5 Urban Travel Photography Tips
COVID 19! The global pandemic has paused the world for the moment. The current situation has not only halted Individuals but organizations also. The question arise whether COVID 19 has also affected photography? The answer is yes, so take advantage of this time to brush up on some urban travel photography tips.
If you are a photographer who loves taking pictures of urban sites, either for yourself or for clients like a Digital Marketing company, you must be extremely frustrated by the lockdown. But don’t be too disappointed, while you self-quarantine at home and wait for cities to reopen, you should start planning the photos you will take once the cities open again.
This article is worth reading as we provide some tips and inspirations to urban photographers to polish their skills during the lockdown. While shooting urban sites, you should not only focus on the right subject and composition. It is suggested that you should also develop your style statement as a photographer.
Let’s see these tips in detail:
Choose the Right Camera and Invest In Good Lenses
If you are a professional photographer, you know the real importance of a camera, but if you are a newbie, you should opt for a DSLR with a full-frame sensor. For urban photography, we suggest you keep a lightweight camera such as Fujifil or Sony because, at times, you have to walk for miles to shoot different buildings in the same city.
Secondly, invest in good lenses. There is no right or wrong type of lens for urban photography because it depends on your photography style. Commonly, street or urban photographers use two types of lenses most frequently; zoom lenses or prime lenses.
Both lenses have their advantages and drawbacks. Ultimately, your choice should be informed by your skill set, experience, and style of photography. If you are a beginner, we suggest that you start with a 24-70mm fixed lens as it allows you to shoot the most diverse photos. Some other lens recommendations are:
- Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM
- Samyang 85mm f/1.4 USM
- Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM ART Lens
2. Collect Information about the City
It is usually said that before you start a project, you should know all the relevant information about it. The same is the rule for urban photography. If you plan to shoot street photos in a city, you must first know about the city and its most popular photo spots.
Learn about the city’s architecture, including magnificent buildings, bridges, train tracks, and even the streets themselves. Visit an online library or talk to local photographers to learn about the city’s hidden treasures. You may also use social media to see what other urban photographers are doing in the city.
All you have to do is post hashtags on social media platforms, such as Instagram and Voila! You will get tons of photo results for inspiration. Another recommendation is to take advantage of the latest technology and your smartphone. Install Google Earth and explore the streets and desired locations of the city you intent to visit.
Besides, before you set off, always see the weather forecast. Information about sunlight and weather conditions of the destination at the time of your visit can help you get the photos that you want. Any photographer worth their salt knows what a significant difference good light can make.
3. Use Different Angles and Techniques for Clicking Photos
The same buildings can be photographed in a million ways depending on the angle and technique you use. Using a variety of techniques and shooting pictures at different angles not only diversifies your photos but also highlights your expertise as a photographer.
Low and high angles are the two categories with multiple variants. Low aspects are more appropriate when you want your subject to dominate and appear bigger than they are. Experts say that it is the most used approach in the photographer’s community. On the other hand, high angles show the subject as it appears from above; a bird’s eye view.
Similarly, different techniques can help you enhance your photos as well. A professional camera has scene modes that enable the camera to capture the constant movement in a city. You also have the Sports mode that increases the ISO and keep the shutter at high speed so that you can freeze the continual action in a busy scenario.
4. Capture the City Movement
Cities are full of life and energy, with constant movements throughout. If you are an urban photographer and have never shot the city’s movement, then your work is incomplete. So when the cities reopen, try to get in some movement photography to boost your portfolio and show your range.
Your photos should show the moving scenes, whether you are shooting long exposure photography or high shutter speeds. Movement photography is diverse; your photos can show either moving people or vehicles. They can even capture the lines and forms of stationary objects in the surroundings like tall buildings and other various urban parts.
You can also experiment with the motion blur from the settings of your camera. You can do it by setting the ‘Scene mode ‘to Panning or turn the mode dial to Shutter Priority for 1/30 second and click. The main idea behind giving you this tip is that your captured photos should depict the life and energy of a city, attract others, and let you stand out among other photographers.
5. Shoot the Unexpected
Yes, this tip is useful for you if you want to make your photography unique. Naturally, everyone captures famous urban photo sites, such as the Taj Mahal in Agra or Eifel Tower in Paris. However, photography is changing; people are more interested in looking at the hidden and indie spots of a city.
Professional photographers state that they captured most of their award-winning photos while walking randomly around the city and capturing unique moments. Visit non-touristy areas to capture rare moments and the real-life that is being lived around you.
Capture people as they interact with each other. Explore the café’s, public libraries, parks, gardens, back streets, theatres, and other exciting places to capture the unique looks most photographers often miss.
Our verdict | Urban Travel Photography Tips
There is no doubt that the global pandemic has halted the world in its tracks. While most of us are trying to make the best of the situation, some people are getting frustrated while sitting at their homes, doing nothing. But if you are smart, you would use this time to teach new skills.
Photographers who are stuck at home waiting for the cities to reopen can sharpen the skills mentioned above to shoot their best work once the quarantine is over. Carry the right yet lightweight camera and explore the back streets and non-tourist sites of the city to get the real photos.
We believe that our suggested five tips for urban photography would add to your work and develop your style. Which photography tip did you find most interesting and why?