Taking Great Photos When Visiting New Cities

If you love traveling and exploring new cities, you will probably also enjoy documenting these trips with photographs. There is so much to document, from the architecture to the shops and parks, that cities can offer you the chance to take a range of amazing photographs. It can sometimes be overwhelming to decide what to focus on with your photography. Whether you want to take cityscape and skyline photographs or spend time focusing more on the details, there will be many opportunities for you to take brilliant pictures.

Below are some tips that will help you to decide what to take photos of and how to improve the quality of your photographs:


Set out early

If you are in a tourist area, the odds are that it will get very busy quickly. If you want to take pictures without people in the shot, the earlier you can get there, the better. It will ensure that you can get some great photographs before big crowds start to gather. 

If there are a lot of people around, there are ways that they can be incorporated into your images. If you slow down the shutter speed on your camera, it will make the people passing by into a blur which will make your photos artsier, and ensure that the thing that you want to take a picture of is the main focus. 

Stay alert

When you are in a new city, it is likely that you won’t know which areas you should avoid. Even if the area seems nice, it could be a hub of criminal activity. It can be better not to go out on your own, and if you don’t need to bring lots of equipment with you, stick to minimal equipment. Using a smaller camera doesn’t necessarily mean that the quality of your photos will be worse, but it makes you less of a target, so you will be safer.


The great thing about being in a new place is that you don’t know exactly what it has to offer. This means that you can encourage yourself to experiment more with the types of photos that you take. Don’t just stick to what you can find at eye level; look up and down, and try to find interesting architecture or situations that you can take advantage of. You may also experiment with angles and find symmetry and details that others may not notice. You might be able to make something that is seemingly normal, into something much more special.



When you are visiting new cities, you will likely visit landmarks that the city is famous for. These landmarks could include churches, monuments or natural phenomena like Iceland’s Northern Lights. Often to capture the landmark fully, you need to use a wide-angle lens so you can see the whole thing. When you take a picture of a landmark, try to get a good distance between it and you, so that you can take the best image possible, without cutting any of it off, blocking it, or distorting it.

Look for reflections

A great way to get a different image or perspective of a city is to look for reflections and photograph them. You might be able to find reflections in windows, water, the bonnet of a car, mirrors, or any other shiny surface. It can give a new look to something that is photographed regularly for a unique perspective.

Not only is it a unique way to take pictures of famous landmarks, but it is also a great way to take photos of interesting patterns and images, especially if multiple reflective surfaces create a mesmerizing effect. 


A popular image to take when you are visiting a city is a cityscape. This shows the vastness of the city against the skyline to create a breathtaking image. To take a good cityscape image, you need to find a great location such as high up on a viewing platform or at a rooftop bar or restaurant. Places like these will offer you a great view of the city and give you the chance to take some great pictures. 

Wide-angle shots can look breathtaking, but it is also worth zooming in to get some close-ups of the city. With this method, you will be able to focus on some of the more interesting buildings.


Pick something to focus on

If you are trying to develop your photography skills, it could be a good idea to pick something to focus on shooting during your trip. Having a specific focus can help you to think more outside the box and get creative. You could choose a color to focus on, decide to find interesting patterns, or even try to focus more on night photography. Whatever you choose will help you create a unique perspective with your images while also allowing you to develop your photography skills.


Instead of focusing on the details of a building, you can focus more on its shape. By photographing a building or a landmark against a bright sky, you can focus on the shape of the building itself and create a silhouette. It can make a particularly interesting photo because of the contrast between the dark and the light.


When photographing, you don’t have to focus entirely on objects and buildings; people are also a great subject. It can feel awkward taking candid photographs of people, but you may be able to capture images that tell a great story. If you feel nervous about photographing people, you could begin with people on public transport or people in more touristy areas. It can help to use a smaller camera because it is more likely to go unnoticed, and you can have a go at shooting from the hip to see what kind of results you get. 


Signs and shop windows

By shooting shop windows and signs, you can get some fascinating images. It can give you a different perspective into the city, and help you focus on details. It is also a great thing to do during both the day and night time because the image they produce can look completely different.

Backup your photos

If you are visiting somewhere for a number of days, it can be a good idea to back up your photographs onto your laptop when you get back to where you are staying. If you are transferring photos from a memory card to your computer, it is pretty simple. However, if you are taking pictures on your phone, you might have to look up how to transfer photos from iphone to mac. Not only will it make sure that you don’t lose any photos, but it will also ensure that you don’t run out of memory when you are exploring.


When you are editing your photos, you may be able to experiment and change the feel of the image. You could make the focus of your image stand out more, or make the colors pop a lot more. You could even try different filters such as black and white, which can give your photo more of an impact.

There is no right or wrong way to photograph. It is all about experimenting, finding your own style, and feeling confident enough to get creative. Just because you are in a new city, doesn’t mean that you have to focus on getting classic shots of landmarks and the surrounding area. Shoot things that you like the look of, and that have made your experience unique to you.

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