8 Composition Tips for Cityscape Photography

Cities are synonymous with a modern, fashionable, and busy lifestyle. Photographing in the city allows a photographer to capture human beings amidst the sophisticated structures that they themselves have created. Interesting architecture, geometry, and aesthetics of the city can be very appealing subjects to photograph, too. The COOPH team, in association with photographer Niklas Nischke, presents the following 8 tips for photographing in the city:

Use the Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds can be your best friend when you’re shooting cityscapes. Compose your shots in a way that the landmarks or city structures are placed either in the right or the left third of the frame. While shooting skylines, the horizon can be placed at the top one-third portion for a pleasing look. For the sake of convenience, you can enable the rule of thirds grid in the camera to assist you with your composition.

rule of thirds in cityscapes

The horizon has been placed on the upper third of the frame.

Shoot Shadows

Shadows add an extra dimension to a photograph and also create a sense of drama. To play with shadows, try to shoot against the light for  silhouettes, look for patterns made by the shadows, and even add your subject against the shadows being created by city structures to present a sense of comparison.

shadow patterns in city

Look for Regular Patterns

Regular and repeated patterns are aesthetically pleasing subjects. Look around for repeating structures, such as doors, windows, tile patterns, or regular geometrical structures of a building for some abstract yet orderly compositions.

photographing patterns in city

Also Look for Irregular Patterns

While regular patterns are visually pleasing, irregular patterns can be very interesting too when shot up-close. Unusual and unconventional shapes and patterns can add a sense of modern styling.

photographing irregular patterns in the city

Use Negative Space

By placing the structure to one side and the sky to the other, you can add negative space to a photo. This isolates the structure and compels the viewer to pay more attention to it and also emphasizes the structure’s geometry.

negative space in photography

Use Leading Lines

Leading lines are well known in photography to drive the viewer’s eyes through the frame. Place your subject along leading lines to draw the viewer’s attention toward the subject. Like leading lines, converging lines are also effective. Be aware of your surroundings and keep your creative eyes open to find such lines.

converging lines in city photography

Find Urban Backdrops

Look out for plain and colorless buildings to be used a backdrops. They allow your subject to stand out more.

urban backdrops in city photography

Frame Within a Frame

By framing your subject within a frame, you can come up with a very pleasing shot. Place your subject within a door, window, or other structure to contain him/her in a frame and get an awesome shot. Shooting out from a tunnel can be a good idea to frame the subject approaching into the darkness.

urban frame in photography

With all those hustle and bustle that cities are recognized for, they can also present you with wonderful photography opportunities. Just don’t shut down your artistic side while shooting in such conditions.

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2 responses to “8 Composition Tips for Cityscape Photography”

  1. Ryan Chapman says:

    Your cityscape photography tips not only amazing. it’s really helpful for a pro-level photographer.

  2. Karine says:

    Congratulations ! Excellent tricks and very nice pics !!!

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