5 Steps to taking great Photographs of Cityscapes


When we think of landscape photos, our mind often takes us to images of rolling hills, green fields and tranquil vistas. However, there is great beauty to be found in built-up landscapes too – the key is knowing how to capture these man-made scenes in an interesting way that is pleasing to the eye. Follow these top tips for creating cityscape images with impact….


Take in the view before raising your camera

When scouting for a photo opportunity, always look around before looking through the camera, see what you can find and explore the area before you shoot. Sometimes when looking through our viewfinder we miss what is going on around us. Make sure nothing is missed.

Play around with colour

Cityscapes can have striking variations of colour with glass and metal surfaces reflecting light. Find white balance in your camera’s shooting menu and experiment with different settings. Nikon cameras have in-built settings such as sunlight and shady. Don’t think that you have to use the correct white balance for every situation. Try using the wrong white balance. One example of this is to use incandescent white balance with metal surfaces. This gives the subject a blue colour and can add a creative aspect to the subject.

Look for shapes & lines

When composing your images always look at shapes and lines. Get a good feel for how you can place the shapes and lines of buildings in your frame.

Use strong lines in your image to enhance the composition, Use the lines in the building and place them from corner to corner. Maybe put the lines through the middle of the frame or at angles that you may otherwise have note tried.

Experiment with camera modes

A good way of shooting cityscapes in good light is aperture priority. Set the camera to aperture priority and the aperture to f11. This will ensure that you have a wide depth of field for all of your shots so that different buildings at different distances are sharp. Maybe use the camera on auto ISO so that the camera is choosing the ISO. This means the exposure should be looked after by the camera.

Consider using exposure compensation

If you are taking cityscape shots with a lot of sky in it then your camera could meter for the sky, which could make all of the buildings quite dark. If this happens, try changing the exposure compensation setting to +1.0 and see if that helps. Maybe experiment with different values and see what you like. Make sure the exposure compensation is set back to 0.0 before you move on to another scene.


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