Cities are truly amazing places. The dramatic collision of people and architecture gives each city a unique essence and existence. They are living breathing places that are simultaneously busy, lonely, awake, tired, and alive.
By their very nature, cities provide a varied and fascinating photography subject and today we'll be looking at some excellent examples of urban photography to get you excited about shooting your city. Before we get stuck in we'll look briefly at some tips to help you take urban shots that make an impact.
Rising At Dawn
Early in the morning is a great time to shoot a city. The quality of light can be stunning and in many cases the sky acts like a giant filter. In addition, you'll find that it's possible to get eerily lonely shots of your city without people.
Although the hustle and bustle of a busy town is certainly a great thing to capture, the chance to explore without hoards of commuters in your way is worth the early rise.
Capture the Change
Remember that cities are constantly growing and in transition. To get some truly unique shots, just move your focus toward areas of new construction and renovation. These are often further away from the city centre - just scan the skyline for areas dominated by construction cranes!
It's worth travelling a little further away from the mainstream area of the city to find a completely unique subject to shoot. You may just snap an image that perfectly captures the transformation of your city!
People & Community
Try viewing the city from somebody else's perspective. Forgo the architecture, and capture the essence of the city by photographing its people. You may find your shots have a far greater emotional impact when they express something of the city's character!
If you're going to photograph people - whether at work, in transit, or sitting at a cafe - it's best to ask their permission. You'll have more success with this in certain areas than others, but there's no harm in asking!
If you're extraordinarily lucky, you might just be able capture the essence of a city in a single photograph. A few of the following images succeed in this goal, and it's a wonderful thing to get right.
Here are a few links to really useful tutorials and articles that will teach you more about this type of photography:
- 80 Amazing Abstract Architecture Shots and How to Shoot Your Own
- Urban Landscape Photography Tips
- 10 Tips for Urban Photography
- Quick Tips for Urban Photography After Dark
- Capturing High Impact Urban Portraits
Share Your Own Images!
Hopefully the above collection has inspired you to take another look at your own city - perhaps enough for you to go and take some stunning new shots!
We'd love to see your favourite urban photographs, just post a link in the comments below.