Think ‘summer landscapes’ and you probably see a blue sky, fields of green and distant hills. But that is only the half of it. You can shoot stunning landscapes in towns and cities, too – and for many people the subject is a lot closer to home and more interesting.
In a city, it is often difficult to get far enough back from the subject – buildings get in the way. So urban photographs often concentrate on the smaller parts of a scene, looking for the shapes, patterns and contrasts that make up a city.
This tutorial concentrates on:
• The right time of day
• Time lapse movies
• Different views
• Removing distractions
• Monochrome images
• Lenses and tripods
Time of day
The usual advice for landscape photographers is to shoot in the early morning or early evening when the sun is low in the sky. Urban landscape photographers have more flexibility – depending on the subject you can shoot at almost any time of the day or night.
However, early morning is still one of the best times. The low sun has a golden glow that adds warmth to brick and stone. It also gives a pleasing reflected light. Including the sun in the photograph, perhaps between a couple of tall buildings, can be effective.
As the day progresses and the sun rises in the sky, shadows shift across the subject creating interesting patterns of light and shade. If you have the opportunity, take a sequence of images from the same camera position at intervals during the day – this is easiest to do if you have access to an office or house overlooking an urban scene. Shoot from early morning to late evening. The resulting pictures will show the change in light during the day. This can be dramatic, especially if the scene is illuminated at night and you continue shooting into the late hours.