The field of photography is varied and dynamic. Moreover, you need to acknowledge the fact that some areas are challenging even for the most skillful and experienced photographers.
Cityscape photography is one of those challenging areas that most people try to venture into since this type of photography is considered to be unique.
How does One Capture High-Quality Cityscape Photos?
If you want to capture amazing cityscape photos, it helps if you use a quality camera, such as the micro four-thirds camera system.
That is because, with micro four-thirds cameras, you will have more control over the shutter speed and the aperture than a point and shoot or phone camera.
Read these effective tips on how to capture high-quality cityscape photos using micro four-thirds.
How to Capture Cityscape Photos using Micro Four Thirds
Get Rid of Anything that Distracts You
To take a cityscape photo, you must, first of all, eliminate anything that distracts you. The only way to capture a clear image is if you are focused on the image.
Because of this reason, professional photographers search for a convenient place where they can set up their equipment and take their time to capture photos without being distracted.
Therefore, it is advisable that you do the same and find a suitable place where you can focus on your cityscape scenery.
Some of the places that are commonly preferred by experienced photographers are bridges and high places.
Consider the Lighting
To capture an impressive image, you must make sure that you have enough lighting to capture every single detail.
What this means is that the degree of impact that outdoor photography has on the viewer usually relies on the amount of light that is available, and how it’s utilized.
If the conditions are not right, then it would be difficult to capture outstanding cityscape photos.
However, other conditions are known to add extra dimensions to photos such as stormy skies and even mist.
You can also decide to capture a cityscape photo during the day when there is plenty of sunshine.
That is because the sun provides the right amount of lighting to capture all the details. But you need to be careful of the harshness in contrast between shadow and light.
It is also advisable that you make sure that the sun is behind you when taking a cityscape photo.
That is because geometric shapes such as buildings can appear featureless and dark if you are taking this particular photo while facing directly into the sun.
Take the Photo from a High Location
You can make your cityscape photo look unique by capturing the image from a different angle rather than the street level, which is a more common angle for everyone due to its convenience.
Because of this reason, it is advisable that you look for a high place. Taking a cityscape photo from a high location comes with two advantages.
One is that this option maximizes lighting and the other is that it minimizes the crowd.
Use a Wide Angle Lens to Capture the Entire Skyline
The benefit of using micro four-thirds is it gives you the option of choosing a variety of lenses. When it comes to capturing cityscape photos, it is advisable that you use one of micro 4/3’s wide-angle lenses.
That is because this particular lens will capture the entire skyline without missing any detail.
Make sure that the focal lengths are between 7 and 14mm so that it can be much easier for you to take a dramatic wide-angle shot.
Use Graduated ND Filters
According to most professional photographers, the biggest challenge that they face when taking cityscape photos is being able to control the light that appears in the image.
This usually happens on a sunny day when the sun is either in the front or to the side of you.
When trying to capture the cityscape image in such conditions, you will notice that the sky tends to be too bright, while the foreground turns out to be too dark.
However, with the help of neutral density filters, you can easily solve such a problem. The filters allow you to darken one section of the photo without modifying the other section.
You should easily be able to balance and expose both highlights, which are the sky and foreground.
Consider the Sensor Size
Keep in mind the fact that crop factor is not the same for micro four-thirds photography or full-frame cameras. That is because micro four-thirds sensors are smaller (4x) compared to that of full-frame cameras.
This means that the crop factor for micro four-thirds is twice that of full-frame. This comes with advantages and disadvantages.
The advantages are smaller cheaper lenses, twice the depth of field at any given aperture, and better IBIS (In Body Image Stabilization).
The disadvantages are less resolution (except for high-res mode) and not being able to get as shallow depth of field as a full-frame.
In cityscape photography, the disadvantages are irrelevant and the much more superior IBIS allows you to hand-hold at very low shutter speeds without the need for a tripod.
Try to Zoom In
Even though most photographers get tempted to take a wide-angle photo, especially when capturing images of the city, you can try to zoom in if you want a specific detail to stand out.
You can zoom in more or less, depending on the subject you are focused on as well as the scene. You might also want to try the telephoto lens, which helps create abstract images when zooming closely on one particular scene.
Take Your Time and Plan for Each Shot
An experienced photographer also plans in advance to take the perfect shot.
That means you need to check whether the conditions are suitable for your shot and make sure that you are equipped with proper camera gear.
Accurate shots are not taken out of luck, but with correct planning.
Especially when taking cityscape photos, it is advisable that you try out different camera gear, and take shots from different locations, for you to achieve that perfect shot.
Take Advantage of a Polarizer
When taking a cityscape shot during the day, you can improve the quality of your image by using a polarizer filter.
Adding a polarizer filter to your lens enhances the appearance of your subject by preventing reflective glass light from appearing in your image.
This is also very useful when taking long-distance shots and shooting in humid locations.
Use Tripods or Similar Items to Prevent Blur
Getting a high-quality photo when holding the camera with your hands is not easy. That is why professional photographers use tripods to prevent blur and any kind of tension that the hands may have.
Beware of the fact that you might not be allowed to travel with tripods in most cities.
That is because such equipment is considered to be for professional work and therefore you might be charged a production fee or a permit fee.
If you do not have permission to carry a tripod to your desired destination to take a cityscape photo, you can always get creative and look for an item that can work the same as a tripod.
You can use things such as benches, tables, and even pillars. But, again, the beauty of the micro four-thirds system is its stellar IBIS and lightness, so using a tripod can more than often be forsaken.
Countercheck your Equipment
Even though you do not need a lot of equipment when it comes to cityscape photography, it is essential that you countercheck your equipment when heading out for your photoshoot.
If you want to capture the cityscape landscape, make sure that you carry a wide-angle lens.
If you plan to take the shot from a long distance, then you might want to pack a telephoto lens as well so that it can be easy for you to zoom in when necessary.
A tripod is also advisable so that you do not have to worry about slow shutter speeds and camera shake when taking after-hours cityscape photography.
Cityscape photography is not as challenging as most people might think. With the right equipment and planning, you can easily become a professional at taking cityscape photos.
If you are interested in this type of photography, then you may want to check out these articles on abstract photography, fashion photography, street photography, wildlife photography and landscape photography.