Tips for Amazing Urban Photography with iPhone

Urban Photography is a genre of photography concerned with the representation of urban spaces and those who are living, working and moving through such spaces.

Simply, It is all about taking pictures of streets, buildings, monuments, people, etc around you.


Is Urban Photography interesting?

Taking picture of a building sounds dull at first but believe me once you get into Urban Photography everything around your city starts being interesting and tells a unique story of its own. Your perspective towards general components which combine together to form an urban space will change completely. 

This genre of photography is not just about capturing the urban spaces. It is all about how you represent the space and what kind of story is reflected through your photo.


Is Urban Photography possible with iPhone?

Yes, your iPhone will be a great device for Urban Photography and it is 100% possible to capture amazing urban photos with your iPhone. Because iPhones these days are packed with advanced imaging technologies and astonishing camera features.

How can we capture amazing Urban spaces?

Urban Photography is one of the most important genre of Photography. So, some of the techniques and tips for capturing great pictures to fill up the Urban Photography category of your portfolio are listed and discussed below.

1. Explore the city and find beautiful urban subjects

Zebra crossing in city representing urban photography

When you are all set to go out for urban photography then don’t stick to any of the plans. In fact, don’t make any plans at all, just head out to the nearest urban space and start shooting.

It is not about shooting extraordinarily beautiful city, it’s about finding amazing elements of your own city.

Don’t stick to one place trying to get perfect shot. You should explore every space of the city because you will get something unique and more interesting subject than the previous one. Never ignore any thing as beauty lies in small items such as shadows on a wall or any kind of traffic signs.           

2. Don't stick straight to eye level

A monument shot from low angle

We are used to seeing any thing from our eye level. Any shot taken straight from the eye leven seems ordinary but if the same shot is takes from really low angle or from a sufficient height then something magical happens to the photo. The normal and usual building seems really beautiful and extraordinary.

Always try to find unique angles while doing urban photography. Once you start shooting from unique angles then the perception towards the subject will be complete different    

3. Master your composition using lines and shapes

Apartment with square windows for urban photography composition

Urban spaces are full of lines and shapes such as square windows, spiral ladders or circular wheels. You must try finding such shapes and use these lines and shapes to compose your photo.

Try to isolate a single shape in the entire frame. For example, In the above photo square windows are isolated for the composition. Isolating a single shape in the entire frame will give  clean and stunning look to your photo. 

4. Use Burst mode for higher shutter speed

A lady passing through a monument

Urban Photography also includes the lives living in the city and and moving through it.

While capturing a person walking or moving through pathways, any kind of motion blur might ruin your shot or the desired frame. High shutter speed is required to freeze the frame while the subject is in motion. This is where the Burst mode shines.

You can use Burst mode on the camera app of your iPhone. Burst mode is an incredible camera feature that allows you to capture over 10 photos every second. This will be perfect for capturing people moving through the urban space.

5. Play with Negative Space

White sky beside a building

Negative space is the part of the photo which includes nothing at all generally just white or blue sky without clouds.

Photographers generally avoid it in photography but it will create great composition in case of Urban photography. Negative space will help you balance your photo by combining the chaotic urban space with emptiness.

This prevents your photo from being too chaotic and messed up. It will help you create a peaceful effect in your composition and lets your major subject to stand out properly.

6. Reflections never fails in Urban Photography

Reflection of a narrow path in water,urban photography

Reflections will always work excellent in Urban photography. Nothing looks more beautiful that crystal clear reflection of your city.

Try to find the spots with still water such as ditches or potholes filled with water. The city through the reflection will look great and it will be easier to get good lighting condition in the reflection than shooting directly.

You can also create your own surface to reflect by spilling a bottle or half water on roads or any other smooth surfaces but make sure no one should get affected by spilling the water.

7. Experiment with shutter speed for light tails

Light painting of vehicles in highway

Long exposure simply means long duration shutter speed to sharply capture the stationary elements blurring the moving elements. Light tails as shown in the above picture never fails to amaze people and such effect can be captured using long exposure.

You can capture long exposure in the stock camera app in iPhone 11 and above using the night mod option. You can slow down your shutter speed upto 30 seconds depending on the lighting conditions. And if you have other iPhones then there is nothing to worry about because you can use some excellent third party apps like Slow shutter cam, Camera +,etc.

You might require a tripod while shooting long exposures and light tails and to know more about tripods you can check our post on  Best Tripod for iPhone.      

Make sure you check out Best Gimbal for iPhone to learn further about the best iPhone gimbals and extend your passion for iPhone cinematography.

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