Top kit for ur­ban pho­tog­ra­phy

Digital Photo (UK) - - HOW TO SHOOT -

Us­ing the right kit can make a big dif­fer­ence when it comes to cap­tur­ing ci­ties like a pro, but you def­i­nitely don’t need a top of the range cam­era. While it’s nice to have one, the truth is any DSLR or CSC will do.

The most im­por­tant thing is a wide-an­gle lens. They al­low you to cap­ture much more of a scene, which is a real ben­e­fit when work­ing in tight city spa­ces, and also pro­duce a deep depth of field for front-to­back sharp­ness in your shots. For a full frame cam­era the Tok­ina 16-28mm f/2.8 lens is priced at £579 and of­fers a good fo­cal range for view­ing the city. If you’ve an Aps-c-sized sen­sor, then you’ll need a lens that matches. The Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 has a full frame equiv­a­lent fo­cal length of 15-30mm, and costs £329.

You’ll also need a solid tri­pod to keep your cam­era steady dur­ing slower ex­po­sures so you don’t ruin your images with cam­era shake, the bane of slow shut­ter speeds. A lightweight set of sticks is ideal, and car­bon fi­bre tripods of­fer the best so­lu­tion. Prices start at around £230 which may seem steep, but your back will cer­tainly thank you later on.

A tri­pod is also a must if you’re us­ing any lens fil­ters, and these are an es­sen­tial bit of kit if you want ac­cess to some truly awe­some ef­fects. With a Neu­tral Den­sity fil­ter (from £30), you can blur move­ment so much that pedestrians are in­vis­i­ble in your frame, and clouds drift to an artis­tic fuzzy smudge. With a Po­lar­is­ing fil­ter (from £40), you can con­trol glare and re­flec­tions from glass and wa­ter and si­mul­ta­ne­ously boost the blue of the sky. These ef­fects aren’t pos­si­ble to achieve in Pho­to­shop, so you need to be sure you can cap­ture them in-cam­era with fil­ters.


Lens fil­ters mod­ify the light en­ter­ing your cam­era and pro­duce highly cre­ative ef­fects.

A wide-an­gle lens is the ideal op­tic for cap­tur­ing a broad view of city scenes and ar­chi­tec­ture.

Se­lect­ing a deep depth of field is es­sen­tial when it comes to cap­tur­ing front to back de­tail in ur­ban or ar­chi­tec­tural shots.

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