How to capture incredible cityscapes

with our Instagram expert, Lauren Bath.

A city is the heart of a country, the epicenter of culture and usually has a tonne of potential for awesome photographs: people, places, food – you name it! 


Despite this, it is actually pretty tricky to capture an epic shot of a cityscape. 


But fear not!


Our co-founder, Instagram expert and travel photographer, Lauren Bath, shares her top tips for shooting beautiful cityscapes wherever you are in the world. 

1. Lighting

If you know anything about the wonderful Lauren Bath, you will know that her first, and main, teaching (with every facet of photography) is that *great lighting is king*.  You can find her list of the best lighting for photography here


For cityscape photography, Lauren loves to shoot at sunrise or sunset, as the sun casts hues of pink and orange across the sky. This has the effect of creating mood and interest in a shot, especially when the focus for the image is a row of buildings or a skyline from a distance. 


To shoot at sunrise or sunset, Lauren suggests using ‘bracketing’. This tool allows you to select three exposure levels. Lauren shoots on with bright, average and dark with one stop difference. You can watch Lauren’s tutorial here. 

Considered attending The Travel Bootcamp – Virtual Edition?

2. Nature in the city 

Lauren gravitates towards nature shots with her photography. So, it’s no surprise that you will often see elements of nature in her cityscapes too – and this is a huge factor in their aesthetic appeal. Lauren is a huge fan of the juxtaposition of something natural against something man made, and it gives her urban shots that extra edge. 


The first thing Lauren looks for when shooting a cityscape is a body of water. She will usually place it in the foreground, with the city behind it.



Using water adds an element of interest into the shot, but can also serve as a reflective device. We LOVE a good reflection in a still body of water.


Looks good, huh?


If you’re shooting a city without a river/ocean/lake (it happens!) then Lauren suggests you look for a park or garden and grab the shot from that perspective. You won’t be disappointed.

3. The rule of thirds

The rule of thirds dictates that every image is divided into three (both horizontally and vertically). For landscape shots, we will mostly consider the horizontal lines on your camera.


To do this, imagine that your photograph (or camera screen) is divided into three equal increments. Each increment should have a point of interest.


For example, in this epic shot, the points of interest are the river, the cityscape and the horizon – and if you look closely they are pretty evenly spaced into thirds. We don’t know why, but images taken with this rule *always* look baller. 



To measure the thirds, when using an iphone camera, you can just turn on your ‘grid’ option and place points of interest on the third lines, viola!


4. Foreground elements 

When shooting the chaos in a city, it is really effective to isolate elements or to add a subject into them. This draws focus to a single element, whilst still capturing the essence of the city. 


You can achieve this by capturing a professional with a briefcase on their way to work, or by placing an object in frame (it could be a silhouette too!). Like this 👇



Now it’s up to you. 

With these four tips under your belt you can now go forth and capture some epic cityscapes for yourself. Don’t forget to tag us, @thetravelbootcamp with your results – we would LOVE to know how you go. 

Pssst. Here’s an extra tip ‘cause you stuck around! Lauren usually uses the F11 setting on her camera, as it offers good depth of field. 

All 📷 in this post were taken by @laurenepbath.


Considered attending The Travel Bootcamp – Virtual Edition?