When To Look Up & When To Look Down...
Scenery was one of the most challenging styles to learn for me. I struggled with lighting, glare, blocking, and, most of all, me not being able to focus a camera on a whole image. As time went on and I eventually was trained on how to take wide framed photographs and deal with people blocking your desired image, things got a lot better!
Scenery photography is in my eyes, purely luck. You need to be able to be somewhere at the right time, looking in the right direction to see the beauty in a hidden street or the chaos of someone hanging plants. Along with this aspect of good timing, you also need a good pair of eyes - YOU NEED TO LOOK! Whether you are going into a foreign city or on a simple walk in the woods, you need to look up, down, left, and right to find the image that you are trying to capture. Some of my more beautiful images are captures from me looking in the opposite direction of what everyone else is looking at; it may sound stupid, but you may be surprised what people fail to see.
Now that you have found your beautiful scenery, you need to know the basics for making it come to life through a lens. I urge you to not only take a picture straight on. While this angle is sufficient for getting the desired photo, it is not good for giving depth to the setting. You need to try different angles, specifically from a lower and rising viewpoint. A lower angle is when you take the photo from a crouching position, allowing you to be in the direct line of its horizon line (Shown in 2nd photo). The rising angle is more of the "looking up towards the top" method, which allows for a beautiful continuous lengthening effect to give the scenery a more grand and dramatic impact (Shown 3rd, 5th, and 9th). This angle also allows for a better blend of colors, especially for older architecture that have paler color palettes.
Along with the use of angles, the presence of greenery or other foreground objects can provide a fantastic addition to a scenic photo. As stated before, older architecture is beautiful to photograph for their color, but often these subjects need a bright, earthy tone to bring it to life. The presence of people can also be a fantastic use of color and dimension to exhibit the scale of a scenic area or building.
These are all tips to keep in mind when going out and taking pictures in cities, especially in Europe! The amount of diverse and cultural scenery made me want to cry, and I spent most of my trip, making sure I looked up, down, left, and right to not miss a thing!