Pro photographers are trained to enhance their skills to shoot cityscapes and urban landscapes. That is the reason when you see those breathtaking photos of cities that make you want to jump out of the bed and buy an apartment with that beautiful view every night.

Well, that’s what excellent photography does to you. If you want to click those jaw-dropping photos with your camera and make everyone fall in love with them, you are at the right place!

Here we will discuss how to shoot cityscapes and urban landscapes and what are the tricks to those dreamy pictures rocking the internet.

Tips to Shoot Cityscapes and Urban Landscapes

Tips to Shoot Cityscapes and Urban Landscapes

Before we proceed to see how to capture cityscape or urban landscapes, let’s discuss what they are:

What Is A Cityscape (or Urban Landscape)?

A cityscape (or an urban landscape) in the world of art is a depiction of the physical features of a city, such as a drawing, painting, or photograph.

It is a widely recognized type of scenic photography and is highly popular nowadays. Have a look at the background art of Lo-fi music on YouTube, you will find a lot of music with a cityscape art in the background. Why? Because they can be soothing with all those lights filling the dark and starry night.

Because the majority of the world’s population lives in or near cities, urban landscapes provide an excellent opportunity to capture photos without needing to ride to a wonderful site.

With urban landscapes, there are numerous career options just longing to be explored in a nearby city—or perhaps even at the other side of your window.

Breathtaking Cityscape Photography

To enhance your knowledge and skills I am revealing a few tips and tricks for amazing cityscape or urban landscape photography. I’m damn sure it would lead you to become a photographer like a pro. Keep on reading!

Take A look At The Weather Outside

Do not get me wrong. I am not saying that you can shoot only in single weather, but weather reflects the mood you capture. And mood leads to represent the way you look at things!

A glimpse of a beautiful view from a window with raindrops is perfect for a cozy mood, but not for a frisky one.

The majority of outdoor photo-shoot is done with natural daylight. It does not imply that you require bright sunlight. Wet and windy nights can add depth to your photographs.

However, the view of the city you capture will be influenced by the weather. You may need to return to a site when the weather is more favorable to your desired mood.

Choose The Best Time

Photography is showing the scapes or simply the planet’s view in the shape of images captured in your camera. Keeping in mind the concept of time is the most essential factor to consider for doing a photo shoot. If you ask me, I would recommend going out shortly after the sun is down.

Time after the sun is down is widely recognized as the “blue hour” among the pro photographers, and though it’s wonderful for all types of photo shoots, it’s absolutely awesome for wide-angle city skylines.

The sky darkens and bright city lights illuminate during this time. The harmony between the sky and the city at this hour results in a perfect shot.

Again, it all depends on the type of photo you want to take and the mood you want to reflect so it’s up to your own judgment.

Reduce Camera Shake With Hands-Free Options

The best photo can be captured in highly stable settings. When photographing skylines, use a tripod as well as hands-free shutter releases.

They eliminate motion blur and produce higher resolution images. When a tripod isn’t an option, use a sock full of rice as a DIY stabilizer. Then, use your device’s self-timer or any other trigger to take the shot.

Get The Proper Lens

There are loads of camera lens options for capturing cityscapes.

Wide and ultra-wide lenses are among the most popularly used because they can involve more in the picture than any other alternative.

You can begin with 24mm, which is recognized as wide-angle and work your way down to 10mm, which is termed ultra-wide.

You can also grab the standard lenses like 35mm (which is technically a wide-angle) or 50mm. Their focal lengths closely mirror the perspective of the human eye, enabling you to shoot scenes exactly as you perceive them in reality.

Use a telephoto lens to zoom in and out of the view you want to capture for more in a single frame. There are various choices, such as 24mm.-70mm. and 70mm.-200mm.

Use A Low ISO When Possible.

A high ISO increases the brightness of a photograph, but it also creates visual noise in the picture. Taking this into account, use the lowest ISO you can.

You won’t require a high ISO if you’re mainly shooting in bright sun. But, if you’re following my advice and shoot when the sun goes down and the light fades, you’ll want to enhance the ISO to get an adequately lit pic.

Manual Focusing

Autofocus can indeed be your closest buddy during the day, but it doesn’t take long to become your enemy when taking photos of buildings at night. To avoid issues, turn it off completely and only use manual focus instead.

Consider Bracket Exposures

When photographing urban landscapes, lighting can be a challenge. It’s difficult to ascertain where to meter your exposure when there are too many light sources.

The best way to ensure proper exposure is to use a technique known as bracketing, which involves taking a series of images with differing exposures.

To use bracketing, locate the exposure compensation button on your camera (marked with a plus and minus symbol). Press it while adjusting the click wheel on the rear of your device until it’s roughly two or three stops underexposed.

You will realize you’ve done everything the correct way once the whole scene darkens as you modify. After you’ve finished adjusting, hold down the shutter. Do it all over again, gradually boosting the exposure till it’s two or three stops overexposed.

Light Trails

In your journey as a photographer, don’t forget to experiment with light trails. You can catch the light trails linked with low-light photography in the city by using a long exposure with a slow frame rate and focusing your lens on moving cars.

Cars will not be the only supply of lighting in this picture. If you delicately start moving the camera while the shutter is open, you can create light trails with the lights coming from the building in front.

Use A Large Focal Length

Creating a bokeh effect with a long focal length or even a telephoto lens can bring your buildings/street into focus while blurring the background.

When trying to shoot a skyline, this performs best if you want to place more emphasis on a specific building. Telephoto lenses will also prove useful when photographing distant objects.

Look Up

Always remember to take a glance up when you’re near high, lofty structures. Tilting the camera up can sometimes lead to a wonderful composition.

A wide-angle camera lens will help greatly again in this scenario, allowing you to fit everything in. This lens will also give the impression that the buildings are swaying, creating a majestic and vibrant image.

Include reflections

You can involve reflections to make your photos look aesthetic and to add depth to your urban landscapes.

Rivers and lakes are often the top selections because they’re so quiet and more peaceful than the ocean. You would really like to search for an untroubled area with no ripples in the water.

Capture your photograph so that the skyscrapers are in the center and the sky and water share fairly similar areas above and below.

Take Advantage Of Post-Processing

The pictures you see on the internet are not only captured but also enhanced.

The professionals use editing software such as Photoshop and Lightroom on a daily basis to enhance their photos and create amazing effects. You can also use these tools correctly to create the finest possible appearance for your audience!

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It’s A Wrap

Shooting cityscapes necessitates a great deal of exploration. It takes a lot of snaps to achieve that one fantastic shot. Don’t ever be ashamed of ‘taking too many shots’ as it will enable you to discover more about your camera and gain beneficial skills with time.


Scott McCall is a tech blogger who started his blogging career in the toughest times of his life back in 2015. Over the course of 6 years, he experienced many ups and downs and mainly focused on providing the best content for his audience. Scott is also a 50% shareholder at a corporate company named FifeMatrix. FifeMatrix is the owner of many tech blogs and Software Products.

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