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Student Life

Top Tips on Becoming an Advanced Street Photographer

While walking around, we often take out our phones for a few quick snaps to capture beautiful scenes or interesting moments that please our eyes and souls. As a postgraduate student here at Newcastle University who is passionate about taking photos of streets and landscapes, I find the beauty in the city through my camera lens quite often. In today’s blog, I’ll be sharing a few of my top photography tips on how to take stunning city photos.

King’s Road, by Jackson Jean

Photography Tip One: Use the Grid

Most of us will know, using the grid on the camera screen/monitor to aid in the composition of an image. Based on the rule of thirds, placing your subject in one of the four intersections on the grid will make your photo look better, as this is where people’s focus turns to when first looking at an image.

King’s Gate, by Jackson Jean

 

Photography Tip Two: Look for Harmony

Humans always find symmetry attractive. While I was observing all those buildings and streets in the city, I would always be drawn by the symmetrical objects. The harmony of their architecture and structure helped to calm my mind. As a result, these are the perfect subjects to focus on and pay attention to while taking city photos. Also, it’s worth mentioning that shooting from an uncommon angle such as extremely low or from high up can sometimes give you surprising outcomes.

Quayside, by Jackson Jean

Photography Tip Three: Capture the Motion

Cities are often full of hustle and bustle. To present the most authentic impression of the city, it might be a good idea to capture the motion of the subject in your image. A car, a bus, a random pedestrian, or even a flying seagull (probably the most famous flying animals in Newcastle City) all work a treat. Always have your phone or camera ready while walking around and point at those moving objects. With a few snaps on the shutter, you’ll be amazed by the beautiful shots you can capture.

 

Leazes Park, by Jackson Jean

Photography Tip Four: Lighting

Another equally important tip to factor in when taking great city photos, is the use of natural light. This is essential! For most scenarios, taking pictures in the city will be carried out under natural light. Therefore, it’s important to double-check the weather for the day so you can get the best results. While different lighting can present different moods of the image, I personally preferred taking photos on a partly cloudy/mostly sunny day as it can often yield the softest light, which can make the image more balanced. To get the best lighting, try shooting during golden hour (shortly after sunrise or before sunset) on a clear day, as any photos you take during this timeframe are unlikely to look anything but amazing.

 

Grainger Street, by Jackson Jean

Photography Tip Five: Your Style Matters

With all the tips above in mind, there’s one final piece of advice that I’d like to part with. As cliche as it sounds, the best city photo will reveal the photographer’s own style, capturing and expressing your feelings to tell a story behind the image. After all, it’s your impression of the city that made that photo so beautiful and unique. Try not to add too many filters or over-colour grade your images. Just present it with the most authenticity.

St Nicholas Street, by Jackson Jean

Well, here’s the end of this blog. I hope this beginner’s photography guide helps you in capturing many wonderful moments in Newcastle City. Now, grab your camera or phone, go out and shoot!

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