City Photography Techniques for Various Times of Day

Photographer Mike Palmer was born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. For years he’s been photographing the street of his hometown, and he’s always able to find something new. In the first episode of the new web series, Roaming Focus, Palmer takes to the streets (and the sky) to photograph Toronto from sunup to sundown:

Palmer captures some amazing images of Toronto, and he does it all in one day. But how is he able to do this?

  • He Explores the City – Palmer knows the ins and outs of the city. He’s walked down the streets many times and knows where he can find certain subjects. But more than just walking up and down the same sidewalk everyday, Palmer explores his city and looks for new things.
  • He Shoots at Different Times of the Day – This is a big one. The lighting in any place can change dramatically over the course of one day. We usually go outside mid-day where the light is overhead and doesn’t offer a very flattering look. But during the sunrise and sunset, a scene can have a much more dramatic look.
  • He’s Friendly – Notice how Palmer talks to the people around him and the people he photographs. When the barber comes out to chat with him, he creates a conversation and is invited in to take photos inside, an opportunity that may have never happened had he been dismissive when the barber approached him.
  • He Knows a Guy with a Helicopter – Okay, so maybe we don’t all have access to a helicopter. But that doesn’t mean you can’t create great images. Look for the opportunities that are around you rather than the ones you wish you had.
toronto canada photography aerial view skyline

You may not have access to a helicopter, but that doesn’t mean you can’t explore your city

For further training: The Essential Guide to Cityscape Photography

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