A city or town offers a photographer a plethora of potential photographic subjects, making them a great location for an afternoon, morning or even a whole weekend of photography.
To give you some inspiration next time you're out in a city with your camera, we've put together a list of 16 top photographic subjects you can find in a city / town, plus links to top tutorials that'll help you perfect your shots of them. But first, let's take a look at some of the kit you may want to consider taking next time you're off for a photography walk around a city's streets.
What Gear Will I Need?
Of course, you're going to need a camera and this can be anything from a DSLR to a smaller compact. If you're planning on taking some shots after the sun has set you may want to consider carrying a support, particularly if you're going to be capturing light streaks. Do remember that some locations, such as cathedrals and stations, won't allow you to use a support so do take this into consideration when planning your day.
ND and polarising filters don't take up too much room and could come in useful as too would a variety of lenses if you're not planning on using a compact camera. Consider taking a wide, tele-zoom and macro lens along if you have room in your camera bag for them. When it comes to bag choices, everyone is different so the best advice we can give you is take a bag that's comfortable, will hold all the kit you'll need easily and that's easy to access. Sling style bags are popular in city locations due to how easy it is to access kit without having to remove the bag but an everyday backpack, such as the Manfrotto Advanced Active Backpack II or Professional Backpack 50, will be just as fine.
What Should I Photograph?
Photo by David Burleson
Buildings, old and new, surround our streets so you can't really visit a city and not shoot some building-themed images. Click the link above for more tips on photographing architecture or visit the technique section to see the full list of architecture photography techniques we have on site.
Photo by Joshua Waller
A busy city can be the perfect location to experiment with street portraits, particularly as you can blend into the crowds and shoot from the hip to capture some interesting candids.
Famous landmarks have just one problem – they're famous which means finding a shot of them which isn't already on a thousand other cameras can be difficult but that doesn't mean it's impossible.
One of the simplest ways to change the way your city image looks is to get up high. So climb a mountain, stand on some steps or use a lift to get to the top of a tower to give your images a different perspective.
City streets are busy places with buses, cars, cyclists and more getting from A-to-B giving you ample opportunity to get creative with your transport shots.
Did you wonder how people get car lights to streak through their images? Well click the above link to find the answers.
These structures make great subjects for architectural shots but if the weather turns or you want a break from walking along the streets with your camera gear, the inside of these buildings is well worth capturing, too.
Museums are not only educational and interesting, but they offer plenty of photographic opportunities. Plus, many are free to enter which is always a bonus! Have a look around the outside of the museums too for interesting architectural shots worth capturing.
Photo by Peter Bargh
Stop looking at buildings as whole structures and focus on the small pockets of interesting patterns and shapes they're made up of.
Thanks to modern architecture that favours glass and steel over bricks and mortar cities are full of reflections which give us an alternative way to photograph the places we live in.
There are few towns and cities that do not have a station and they are fantastic places to take pictures. Interesting architecture, people to capture candids of and close-ups of interesting detail are just some of the shots you can capture around these locations.
Stairs may sound a little boring but if you start thinking about the materials they're made from and the shapes and styles that exist, you'll soon realise there's plenty of steps to keep you and your camera occupied.
Bridges come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, plus you can capture them from all angles making them a subject you can spend quite a while on.
Canals were once used to transport goods to towns and cities right across the UK and as a result there are still plenty of waterways running through our city streets. The long canals, bridges and lock gates that once supplied goods now supply ample photography opportunities and as they all have public walkways, you're not going to upset anyone if you spend an hour two with your camera at the side of one.
The green spaces found in towns and cities are a haven for many and are a great place to take your camera when you want a break from the busy streets.
Spend some time in your town and capture some interesting images of displays and signs. They'll be plenty of interesting signs, plus head back out at night and the shop fronts will have a completely different look to them.
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