This weekend I visited the city of Leuven in Belgium. Although the outer regions can come across as somewhat messy, the city centre is absolutely stunning. It still has a lot of its original landmarks.
But enough about that, we’re talking about urban photography.
Personally, I love the damaged and older buildings. Every scratch tells a story about what that house has been through. People say, if the walls could talk, imagine what stories they would tell. A house that lived through the last 5 centuries could tell the most beautiful stories. Unfortunately, walls can’t talk and we will have to use our own imagination to create a story.
Urban photography, in my humble opinion, allows people to fantasize about what happened in the image. And it is everyone’s personal perception that makes an image great. It is your job as a photographer to capture these stories in an image without explicitly telling the viewer what to see.
Apart from the message your image needs to be better than standard, you will also need to make sure that your composition is good and simple. Cities can be very chaotic. This makes your job more difficult. However, there are some tricks that help you create that shot everybody loves.
Your composition needs depth, and the easiest way to get that is by using roads. Roads disappear in the distance and the buildings around the road all point towards the horizon. This creates depth that helps you improve your composition.
However, roads can be too chaotic so be sure to find a road that is quite simple and repetitive. Another way to create simplicity is by converting your shot to black and white. Colors can distract the viewer from what is really important. Therefore, if your shot is too chaotic, try black and white. This always works for me.
As already mentioned in my post below “Golden tip for photography”, keep it simple. Try to find a small aspect of a city and zoom in. Create simplicity by focusing on one point.
This focus can be achieved by having a small aperture value or contrast between darkness and light.
In short, create a story with your image (aged buildings), use roads for your composition, when in doubt go black and white, and last but definitely not least, keep it simple.
If you want to learn more about photography, check out my courses and workshops.
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