and Nature elements:

When you talk about city photography, the one significant factor that makes it stand out is that one can find the nature-made and the artificial in the same place. You can see how the broad daylight shines over the man-built shop or how the moonlight shines over the bonnets of the moving man-made vehicles. It is a beautiful thing to include in your photography. Show how nature meets man-made items.

Use Infrared Photography:

You will be amazed at how beautiful an infrared shot captured in a city looks. In the daylight, find the fresh spots where you want to do your shoot in (preferably the garden) and use the infrared filter along with your tripod (if you have unmodified equipment) to capture the shots. The infrared photography will leave your mouth hanging open with surprise. 

Be Ready:

City life is always busy and rushing. One might not get the perfect opportunity if he keeps on waiting in the same place and for the right opportunity to present itself. Instead, one should grab it whenever he gets it, and for that, he should be ready at all times. Keep the cameras and other types of equipment with you all the time and be alert. As soon as you see the perfect shot falling into place grab the opportunity and capture it, before city life takes it away from you.

Capture different times:

City, with all its beautiful essentials including the restaurants, the work, the people, the traffic, the stalls and of course the people gives off different vibe during different hours of the day. During the sunrise, the sun starts shining over the skyline. The birds are over the sky, indicating that the city woke up; it’s the rise and shine hour. The broad daylight includes the rush hour, the people rushing to work, the heavy traffic on the road, the stalls open, and the busy life of the city. 

The evening where the kids play outside, the people return back home, the sun starts going down, giving off different shades of color across the sky. The midnight, the quiet city, the lining of the street lights, the darkness of the residential areas. One can capture the same city in different hours with a different vibe and different shades presenting brilliant stories and shoots.

Get Creative:

Thinking outside the box is how you will stand out from the crowd. Be creative in what you capture. Go beyond what regular photographers do. The city has soo many imperfections, soo many irregular spaces, and movements that are not talked about. One just has to explore, find them and capture them. The imperfect perfections in the shot will get you the attention of the city people, and in no time, your shots will be the talk of the town.

Use Wide-Angle View:

Usually, when people use telephoto view to capture the subject along with the background, what happens is that the subjects end up getting mixed and blended with the background. In order to avoid that, one should get closer to the subject and fill the frame making the subject prominent and the foreground larger and clearer giving a good result of the shot.

Be Ethical:

Considering that you will be photographing people that are strangers and just going about with their regular days in their cities, they might have an issue with you capturing them. The landscape photos won’t single out people, but the closer you get, the more problems can it get for some of them. So be on a lookout, look for cues, look for the signs that the people give while they see you. Get the signs of un-comfort and refrain from capturing them. If you are planning to take portraits of strangers, you might as well take consent from them.


We hope you will benefit from this article, and stay tuned for more.


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