Whether you're travelling the world again or exploring your city with a fresh pair of eyes, photographer Edward Barnieh shares five tips for capturing cityscapes like a pro
Honing your photography skills has never been easier or more accessible, thanks in large part to the incredible camera quality on our phones and the abundance of photo editing apps available for download.
Frame It Up
The framing of a photo is one of the most important parts of the process. Using angles that aren’t seen in everyday life can elevate even the most normal cityscape or street scene.
Use objects in the foreground to create depth in your cityscape, find a reflection or frame the shot with some leaves or bushes. If there are no foreground objects you can get creative and shoot through a fence, a hole in a bridge or make sure the edge of the window you're shooting through is in frame.
Raise the Shadows
A sunset won't pop as well if the city itself is too dark, and the landscape won't look as beautiful if the sky is blown out.
Part of the beauty of a great cityscape shot is being able to see both. I shoot with a lower exposure, and I use VSCO to lift the shadows when editing later, revealing the whole city
Remove the Clutter
Sometimes a cityscape or street scene is too cluttered, and you want to draw the viewer's eye to something specific. A lone figure, a singular boat in the ocean, or a couple holding hands can be the centre, and removing objects can really help make sure the viewer sees what you want them to see.
I use TouchRetouch, a free app, to clear all the little distractions, so the audience can focus on what really matters in a photo.
Make Colour Pop
This one is simple, but so easy to get wrong. Most people scrolling only look at each post for a few seconds, and increasing saturation (sometimes with only specific colours), can add a hyperrealistic feel to a photo.
Although some people say it’s manipulating a photo too much, I prefer to think of it as showing people everything a cityscape could be.
Go With the Grain
It may sound counterintuitive when your camera takes super sharp photos, but adding just the right amount of grain can make a photo feel more inviting and familiar.
This may hark back to nostalgic feelings of memories on film, although it can also add a cinematic quality to photos that everyone is familiar with.