Urban Life in Wide-Angle Photography

It is easy to think that taking photos of urban life is not that interesting; the dull repetition of towering structures, and symmetrical mess of traffic. These photos will easily tell you differently.

However for most photographers, it is an accomplishment to capture the hustle and bustle of city life—And one technique they use is called wide-angle photography.

If you have been experiencing issues with fitting your desired scene into one frame, or you have been stepping back as much as you could but still left with a cropped subject, then wide-angle photography is likely the answer for you. It is a technique that incorporates specially-made wide-angle lenses to capture a panoramic view without compromising on the details.

In more technical terms, wide-angle lenses have a focal length that is smaller than the focal length of a normal lens. So, you don’t have to move farther from the scene to shoot the entirety of it. Surprising, if you inch closer to the subject, the view is still kept wide enough to include the background objects, and you still get a great picture.

For photographers that wish to experiment, wide-angle lenses are also useful to create dimensional effects wherein the nearer object appears much larger than the farther one. Hence, you won’t have to rearrange the entire setting in order to create that effect.

For urban photography, wide-angle lenses are useful to defeat the dullness of repetition and create more depth to your photos. If you are interested in capturing details, then you can use normal lenses. However, the photos tend to appear more flat. In this case, wide-angle lenses create interesting perspective, adding depth, hence giving a better feel for your urban photos.

Here are some other tips to create quality urban photos using a wide-angle lens:

  1. To create perspective, use rectilinear wide-angle lenses while shooting level with the horizon, slightly skewering angle can distort the perspective effect, so be careful.
  2. You can also shoot from an aerial view at an angle to complement the effect of larger, closer objects and further ones.
  3. Use the urban scene to your advantage. By assigning electric lines, building edges, curbs, continuous street lamps, and sidewalks as your leading lines, you can convert those repetitive objects into images with depth.

Your urban photos are not only appreciated by photographers but they can also be useful as inspirational graphic designs for other artists, interior designers or gallery owners, or just people who love beautiful photography.

What are some of your tips for showcasing urban environments? Where do you inspiration for photography? Let us know in the comments below!