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Urban landscape photography advice

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Category: Landscape and Travel

Urban landscapes - If you don't live near the coast or countryside don't worry! You can still shoot landscapes.

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Unless you're very lucky your town or city wont have waterfalls, trees and mountains but that doesn't mean you can't head there for some landscape photography.

Your DSLR and a wide angle and zoom lens are fine for urban landscapes Just bear in mind that if you tilt the wide-angle lens up to include the tops of the buildings you'll get converging verticals. If you have one, take along a tilt-and-shift lens as they will let you eliminate converging verticals.  Such lenses are expensive, though, so there are not that many around. To a degree converging vertical can be corrected using the Transform Tool in Photoshop. If it's a sunny day a polarising filter will help with reflections and darken the sky. Try carrying a sling bag for easy access and you may find a tripod useful for low light interiors but a lightweight monopod or travel pod are easier to handle.

Clarence Dock
Photo by ade_mcfade.
It's obvious but important to say that research can create a cracking shot. Try heading out at different times of day and really search out angles not popular with other photographers.

Early morning will give you a soft diffused light and there's also the bonus of clean (hopefully!) streets and scenes free of people.

If you head out an hour or two before sunset and keep an eye on your exposures you'll be able to capture interesting shapes and textures with the strong lines of buildings in the orange light of a setting sun and create striking images. Look for contrast and photograph the different architectural styles, colours and textures you find in the city – smooth modern glass next to a building site full of strong steel lines works particularly well.

Change your perspective and get off ground level - try standing on a bridge and shooting down for example. Try gaining a higher vantage point by using a multi-storey car park - just watch out for traffic.

You don't just have to focus on complete buildings either. Construction sites can be full of interesting objects and you could even turn it into some sort of photographic project if you focus on one site.

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