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16 Top Town & City Photography Ideas To Get The Mind Thinking

16 Top Town & City Photography Ideas To Get The Mind Thinking



A city or town offers a photographer a plethora of potential photographic subjects, making them a great location for an afternoon, morning or even a whole weekend of photography.

To give you some inspiration next time you’re out in a city with your camera, we’ve put together a list of 16 top photographic subjects you can find in a city / town, plus links to top tutorials that’ll help you perfect your shots of them. But first, let’s take a look at some of the kit you may want to consider taking next time you’re off for a photography walk around a city’s streets. 



What Gear Will I Need?

Telephoto Zoom Lens

Of course, you’re going to need a camera and this can be anything from a DSLR to a smaller compact. If you’re planning on taking some shots after the sun has set you may want to consider carrying a support, particularly if you’re going to be capturing light streaks. Do remember that some locations, such as cathedrals and stations, won’t allow you to use a support so do take this into consideration when planning your day.

ND and polarising filters don’t take up too much room and could come in useful as too would a variety of lenses if you’re not planning on using a compact camera. Consider taking a wide, tele-zoom and macro lens along if you have room in your camera bag for them. When it comes to bag choices, everyone is different so the best advice we can give you is take a bag that’s comfortable, will hold all the kit you’ll need easily and that’s easy to access. Sling style bags are popular in city locations due to how easy it is to access kit without having to remove the bag but an everyday backpack will be just as fine. 

What Should I Photograph? 



1. You Can’t Ignore Architecture

Buildings, old and new, surround our streets so you can’t really visit a city and not shoot some building-themed images. Click the link above for more tips on photographing architecture or visit the technique section to see the full list of architecture photography techniques we have on site. 


2. Have A Go At Street Photography

A busy city can be the perfect location to experiment with street portraits, particularly as you can blend into the crowds and shoot from the hip to capture some interesting candids.


3. Photograph A Landmark 

Famous landmarks have just one problem – they’re famous which means finding a shot of them which isn’t already on a thousand other cameras can be difficult but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. 


4. Get Up High 

One of the simplest ways to change the way your city image looks is to get up high. So climb a mountain, stand on some steps or use a lift to get to the top of a tower to give your images a different perspective. 




5. Capture Shots Of Traffic & Transport 

City streets are busy places with buses, cars, cyclists and more getting from A-to-B giving you ample opportunity to get creative with your transport shots. 


6. Get Creative And Add Some Light Trails To Your City Shots 

Did you wonder how people get car lights to streak through their images? Well click the above link to find the answers. 


7. Photograph A Church, Cathedral Or Other Place of Worship

These structures make great subjects for architectural shots but if the weather turns or you want a break from walking along the streets with your camera gear, the inside of these buildings is well worth capturing, too. 


8. Visit A Museum

Museums are not only educational and interesting, but they offer plenty of photographic opportunities. Plus, many are free to enter which is always a bonus! Have a look around the outside of the museums too for interesting architectural shots worth capturing. 


9. Search For Interesting Architectural Patterns

Stop looking at buildings as whole structures and focus on the small pockets of interesting patterns and shapes they’re made up of.


10. Capture Reflections In Buildings 

Thanks to modern architecture that favours glass and steel over bricks and mortar cities are full of reflections which give us an alternative way to photograph the places we live in.


11. Photograph A Station

There are few towns and cities that do not have a station and they are fantastic places to take pictures. Interesting architecture, people to capture candids of and close-ups of interesting detail are just some of the shots you can capture around these locations.


12. Look For Stairs And Steps 

Stairs may sound a little boring but if you start thinking about the materials they’re made from and the shapes and styles that exist, you’ll soon realise there’s plenty of steps to keep you and your camera occupied.


13. Photograph A Bridge

Bridges come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, plus you can capture them from all angles making them a subject you can spend quite a while on. 


Clock Tower


14. Spend Some Time By A Canal

Canals were once used to transport goods to towns and cities right across the UK and as a result, there are still plenty of waterways running through our city streets. The long canals, bridges and lock gates that once supplied goods now supply ample photography opportunities and as they all have public walkways, you’re not going to upset anyone if you spend an hour two with your camera at the side of one.


