If you’re a photographer living in the city and not taking cityscape photography, you are missing out on one of the most exquisite photography styles. The intricate details of a city’s skyline can be an alluring subject to photograph, as it holds exciting possibilities
The urban world is constantly changing and always has something new to offer in aesthetics. If you’re a photographer who’s interested in cityscape photography or even one having trouble getting it right, here are some tips to kickstart your passion.
Top 5 tips to capture stunning cityscapes
1. Schedule your shoot
Cityscapes may look beautiful all the time but not always on camera. You have to plan ahead to shoot at the right time. Even the weather could adversely impact your shoot so try to look into the conditions and get to the shoot location early to be prepared for anything.
Most photographers capture the skyline during the blue hour which is the time between sunset and complete darkness. If you’re looking to capture a mesmerizing picture of the twinkling city lights against the dark blue skies, this is the ideal time to do so.
2. Get rid of distractions
Cities are fast-paced and chaotic, but cityscape photography is serene and breath-taking. The dense population coupled with unwanted objects like trash and unappealing buildings will make your frame unattractive. So how do you get rid of all the distracting elements in order to take a clear shot of the city?
You can always take a long exposure to blur moving objects, use a telephoto lens to isolate your cityscape, or even crop out unnecessary aspects. The idea is to get only the best of the city in the shot.
3. Find an elevation
As we mentioned, cities are often full of distractions so to get away from all the mayhem, cityscape photographers scout for higher grounds. While the rest of the world sees their cities from a street view, you can show them what it looks like from high above.
High viewing areas like skyscraper decks or hills are a great vantage point for cityscape photographers. Research your location before you shoot there to ensure the best conditions. Use the Photographer’s Ephemeris to plan your lighting as well.
4. Make maximum use of space
Framing your cityscape can be a bit challenging as you need to show a unique perspective of the city without leaving too much space for unnecessary components. The city should be seen as dense in terms of property spacing, without much space between them.
You can also use negative space to draw attention to the size and positioning of the city. But try and make the background more dynamic to make the photo stand out visually.
5. Choose the right camera lens
Most cityscape photographers use a wide-angle lens to encapsulate the city into a small frame. Cities are full of large buildings and small spaces so the only way to get a good shot of it is to use wide-angle lenses.
Telephoto lenses are also a favourite of cityscape photographers as it captures scenes from long distances away from the city chaos. Telephoto lenses remove the depth and create a compact image of the city’s highlights.
The urban photographer may be posed with a number of challenges when pursuing cityscape photography. But mastering this art can be a huge deal for your career. Not only does cityscape photography add great value to your portfolio, but it also sells pretty well. So with the right attitude and a little help from our tips, you can capture beautiful shots of any city.