Urban & Architecture Photography

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Posts tagged Scouting
Architecture and reflections in Glasgow's financial district

I feel I am finally getting to grips with my transition from my Nikon d7100 to my mirrorless Fujifilm xt2 and decided to take a walk to the financial district in the city centre of Glasgow.  There are some pretty modern buildings in this area, however, most are probably between twenty and thirty years old and there are no such things as a sky scraper (New York or London it is not!) but it is definitely checking out this area.

It is always worth shooting the reflections and exteriors of these buildings.  The lines, shapes, and reflections on these buildings can make for some interesting images and the area is well worth checking out.

The solid lines sit in contrast to the reflections on the glass

The solid lines sit in contrast to the reflections on the glass

A new perspective: shooting square format photographs on the Fujifilm x-t2

One of my favourite functions on the Fujifilm x-t2 is the ability to change image size on the fly.  In most circumstances I shoot the standard 3:2 ratio but the ability to quickly jump between 3:2, 16:9 and 1:1 is a great little function.

Skateboard Shop Glasgow.jpg

I decided to get out and test myself by using only the square format (1:1) setting on my x-t2 and see what images I could come up with.  Forcing myself to shoot in this way is a great way to keep the creative juices flowing - by sticking to one crop ratio it challenges me to find new shapes and compositions that I would never look for if I stuck to the default 3:2 crop.

abandoned building in Glasgow with tree

The images above were shot using the 1:1 square format - I have actually set up a shortcut in my Q (quick menu) button meaning I can flick between these ratios while I’m preparing a shot, then flick back to 3:2 when I 'm done.  In recent months I have found myself cropping a lot of images to 5:4 format in Lightroom so if Fujifilm could furnish their next firmware update with a 5:4 crop that would make me a very happy man.  I am sure you will notice a lot more square format images as I continue to get to experiment.

vintage camera lense Helios 44-2

What do you think, do you use these crop sizes or challenge yourself in a similar way?  Leave your comments below.

Street Art Photography in Glasgow's South Side

I don't often venture to the Southside of the city but I decided to take a wander down Tradeston way, just across the Clyde.  For urban and urbex photographers there i=are some great locations on offer.

Much of the area runs parallel to the rail line which runs in to Central Station and there are many derelict buildings adorned in some fantastic graffiti.  There are also many small businesses which occupy the 'arches' which lie under the rail line.  It's pretty easy to saunter around this area as there are lots of opportunities for photographs.

Urban photography with the Huawei P20

Every time a new smartphone is released it is inevitable there is going to be some sort of hullaballoo about the quality of camera attached to it.  I recently bought the new Huawei P20, not the top of the range three lensed P20 Pro, but it’s slightly cheaper, two lensed sibling.

Taken in HDR mode

Taken in HDR mode

We’ve all seen the marketing, the inevitable iPhone shot cover – funnily enough forgetting to mention the highly skilled photographer, the impeccable studio space, the photographers assistants and the thousand pounds of lighting – apparently it’s just the phone that does the work, but there you go.

All that being said, I wanted to try out the Huawei P20 for myself and see how it measured up for use for scouting my urban / architectural style shots.  So I thought I would give it a try on one of many aimless ambles.  Maybe this will be better option for me than a dslr with a 50mm I normally use when scouting locations?  

Taken in Pro mode

Taken in Pro mode

It is amazing how different the experience is using a smartphone compared to using my traditional styled cameras.  There is no denying the convenience factor but I still find handling a bit fiddly when photographing with a smartphone.

On the plus side smartphone design but default nudges you towards framing vertically instead of horizontally, so it is good to see things a bit differently.  It can be all too easy to fall in to habit of landscape framing when using a dslr or mirrorless camera.

Taken in HDR mode

Taken in HDR mode

So is it better than my previous option of scouting possible locations with my dslr and a 50mm lens?  Well, yes and no.  It is definitely much more convenient and being able to whip out a smartphone to take images in situations where using a camera would be frowned at is a definite plus.  Focussing is pretty quick and the Pro mode allows shooting in RAW (although, for my needs I am not sure how I often I will need/use this.  Time will tell).   Also, having the extra width (the lens on the Huawei is 27mm focal length) is useful for urban and architecture scouting.  The only downside is that smartphones (for me) are still a bit fiddly to use and can take a good while to set up to what I want in a given situation when using any of the advanced modes– perhaps I just need to use the phone more often?

What do you think?  How often do use your phone to photograph?  Do you find it a useful too?  Feel free to comment below.