15. Go For A Walk In A Town / City Park 

The green spaces found in towns and cities are a haven for many and are a great place to take your camera when you want a break from the busy streets. 


16. Capture Shots Of Shop Windows & Signs

Spend some time in your town and capture some interesting images of displays and signs. They’ll be plenty of interesting signs, plus head back out at night and the shop fronts will have a completely different look to them. 

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dudler’s latest blog : thinking about it

dudler's latest blog : art, snap or reportage

Thinking about it

28 Mar 2021 10:35AM  
Views : 24
Unique : 21


Many years ago, I reported to a maths graduate from Cambridge University at work. He is one of the most straightforward people I’ve ever met, and I learned a lot from him, professionally and generally. He believed in thinking about problems, carefully, ruthlessly, and checking every fact and assumption. When I left our mutual employer, I brought home a few outdated documents he’d written, and they are models of clarity and also of intellectual honesty.

What’s this got to do with photography, you may ask. Well, it’s the fact that Mike believed that it is always possible to solve a problem by getting sufficient data about it, and thinking hard. Actually, you begin by thinking, so that you can gather data that is likely to be relevant; and later on you may conclude that you need more data before you can continue with the thinking.

So, if you want to solve a photographic problem – shall we say, decide the likely correct exposure for the moon – you start from what you know. What light source is illuminating the moon? Yes – the sun. And you already know a lot about the strength of sunlight 93 million miles from the sun. Combining this with the fact that the moon is made of rock, a first approximation for exposure would, therefore, be 1/125 second at somewhere between f/11 and f/16 at 100 ISO.

At this point, more data – try it and see what happens. In practice, you will need a shorter shutter speed with a very long lens, but you can either open the aperture or raise the ISO to compensate. And then you can fine-tune things.

How about that phenomenon called ‘rolling shutter’ that you’re supposed to get when you use an electronic shutter – the ‘silent shutter’ mode that many mirrorless cameras have. I was wondering about it as I went for my morning walk yesterday, and decided that step 1 was to get real data for myself, by taking a picture of a moving object with an electronic shutter.

So I engaged silent mode on my camera, and got the result you see at the top. Definitely noticeable distortion (this with the car moving at around 30mph, and a shutter speed of 1/400), uneven across the frame, so that a simple skew correction won’t sort it, which surprised me (anyone who can explain why, please do so!)

I wonder if turning the camera upside down would make the car lean forward in a Looney Toons sort of a way? I don’t do enough action photography to be very interested in taking this further, and shutter noise isn’t relevant to motorsport: but if I photographed wildlife, I’d be doing more experiments in very short order, and possibly queuing up for Sony’s new Alpha 1, which apparently minimises the effect, as well as offering 30fps. As one frame every couple of seconds will do for what I shoot, you can have my place in the queue.

So, if there’s a particular photographic issue worrying you, think about it. Decide whether there are any practical experiments you can carry out to get more data. And consider looking in a traditional photographic textbook, as well as on the interwebs… Or ask here at EPZ – though you’d be well advised to do as Mike would have done, and check the thinking behind anything other people tell you. Even me.


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Nearly 20% of photographers thinking of changing career, but signs of hope: survey

Nearly 20% of photographers thinking of changing career, but signs of hope: survey

2020 officially sucks. According to a survey and report by Currys PC World and Canon, nearly a fifth of photographers are considering a change of career due to their loss of income in this last year. The two companies teamed up to look back on what the year meant for the photography industry, as well as, what position it has left photographers in and what is predicted for the future. The sectors hit the hardest by a loss of income are newborn baby, family and wedding photography, with 96% of related businesses seeing a decrease in bookings over the past year, mainly as a result of the pandemic and the various lockdowns.

The report also reveals that there are over 8000 photography business in the UK, with the average salary for a UK photographer being £42,212 a year (wedding photographers charge the highest day-rate, averaging £600 for a day’s work).

