7 Tips for Stunning Urban Panorama Photography

7 Tips for Spectacular Urban Landscape Photography

7 tips for urban landscape photos

Do you want to capture stunning urban landscape photos? While cities often feel disorderly and complex, there are actually several simple tips you can use to take beautiful images, consistently.

And in this informative article, I aim to share our best city landscape assistance, covering long exposure techniques , urban night digital photography , city architecture , and more.

Let’s get started.

What is metropolitan landscape photography?

Urban landscape photography consists of capturing photos of towns and towns. Generally speaking, an urban landscape shot has a wide focus – covering more than just, say, a single human subject – and is used outdoors.

city from high vantage point urban landscape
An metropolitan landscape photograph, taken in the early evening from a rooftop searching back toward the city.

As you can imagine, cities, especially bustling metropolises, are popular urban landscaping locations. In fact , if you journey frequently, then you’ve probably taken an urban scenery or two without recognizing it! Sometimes, this type of photograph is referred to as a cityscape or perhaps a city surroundings (see the shot above), but it’s also an urban landscape.

Of course , it’s also possible to catch urban landscapes in much more subdued locations. A small city, or even a little town, can make for beautiful results!

Now that you’re acquainted with city landscape shooting and what it’s all about, let’s check out how to get great images, beginning with my first tip:

1 . Shoot street photos – but in framework

Road photography may fall into two categories:

  1. Street portraits
  2. More environmental street photos

While the former does not really work as an urban surroundings, the latter definitely does. Through thinking carefully about contextual street scenes, you can catch some beautiful urban pictures.

As you are out shooting, look for moments with people, but place all of them in their atmosphere . The goal would be to provide context: where the people are and what is happening. For instance, you might photograph a group of people shopping, surrounded by advertisements and window displays. Or you might photo a single person sitting alone on the bench at the edge of the city.

street scene people at tables
A street scene displaying the landscape and what people are doing in it.

Basically, anyplace that people hang out makes for fascinating urban landscape photography. Just make sure you do more than shoot people . The environment matters, too!

2 . Photograph from above

Images taken from great vantage points have the capacity to shock and amaze the viewer – especially where cities are involved.

So I highly recommend you take advantage of that capability, plus elevate yourself whenever possible.

But how do you capture from up above? These days, there are quite a few ways to photo from high up. Some towns allow drone photography, which is a great way to capture unique, never-before-seen perspectives (though before you start flying a drone in your favorite shooting location, make sure to check for any flight rules – you don’t want to cause problems or get in trouble).

On the other hand, you can try photographing from remark decks, which often offer great views. They’re not always simple to shoot from – you sometimes have to work through cup or fencing – but if you can make it work for you, the outcomes will be breathtaking.

Finally, you might consider capturing from rooftops. High buildings work, assuming you can get entry, but my personal favorite “organic” high-vantage points are parking garages, which often provide gorgeous sights and plenty of shooting versatility.

city from above
A view from above! This was taken from the Eureka Skydeck, an observation veranda looking over Melbourne.

3. Have fun with long exposures

Long exposure photos basically always look stunning – and they look especially beautiful when combined with dizzying sights of buildings, gleaming cup facades, and other city-side delights.

So the next time you’re out, shoot a few long exposures. You can function single buildings as topics, you can focus on skylines, or you can even shoot busy roads (that way, you can capture plenty of cool blur because people walk by! ). You’ll come away which includes magical shots.

While it’s possible to complete powerful long exposure photos without special gear, I’d recommend grabbing a top quality neutral thickness filter . It’ll block out the light so you can use shutter speeds between 30 secs and several minutes, which is enough time to create beautiful blurry clouds, remove people and cars from streets, etc .

Pro tip: Try to use an extra-long exposure whenever photographing water. It’ll give you an ethereal result:

long exposure waterside cityscape
A long exposure of Melbourne taken across the river.

four. Shoot urban landscapes during the night (including light trails! )

If you’re searching for unique urban landscape photos, here’s my recommendation:

Shoot the city at night.

You see, urban environments look gorgeous when the sun goes down. The lights come on, the car headlights gleam, windows light up – quite simply, the city looks magical.

Plus, you may not need a neutral density filter whenever shooting the city at night; based on how bright or darkish it is, you may be able to photograph at shutter speeds of the minute, two minutes, or even longer.

You can even get great light trails at night . Look for streets that have some nice buildings in the history, then photograph for several minutes as the cars stream by.

light trails urban landscape photography

5. Photograph interesting architecture

Every city strives in order to feature interesting buildings. In the end, architects like to show off just as much as the next person.

So no matter where you are, see if you can find the most beautiful buildings in your city to photograph. They’re bound to look incredible.

By the way, if it interests you, try researching exactly why a building was designed to have an area, and find out if there’s something special and special about it. This might provide inspiration for images (plus it could make the photography much more enjoyable! ).

Search for buildings that are nestled in with others, yet are the unusual ones out. Perhaps it comes with an old building that is surrounded by new ones. Scenes like that can provide your images having an interesting story.

buildings at sunset
One of the most distinctive buildings in Melbourne, Flinders Street station.

six. Head back during different periods (and weather)

People often forget how a city or town may look completely different in every season and during various weather conditions.

Of course , if you only go to a place once, you don’t get a lot of choices.   But if you live nearby or visit the location often , then you can experience a wide variety of conditions – which can give rise to a wide variety of shots!

Throughout the year, modifying seasons will give you numerous opportunities to capture unique scenes. Fall months has the colors, so trees and shrubs in the streets or theme parks can add interesting flashes of red and gold. Wintertime will provide people bundled up against the cold and clear public places. In summer season, everyone is in lighter, more happy clothing, and the streets and parks are filled with people.

Thus consider what type of photos you want, then choose the season appropriately!

And think about the weather, too. Rain, are, sun, snow – each will give your urban scenery a different look. Photos associated with cities that are white through the snow can be magical. Rain will create reflective surfaces and make the city appearance bigger and shinier. You can’t control the weather, but you can take advantage of it!

narrow street in the city
Rain provided this cobblestoned street the shiny appearance.

7. Use leading lines

Cities look beautiful on their own, but your goal as a photographer should be about more than just capturing that beauty; you want to generate something artistic , right?

That’s where compositional tips such as top lines come in. A leading line simply movements the eye through the image, in one area to another, and is a great way to engage the viewer.

But what can you use as a leading line? Honestly, pretty much anything line-shaped, yet here are a few of my favorites:

  • Bridges
  • Streets
  • Street lamps
  • Building edges
  • People
  • Outstretched arms
  • Road signs
  • Train tracks
  • Busses
  • Cars

Really, something that will lead people about an image will work. And you do not have to rely on stationary components; you can always use light trails from cars or even clouds blurring across the sky in order to direct the viewer around a photo. Don’t be afraid to obtain creative!

bridge long exposure urban landscape
I used the bridge as a leading range to take you into early-morning Melbourne.

Urban landscape photography: final words

You don’t have to follow all of these tips…

…but memorizing one or two will certainly take your urban landscape photography to the next level.

So head out into the city, look for some beautiful subjects, and also have fun!

Right now over to you:

Which of these ideas do you plan to try out initial? Do you have any city landscaping tips of your own? Share all of them in the comments below!






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