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    6 tips for capturing better urban landscapes

    The post 6 Tips for Capturing Better Urban Landscapes first appeared on Digital Photography School. It was written by Kav Dadfar.

    Tips for better city landscapes

    As you continue your quest to improve your photography skills, broaden your horizons by exploring different disciplines. In this article, we will take a closer look at how we can capture better urban landscapes.

    Better urban landscape
    f / 8 – ISO 100 – 1/250 sec

    This discipline is all about bringing an urban environment to life in your photos. Shots of people who live, move and work in combination with an urban landscape can produce beautiful photos. Even for experienced photographers, it is a challenge. But you will find new ways to express yourself and capture your environment, as well as immortalize some of your growing environment.

    But how best to capture compelling images in an urban landscape? Here are six tips for capturing better urban landscapes.

    Better urban landscape
    f / 8 – ISO 100 – 1/320 sec

    1. Take to the street

    While there is nothing to say that you cannot create urban landscapes from vantage points in a city, you must be right next to it if you want to capture exceptional urban photography. Get off your balcony and take to the streets in the middle of life as it unfolds.

    To photograph better urban landscapes, try to find scenes in which you can capture the combination of the urban landscape and the people. A straight shot at two people talking isn’t necessarily what you’re looking for here. This is more street photography than urban landscapes. So you have to introduce some elements of the urban arena into your composition.

    Better urban landscape london
    f / 6.3 – ISO 250 – 1/160 sec

    2. Play around with shutter speed

    Extending your exposure setting allows you to create a very dynamic image. Granted, this can conflict with having a living subject (such as a person or animal) as they are likely to move quite a bit. However, if you can get a wide shot of the urban landscape with a long exposure time, this can create some interesting effects through movement.

    The striped clouds above your head can add a sense of movement to your stationary landscape. It’s a fun trick to capture better city landscapes if you just want to get a view of the scene itself rather than active subjects.

    At night, this can also create light trails from vehicles. Their tail and headlights will streak across the image, creating a stunning photo that captures the hectic expression of any urban environment.

    Better urban landscape
    f / 13 – ISO 100 – 4 sec

    Find interesting buildings

    The nice thing about urban photography is that it’s as much about the man-made elements as it is about people. If you’re shooting in an urban setting, there are likely to be many interesting buildings, sculptures, parks, and other man-made elements to capture.

    Do a little research and learn why the interesting buildings were built in the first place. By being as selective with your history as your visuals, you can create a story with photography in an urban environment.

    For example, if you chose a beautiful Gothic church as the background for your scene, what is unique about the history of that church? It may look great, but what else is historically behind the building? You could dig up something really interesting that will help shape your photo sessions. They can be key elements in the architecture or historically important locations around the church. Or you may just find interesting vantage points and angles for better urban landscapes from the church.

    Better urban landscape
    f / 6.3 – ISO 100 – 1/250 sec

    4. Come back during different seasons

    Another tip for capturing better urban landscapes is to come back during different seasons. It’s easy to forget what an urban environment might look like in a different season. If you’re in the middle of a skate park in the middle of summer, and it’s very active with teens riding on any surface, you don’t necessarily think about what the same scene would look like covered in snow.

    However, you could create some really intriguing juxtaposed images if you return to the same scene later in the year in a different season.

    If you have the option of traveling to a location more than once a year, you should consider taking advantage of that luxury. The lighting, skyline and overall feel can all change dramatically, allowing you to capture great images you may not have considered before.

    Better nighttime urban landscape
    f / 13 – ISO 250 – 15 sec

    5. Use the terrain

    When composing your shot, consider the golden triangle rule or the rule of thirds. You can also look at aligning your subjects with leading lines generated by the terrain; maybe a bridge, trees, a street or a mural.

    Elements throughout your frame can naturally direct the eye to your subject or they can pull it off just as easily. Be aware of how you compose your shot and consider using the elements to better align your focal point for better urban landscapes.

    Urban landscape
    f / 8 – ISO 800 – 0.6 sec

    6. Night versus day

    An urban environment can really come alive at night. The shadows of daylight now blend into the environment and your lens will absorb much more than you thought possible.

    Daylight photography can capture active scenes from that time, and the same goes for night photography. Aside from general lighting differences, the time of day also helps create an atmosphere in your image that you can’t replicate in any other way.

    If you can, just like visiting the scene at different times of the year, try to come back to see how the urban environment changes between day and night. Some differences may be subtle, but others will weave new visions for your camera to capture.

    Better urban landscape photography
    f / 11 – ISO 200 – 20 sec


    The beauty of this type of photography is that it is often accessible to many people. Most people live in or near urban environments. So there is ample opportunity to practice capturing better urban landscapes. Use the tips above and you’re on your way to improving your photography in this genre.

    Do you have any other tips for capturing better city landscapes you want to share? Do you have some images you want to share? Please do this in the comments section!

    The post 6 Tips for Capturing Better Urban Landscapes first appeared on Digital Photography School. It was written by Kav Dadfar.

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