What's All The Fuss About City Landscape Photos - Articles Surfing
This article attempts to open up some of the reasons city landscape photography is becoming popular and why it is that much different from normal photography. City landscape photography is indeed special but is it all that different after all? Let's go into this bit by bit and find out.
When we visit a city for the first time most of us are willing to spend a lot of money on books or postcards that contain city landscape photos. Often, just looking at city landscape photos might determine that you go and visit that city. It's obvious that city landscape photography is captivating for most of us.
City landscape photography might be also regarded as the art of 'selling' that specific place, that city, of sharing its beauty to people all around the world, of encouraging them to visit that place and (why not?) spend money there.
Making a city landscape photo is not very difficult. Of course, you need the proper equipment and you must have a clear idea of what you intend to suggest in your photo and what is it that you want to capture. You also have to choose the viewpoint; sometimes elevated viewpoints are a clear advantage in city landscape photography. You must also think about what kind of light is best in expressing your idea and how the weather should be. You might need a lot of time for taking a single excellent photo, especially if the weather is unstable, because it might be difficult to naturally obtain the best light or the proper shadows.
If you simply want to capture something that would be representative for the city, then you can just photograph the most famous places in the city, such as the London Bridge in London, the skyline in Manhattan or The Eiffel Tower in Paris. But the disadvantage in photographing these classical tourist sights is that it's almost impossible to create an original work, as there are thousands of these city landscape photos already taken.
If you intend to attract tourists with your city landscape photos, you need to cosmeticize the image (imagine Broadway with papers thrown on the ground) and present it in the desired manner: postcard, poster, exposition, etc. City landscape photography becomes an art when its purpose is not selling anything, but just showing the beauty of those places. Black and white or sepia photos are sometimes much more interesting and suggestive than the colored ones.
When you photograph a city landscape, you basically try to catch the essence of the place you're immortalizing. There are two ways to achieve this. You can photograph single buildings or large areas of buildings or you can photograph people in that city in their daily activities. The city has an important role in the development of the individuals living there, and the individuals influence different aspects of the city, in return. This is why it is interesting to capture the interaction between the city and the people living there.
City landscape photos might also have other purposes, such as a charity purpose. For instance, you can photograph homeless children in Bucharest (Romania) if you want to draw attention to the fact that they exist and should not be ignored, but indeed they should be helped to integrate into society. That's a photographic contribution.
When you choose the places you want to photograph, you must think of the significance those places have for the city inhabitants. It is not difficult to observe that places with great importance for the ones who live in the city (from cultural, historical, social or economical points of view) are also significant for tourists. If all the Parisians walk on Champs Elise, then tourists will walk on Champs Elise. Therefore it's likely, a beautiful city landscape photo of that boulevard will have the power to attract more tourists there.
Considering that 'a picture's worth a thousand words', it is obvious that city landscape photos are one of the best ways to represent a city. Is it enough to look at a city landscape photo of New York that I will then want to go and visit that city, if that's what the photographer wants me to feel? On the contrary, after seeing a carefully thought-out photo with street children in Bucharest, it is unlikely that I will have a desire to visit NY at that very point in time, but I might be impressed and saddened by that image of Bucharest and want to help them in some way. Having said that, this is not the same with all people but you will be amazed at the power a photographer can have with city landscape photo skills. Think carefully about the image before shooting away.
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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