Photography tips

7 Tips for Better Cityscape Photography

Cityscape Photography Tips

When you hear cityscape photography, a lot of things such as the artificial horizon, skylines, towers, and street lights come to mind. There are a lot to see and yet a lot your eyes can't see. But it doesn't matter; cityscape photography requires having all these structures in a healthy composition in your image.

If you live in a big city, you won't find it hard finding the perfect scene because once it gets dark; the artificial lights come on all over the city and create a unique opportunity for a cityscape photographer to create some stunning shots.

Are you interested in improving your cityscape photography skills? In this article, you will learn some tips that will help make you a better cityscape photographer.

Top 7 Tips To Make Your Cityscape Photography Better

1. Target To Shoot Right After the Sunset

When it comes to cityscape photography, timing is everything. If you want to get the city in colors, you must target to shoot right after the sunset. The reason for this is that once the sun goes down, the city gets illuminated.

This period which is just after the sunset or before the sunrise is known as the "Twilight" or the "Blue Hour" and it is considered the best time to shoot cityscapes. This is because the lights on towers, skylines, and other structures turn on before the sun completely goes down. This phenomenon makes it a great period to get the perfect balance of light and a great combination of tones. Your chances of getting awesome cityscape photograph are very high during this period.​

Cityscape Photography Tips

2. Use a Tripod and Remote or Timer

A tripod is a "must" for shooting cityscape during the golden hours. The stability that tripod brings will ensure that you get sharper images.

To ensure you get the right result, set your camera on a tripod and use remote shutter control to take the shot. Alternatively, if you don't have a remote control, you can set your camera to a 10-second timer so you won't have to touch the camera during the shot. This will help you achieve more stability and make your images sharp and stunning.

3. Use a Wide Angle Lens

When photographing the cityscape, the best type of lens to use is the one with focal lengths between 12-35mm. There is no strict rule for using a wide angle lens but it will guarantee better result in most cases. Using a wide angle lens will give you the opportunity to capture a nice skyline without the need to be miles outside the city. Moreover, since wide angle lens is wider than other lenses, it will allow you to include the whole skyscraper in a veridical format while standing near its base.

4. Add Fountains to Your Cityscapes

You can add another element of beauty to your image by photographing fountains within your cityscape. Fountains in cityscapes have the same effect as rivers in landscapes. Search the city for historic fountains that can add interest in your image and make it more exciting and spectacular.

Cityscape Photography Tips

5. Consider Using a Deeper Depth of Field

Deeper depths of field are more desirable when you are photographing cityscapes. It will make every details of the frame to appear in focus. When you want to use a deeper depth of field, don't forget that you will need a narrower aperture such as f/11-f/16. This will help you to create a consistently detailed image.

6. Shoot from A Vintage Points Over a Busy Intersection

If you want your cityscape photography to get better, learn to practice long exposures on busy city intersections. You have an advantage if you live in a big city, because you will know where the congested thoroughfares are located.

If you want your shot to look spectacular, you will need to see some movement, leading lines, and curves - this is the reason why you need to search for busy intersections. The idea of busy intersection is to get blurred movement - bendy roads and intersections will help you to achieve this purpose easily and make your image more interesting.

7. Consider Adding Pedestrians in the Shot

Adding pedestrians to your image can make your image look more interesting. In cities such as Toronto, New York or Tokyo, there are four-way crosswalks with pedestrians coming from all sides and cars stopping in the side of all the four intersections. This scene will make a great and interesting shot and can tell a lot of stories. It will take some learning curves, but you will be glad when you master how to do it well.

Cityscape Photography Tips


Cityscape photography is very interesting. You may struggle in the beginning because there are so many structures in the city and you may be confused on how much to add to your image. With time, you will learn about what to include and what really matters. Keep on learning and improving your skills every day.

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