Creating Unique Images In Environments I Typically Avoid

My photography typically focuses on nature, wildlife, and animals. On specific occasions like sports events I photograph people. Probably the least often subject I photograph would be any type of cityscapes.

I love seeing beautiful photography of cities. Skylines of cities can be majestic. Photography of life unfolding in the concrete jungle can be inspiring.

For me cities simply don’t inspire me to get my camera out, most of the time. I will leave this work to those who can do it better. Those who can make me enjoy looking at a city more than I do through my own eyes.

2019 Corning Parade of Lights in front of Vitrix Hot Glass Studio on Market Street.

What I do like about photographing cities is that it often requires me to stretch and potentially learn new things. Because, it is not something I often photograph it does not come natural for me. I need to think about what I want to do in photographing a city. And then I have to think about how to achieve the result I want.

Because, I do not find a lot of innate inspiration in cities for my photography, I try to find a more creative side to photographs of cities if I am going to create any.

Traffic flows across the Madison Street bridge in Elmira, NY.

Reasons to photograph cities

If I am setting out to photograph a city it is likely for a specific reason. I will venture into town for some photography if there is an event I am interested in taking place. Seeing community come together in a town or city is something that brings me hope for our world. So, I enjoy photographing events that bring people together. Holidays are also a great reason to venture into town for some photography. Cities often dress themselves up in their best for holiday seasons and it can make for more interesting photos.

For whatever it is that has drawn me into the city for photography there are certain things that I am looking for in my photos. I love art in all its forms. So, if I can find a way to incorporate a public work of art into any photography in a city I am creating I will try to do that. What I really enjoy photographing in a city is light. And a city and night is one of the best places to find light. Long exposures of moving light during the sunless hours that fall on a city provide opportunities for creative photography.

Artwork in creation on Main Street during the Elmira Street Painting Festival.

Unique images

Light in motion throughout a city can create once in a lifetime images. Different combinations of light and shutter speeds will render each image unique and irreproducible in a natural course of photography. Stand on a city street in the dark and photograph the cars as they drive by. Each image will have unique features.

Fortunately Events, Holidays, Art, Lights, and Creativity are also quit literally part of the same picture when venturing into a city for some photography.

My most frequently selling stock photo, by far, is of a Christmas scene in a city. A feet I cannot even come close to replicating in any of my photography that I would consider more to my personal style and liking.

Christmas season in New York City.

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