How to Photograph Urban Landscape


When we talk about landscapes, what often comes to mind is the splendor of the countryside: wide open spaces, majestic skies, and bountiful nature. But there’s another type of landscape photography that’s closer to home, in and around the city where we spend most of our time working and living—urban landscape photography.

Some photographers are turned off by a city’s concrete architecture, lofty buildings, and predominantly grey surroundings. But these characteristics present a gamut of photographic potential if we only take a closer look. Thus, city dwellers discovered cityscape photography, architectural photography, and candid street photography.

Photograph Urban Landscape

According to Darren Rowse, urban photography is not always posh and pretty. On the contrary, it is often gritty and raunchy, sometimes abstract.

Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your photo shoot escapade around your apartment’s cosmopolitan neighborhood:

Find contrast

Cities offer the most diversity in terms of people and sites. Establishments are full of men and women from all walks of life. There are noticeable differences in architectural designs, building aesthetics and size, age, colors, way of life and more. Look for them.

Plan out time and location

Urban landscape photographer Mark Bury likes to shoot early in the morning because the light is diffused and the sky acts like a giant filter. Other than that, it’s interesting to see a normally bustling city in the early morning when there are no people (yet) in the (still) clean streets. You may also choose to hit the streets on weekends when they look lonely and tranquil, in stark contrast to the weekday noise you are used to when you go to work.

Scout for locations that offer various themes to your urban photography. Try uptown in the morning, then downtown in the afternoon, or vice versa. It’s amazing how an area’s mood can change depending on the kind of activity happening or the people frequenting that area at a particular time.

Shoot at night

Urban landscapes show a totally different face when the night falls and lights are turned on. Boring streets in daylight are filled with emotion and character when a lamp post illuminates streets and walkways.

Some photographers enjoy shooting a little after dusk, when there’s still a glimmer of light from the sky but the effect of city lights is already there. You can also go the traditional route and shoot a city’s skyline from afar. If you’re lucky, the moon will be present to complete your dramatic cityscape.

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About the Author: Cody Riffel is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo. She likes to write on variety of topics, whatever interests her. She also likes to share what she learns over the Internet and her day-to-day life.

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