Photography has always been a medium to artistically express one’s emotion and state of mind. With the popularity of photo-sharing apps like Instagram and the rise of #iPhoneography, a lot of people with artistic eyes are now able to showcase their talent in ways that they couldn’t do before. And one of the most popular types of photography posted on IG, using an iPhone, is street or urban photography.
Even with its name, this type of photography doesn’t necessarily need the presence of a street in it. Alternatively, the still shot lacking the city skyline can still be categorized as urban photography as well. Street photography projects an image that has a facsimile or aesthetic human character. It could be an urban photo without people in it, but features a skyline that is full of life with its changing colors and textures. Or it can be an old, decaying building bursting with grace and character. It can also be a large group of people, minding their own business, but collectively has a certain vibe, like an urgency to go finish a phone call or cross the street.
Flawless street photography takes a lot of practice and innate talent. More than the techniques that can be learned through practice, urban photography also needs the right moment. What’s truly fascinating about it is its peculiarity. With this type of photography, a photo either works or not. It can be sharp, it can be blurry. It can be soft, it can be bright. It can include a lot of people in black and white, it can be devoid of human faces shot in vivid colors. It can be a lot of things, but only if it captures the right mood at the right moment.
The great thing is, thanks to the many digital and phone cameras out there along with the endless list of photo filters for free, practicing to capture epic urban photography is possible. The operative word here is practice. If you’re a newbie, start with the basics – like, literally, the street, the people, and the rising sun. From there, take it to the next level. Capture a moment amidst the hustle and bustle of the city. Leave the mainstream area to new subjects. Remember, it doesn’t always have to have smiling people in it.
To help you understand the “mood” I’ve talked about, here are 30 examples of the most beautiful urban photography online.