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Tips for Urban Landscape Photography

Landscape photography, may it be natural or urban, has always been the favorite of most photographers. However, unlike natural where the main focus is photographing the key elements of nature, there are too many factors in urban landscapes. Here are some tips for urban landscape photography so that you can get better at it as well.

What is Urban Landscape Photography?

Apart from the visuals, there is not much difference between shooting urban landscapes and natural ones. Of course, the main difference is that your goal in urban landscape photography is to capture the beauty of man-made places, and sometimes their harshness. 

However, this photography is not only about the architecture of the cities and suburbs, but also about how these places have influenced the culture around them.

Look for Extraordinary in the Ordinary

The first step in any kind of photography is to explore the location. This step is even more important in urban or street landscape photography. Of course, historical sites and even majestic landmarks are going to be your first choice, but try to explore the lesser-known streets and alleys as well. Who knows you might find some surreal places there as well! 

If you are new to a city, it is better that you check landmarks and routes on the map before you travel.

Be Creative with the Composition

Now that you have found the perfect place, it is time to capture it with your lens. An important thing to remember here is that no matter what place you choose, another photographer might have already explored it. However, just like all other types, urban landscape photography also demands creativity from you. Try to compose your images with some new perspectives. Look around you and find new angles in which the same image would look better. This will not only help you create better images but also make them stand out. 

Urban Landscape photography tips with fireworks

Photo edited in Lightroom.

Use Repetition and Leading Lines

Although this may be true that repetition sounds boring and mundane, but on the other hand, it can create some amazing images in urban landscape photography. These repetitions or patterns can be found almost everywhere in the streets, for instance, apartments and high-rise buildings. Your goal should be to find patterns that not only look aesthetic but also have an amazing color scheme. 

Secondly, leading lines is a composition technique that allows you to direct the viewer’s attention towards a specific part using lines. These lines can be anything from roads, aligned trees on the sidewalks, or even street lamps.

Night Photography - Tips for Urban Landscape Photography

Cities portray a different picture at the night. The same spot that might have appeared dull to you during the day, may look cool at night. Look for locations that have some source of light near them such as neon lamps or street lights.

Long Exposure

In addition to night photography, you should also try long exposure photography of urban landscapes. A basic example would be light trails. You can find a vantage point overlooking a highway where you can set up your tripod. Capturing the long exposure of moving vehicles also represents capturing the fast-paced life of a city.

Look for Details

Most beginners make the mistake of only photographing the major features in an urban landscape. However, it must be remembered that urban landscape photography also incorporates street landscape photography. It means that it is not only the whole scene that makes up the image but also the individual components that add up to create that serene aesthetic. In some cases, these individual components would be strong enough to be photographed individually. Always keep an eye out for details such as graffiti, textures, and even colors. 

Don’t Forget the People

Unlike natural landscapes, there are going to be a lot of people in urban landscapes. If you want your locations to be isolated, you are going to put in the extra effort of getting there too early. Still, you are bound to find a few people there. However, one of the most underrated tips for urban landscape photography is to incorporate people into the landscape as well. You will also find many interesting people in cities and you can try to cover how the urban landscape has influenced them and their culture.

Long exposure Urban landscape - Tips for Landscape photography

Bonus Tips

First, urban life is known for its vibrancy and the colors that it adds to our life. However, shooting it in monochrome can also create some striking photos. 

Second, in large cities, there are always some abandoned places. So, you can try to show how the urban landscape has changed in different eras.

Conclusion - Tips for Urban Landscape Photography

The given tips for urban landscape photography will help you in achieving better results. However, it should also be understood that mastery only comes with practice. After giving these tips a read, your first step should be to simply try to explore your home town. It will surely be a surprise when you try to look with new perspectives. Lastly, try to convey a message through your images, this will help you focus on the right details. Never stop learning new things.

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