Having your photography subjects stand in front of something interesting can help create a unique photo. Dynamic photo backgrounds are everywhere, especially in cities, which have a range of cool architectural styles and designs to feature. Here are a few ways to incorporate your city into your photographs.
Grab your camera and head to town. Locate buildings with interesting shapes and designs to use as an eye-catching background. Elements to look for include the following:
- Buildings with ornate iron gates that evoke romance and elegance. These can look great in an engagement photo or wedding shot.
- Buildings with vintage advertising that generate old-world charm. Shoot these from a distance using a wide-angle lens to capture your subjects and the signage.
- Tight alleyways with just a few feet of empty space. These alleys offer a nice scale difference between subject and background, which adds dimension to the photograph. Set your lens to focus on the subject and mute the sides and background.
- Industrial areas. Metal walls, large fans and concrete cylinders can be great background elements. Shoot these big props with your subject in front and up close to add a different dimension to the photo.
Shooting at Night
When the sun goes down, take advantage of the artificial lighting downtown. A quiet city street provides a fantastic backdrop for all sorts of photos, from portraits and group shots to moody streetscapes that will look great on your wall. Use street lights, signs and other downtown elements to illuminate your photos and subjects in cool and unusual ways.
Large bridges light up the night. Capture the beauty of the lights and the reflection on the water to make an interesting background. Your aperture should be at a wide setting, which will keep your subjects in focus and soften the background. Choose a fast shutter speed if your subject is moving, and use a tripod to keep things steady.
A gushing fountain can be a dramatic background for photos, especially at a wedding. A water background adds subtle hues of whites and light blue, and looks great in natural light. Use nearby benches or ledges as props. Take shots from a distance as well as up close: The details on many older fountains can be exquisite and worth capturing in the photo.
Seek permission from business owners if you’re taking photos on their property, and always use common sense when it comes to the suitability of photo backgrounds and the safety of your subjects. Have fun with your camera and create photos that stand out from the rest.
Share Life’s Happy,
Image source: Flickr