How to shoot urban landscape

Urban landscape is taking photographs of something urban.

I find it fascinating to photograph the urban environment because to me, urban landscape offer a critique, or a reflection on society. It’s a way to capture the fake environment that humans have created.

I like to shoot urban landscape because is the best way to capture loneliness and it’s the best way to not capture those ‘decisive moments’.

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Southern Italy, 2018

I personally love empty car parks, empty shops, empty streets. It’s like the world was struck by an apocalypse and nobody is on earth, only a human being with a camera.

Shooting urban landscape is a way to capture the banality of a man-made world, I think that this is why shooting urban landscape is cool: while others are looking by capturing the extraordinary, I’m focused by capturing the banality of everyday life.

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Southern Italy, 2017

I live in a small town and sometimes there’s nothing interesting going on, there aren’t many people on the streets. I like to shoot urban landscape because I can shoot it everywhere, even if there aren’t people. 

How to shoot urban landscape

Here are my personal tips on how I shoot urban landscape:

1. Walk a lot

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Southern Italy, 2018

When it comes to shot urban landscape I walk a lot, sometimes I walk a lot around the same block to capture it from different perspectives.

By walking a lot I’m able to explore different places, I discovered many places in my town that I didn’t knew before.

Shooting urban landscape is a way to explore different city zones. I become more curious and during my walks I prefer to go without a plan in mind and follow my own curiosity.

2. Capture the feelings of buildings

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Hoyerswerda, Germany 2016

An urban landscape needs to have emotions, like a good street photograph.

I like to capture old buildings that are worn down, that are falling down and transmit sadness, desperation, loneliness and solitude.

3. Look for weather conditions

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Southern Italy, 2017

Before shooting urban landscape the first thing I do is looking at the weather conditions. Why? Different types of light can change the tones, saturation and intensity of colors in a single image.

For example: when it’s sunny at noon the colors are brilliant and strong; while during golden hour the light is soft, adds more drama with subjects with long shadows. While, when it’s cloudy the light isn’t as strong and colors aren’t brillant.

Personally I prefer to shoot while the light isn’t strong (when the sun goes down) and when it’s cloudy. In this way I’m able to transmit sadness with low saturation pictures.

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