Using Contrast for Better Cityscape Compositions

Last week, we showed you multiple ways to use contrast to improve your architectural images. This week, let’s talk about cityscapes! While it might not be always as obvious, you can certainly use contrast to your advantage with cityscapes too. Of course, the first option is to find a scene with dark and bright areas, like the night image below.

Another way to use high contrast is to create silhouettes, which works especially well for skylines when the sun is setting or rising behind the city.

As with architecture, you can juxtapose colors to create contrast. Complementary colors work particularly well: yellow/purple, orange/blue, red/green.

You might have noticed the color contrast first in the image below, but don’t forget the man-made vs nature element. Using landscape, including rivers, oceans, forests, mountains, is a great way to add interest to your cityscape.

To continue with thematic contrasts, the city is great to find many contrasting scenes. In the image below, the old and industrial foreground frames the modern and commercial/residential skyline.

Let’s finish with something a little more specific: stillness vs motion. Whether you use cars, moving clouds, a flowing river, you can use motion to contrast with the still buildings, as if you were showing the passing of time.

Now, it’s your turn 🙂 Go out to shoot and share your contrast images in our Facebook Group and on Instagram!



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