Cityscape Photography

So I thought I would start looking at some new shooting styles by taking online classes. To begin, I started with this class from Skillshare on Cityscape Photography. In it, the instructor goes out into the Financial District of New York to take three styles of shots:

  1. Symmetry
  2. The Look-Up
  3. The Stride-By

Afterwards I grabbed my camera and wandered the streets of Montpellier to try to capture at least one of each style.


Probably the most self-explanatory, but essentially shots that have (usually left-right vertical) symmetry to them. Sometimes the shots can be perfectly symmetrical, but often times the background is symmetrical but the subjects in the setting offset the symmetry.

For example, I came across this alley with semi-symmetrical scooters and snapped the shot when there was one, off-center guy with his bike.

The Look-Up

Again fairly obvious, but this is one that works better in cities with large skyscrapers. The idea is to not forget to look up and use the massive buildings to convey strong, contrasting lines against the backdrop of the sky. As most of the buildings in Montpellier max out at about five stories and I only had my 35mm lens, the idea didn’t quite work out as planned.

However, as my Dad once remarked when we were wandering around the Louvre: if what you see around you is super impressive, don’t forget to look up. Because there is usually something equally cool above you that everyone else is missing. So in that spirit, I snapped a quick photo underneath our Arc de Triumph.

The Stride-By

This is the style of ‘photographer shot’ where you have an interesting backdrop and wait for an equally interesting subject to walk in front. Ideally, you have an interesting comparison between the two. I captured a little of that style in the symmetry photo with the guy and his bike, but thought I would try some more. Found this spot that I thought gave a cool depth of field, but in the end I think the subject looks smaller than I would have liked.

I’m still posting unedited photos at this point, so they will improve in that regard later in the month. And I recognize that the composition isn’t at professional level yet. But it has been fun embracing creative constraints. Next time I’ll try to shed some timidity and embrace the self portrait!

12 February, 2020
13 February, 2020

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