Tips for Taking Great Cityscape Images

Cities are not only home to many people’s residences, businesses and offices – they are also full of energy, power and vitality. While you would think that shooting buildings of concrete and steel is not glamorous or interesting, cityscape photography holds exciting and adventurous possibilities.

 

  1. Choosing an Interesting Subject

    Make sure you have an interesting subject for the photo, either in the middle section of the photo or in the foreground.

    Indianapolis at night | Indy Architecture | Indiana Architectural Photography

    In Between the Twins

    If you've never tried shooting Nightscapes and would like to learn how, then read my article 5 Reasons to Start Shooting Night Photography | Nightscapes.

  2. Have a Mix of Foreground & Background

    Ensure that you have a good mix of interesting foreground and background areas in the entire photo. Using a puddle or other surface to reflect your subject will add drama to your image. For more on reflections check out my post Photographing Reflections

    Indy architecture | Indianapolis architecture | Indianapolis sunrise | cityscapes | Indianapolis | long exposure | image by Indianapolis architectural photographer Jason Humbracht

    Dawn Reflections

    I share 10 helpful tips on how to make beautiful and impressive photos of architecture in my article 10 Helpful Tips for Striking Architectural Photography.

  3. Use a Tripod

    Before taking the photo make sure that you use a level tripod so that the horizon is straight. Even though you can fix this later in photoshop it is easier to do it right in the first place to save yourself the hassle.  

    Indianapolis at night | Indianapolis skyline reflection | Indianapolis skyline | Indianapolis skyline at night | Indianapolis architectural photography | Indianapolis architectural photographer | Indiana architectural photography | Indiana architectural photographer

    Urban Tree Lines

  4. Choose the Right Time of Day

    Try to take photos as early or as late as possible in the day, as these times generally give the best light and produce more shadows and detail on your photos. 

    Indianapolis Canal | Indiana State Museum | Indianapolis Sunrise | Indiana Architectural Photography

    Taking the Blue Line to Indy

  5. Use the Correct Exposure

    When setting the exposure for a photo make sure the reading is taken on the brightest part of the photo so that there is no overexposure.  

    Indiana Architectural Photography | Indiana Real Estate Photography

    Into Eskenazi

  6. Use a Timer or Remote

    Always use a timer or remote control to take the photo so that there is not any camera shake caused by you when you depress the shutter button.  

    Cincinnati Skyline | Devou Park | John A. Roebling Bridge | Ohio River | Image by Indiana Architectural Photographer Jason Humbracht

    Welcome to Cincinnati

  7. Use a Wide-Angle Lens

    In order to get crisp results from your SLR camera invest in or rent a good quality lens. They may be expensive but it will be well worth the money in the cityscape arena. 

    For tips on shooting with a wide-angle lens, go to my post Wide Angle Photography Tips.

    IUPUI | Indianapolis Architecture | Indiana Architectural Photographer

    The Aftermath

By using all of the above tips you are sure to see a noticeable improvement in any photo that you take of city buildings or skylines. Not only will your cityscapes be clearer and well defined, but they will also have a wide spectrum of color and light, which is the sign of a great photo.

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