The people, the architecture, the parks, the shops – with so many amazing things in one place, cities offer the perfect setting for taking lots of stunning photos. But with so much to photograph, finding the right shot (and the right way to take it) can be a bit overwhelming. So whether you’re taking a weekend trip to a new city or you just want to capture the city you live in, read our advice below and become a master of urban landscape photography and urban street photography.
1. Get there early
If there’s one thing cities have in common, it’s that they’re filled with people. Head out early (during the Golden Hour) to avoid the crowds. Or embrace the masses and incorporate people in your city pictures in a creative way.
2. Take advantage of reflections in water
So many cities are built on the water – take advantage of this to create beautiful reflection photos. Depending on the water, you may need to shoot from a few locations until you get a reflection you like.
3. Find the symmetry in your surroundings
Life is full of symmetry and in cities – where there is so much architecture – it’s everywhere. Use the urban symmetry to highlight the subject of your photos and strengthen the composition.
4. Photograph ‘your’ city
What makes the city special for you? The streets, the food, your favourite shops? Take photographs of these things to capture your personal experience in the city.
5. Tackle tall buildings
Architecture photography can be tricky, so to easily photograph tall buildings in an interesting way, position yourself close to the base of the building and shoot straight up. If it’s sunny, wait until the sun is behind the building or shoot into the sun to create sun flares.
6. Make something normal, special
Even the most ordinary things can become artistic and unique in the right setting. Keep an eye out for patterns or interesting layouts to turn normal, everyday objects into creative photos.
7. Capture the city lights
A city by night is magical. To get clear night-time photos that show off the lights, turn off your flash, adjust your shutter speed (on Canon cameras it’s the ‘AV’ button, on Nikon cameras it’s the ‘S’ button) and hold your camera very steady.
8. Go black and white for an extra urban look
Nothing says city quite like a black and white photo. To give your photos a high impact, urban feeling, turn them to black and white. You can also try out different filters on your smartphone to get artsy city pics.
9. Create abstract art
Cities offer the perfect setting to create your own abstract art. Look for reflections on windows, play with lines, the light and shadows, and use different levels and angles in your shots to create artistic photos.
Want to learn more? Check out our other photography tips and tricks.