Nearly 20% of photographers thinking of changing career, but signs of hope: survey 1

Wedding photographers were making good money until the ‘annus horribilis’ of 2020

The most hashtagged type of photography on Instagram is #travelphotography (133.5m), followed by #foodphotography (65.5m) and #portraitphotography (47.6m). Despite the tough times faced by many photography businesses this year, the report reckons the photographic services market is expected to recover and reach $41 billion (approximately £31 billion) in 2023.

Travel has always been a popular genre, but again, travel photography businesses were hammered in 2020. “I’m thinking of how I can expand my work and skills and diversify into other areas of photography and visual media,” says travel photographer Annapurna Mellor.

Based on Google Trends data quoted in the report, January is the most popular month that people search for a wedding photographer, but things are still very much up in the air with the virus. Vaccine roll-out or not, the market is likely to be disrupted well into next year.

It is also interesting to see food photography growing in importance. According to food photographer, Robin Goodlad, “Instagram is a great way of getting specifically targeted images to the right audiences.” He also has some interesting comments on getting started. “The beauty of photography is that you can build your portfolio as your qualification. I went down the self-taught route, but also attended some workshops in areas that were of interest and utilised the numerous online resources available today.”

Nearly 20% of photographers thinking of changing career, but signs of hope: survey 2

The popularity of the Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year competition shows this genre is growing in popularity and commercial influence. Credit: Donna Crous

As for the future, the report adds: “Pioneering mirrorless camera technology is currently big in the industry, capable of capturing images quicker and quieter than DSLRs. This said, DSLRs continue to be widely used by professionals, thanks to its a wider range of lenses and an optical viewfinder that offers clarity and lag-free viewing. Developments in photography technology are now focusing on improved video quality (6k and 8k resolution), better AI functionality, and advanced immersive 3D photography. Exciting times are about to come into frame!”

This rather sweeping statement seems a bit behind the curve – the lag on mirrorless electronic viewfinders has improved a lot , for example, as has shutter dampening on DSLRs – but the increasing video prowess of higher-end mirrorless model such as the Canon EOS R5 (below) will certainty be a big help to event photographers and portrait businesses eager to diversify their offering.  Watch out for a major feature on making photography a new year career in our January 9th issue. Subscribe here to save time and money.

Nearly 20% of photographers thinking of changing career, but signs of hope: survey 3

Further reading
Food photography projects
Telling stories with wedding photography

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dudler’s latest blog : thinking is only part of the process


Thinking is only part of the process

24 Sep 2020 6:49AM  
Views : 30
Unique : 26


It’s necessary, a precursor, but it’s not the main event…

Those two phrases came from an exchange with a photographer who had, yet again, levered a user award from my clutches. And it relates to things I’ve written about embedding the technical side of photography so deep that you don’t have to think about it much or often. It’ll just happen, and you can get on with making pictures.

Thinking matters: that’s what gets your camera set up before the shot appears, and it’s what ensures that you (usually) go prepared for what you’re going to shoot. And there may be a mental level at which your thoughts are running throughout the whole photographic process, possibly what Terry Pratchett called ‘Third Thoughts’:

“First Thoughts are the everyday thoughts. Everyone has those. Second Thoughts are the thoughts you think about the way you think. People who enjoy thinking have those. Third Thoughts are thoughts that watch the world and think all by themselves. They’re rare, and often troublesome. Listening to them is part of witchcraft.”

And it’s no coincidence that Pratchett attributed Third Thoughts to his grandmotherly, caring witches. In various crafts, they are what make the difference between competence and brilliance: ‘putting the fluence on it’ as one colleague put it. The Third Thoughts are the ones that lead you to move just that ONE leaf half an inch, introduce that weird prop, or change the lens to get that bit closer than the club judges say you should go. They are the ones that you can’t actually explain logically, but make it all perfect. And they think themselves…

Call it instinct: and don’t press most good photographers too hard, because if they have to explain it, they will construct a reverse-engineered justification that suggests they got there logically, A to B. It’s really hard to simply say ‘it felt right’, because that means they went from A to X directly, without passing Go and collecting £200.

Certainly, practice. Run scenarios. Analyse and refine.

And then… Let the magic happen.


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