Urban Landscape | Special Techniques

Urban Landscape

Final Project

I am very happy with this theme being set as our final project for photography. Urban Landscape photography is a huge interest of mine when photographing as a hobby. I like to photograph places, or views which aren’t seen as being aesthetically beautiful to most people- set myself the challenge of photographing these spaces in the way I view them, as having aesthetic purposes and attempting to beautify these quite rigid and bold spaces. For this project I have decided to make this personal, and photograph places I see within my everyday life- parts of Leeds, Kirkstall and even ones from the past in my hometown of York. Places I pass and admire every day, but many just choose to ignore- document these in a way to then finally edit them into HDR images.

HDR- I am quite sceptical of using HDR effects on these images, as from what I’ve seen I’m not too keen on the outcome of them- perhaps this is due to people over-editing the images. I tend to not edit images in my personal hobby of photography as I try to compose a shot in the way I want it to finally look. I’m quite looking forward to using HDR in my own way and perhaps toning it down a bit, but also using this look as a final piece.

Location- This was the first location I decided to visit first as I had noticed how large and imposing the wall was, and was attracted to its aesthetic qualities to the colours and tones of the stone- it’s also something I pass on every walk I make to uni. I hired a tripod out and set up my shots, started to document this wall. I found it interesting, whilst photographing it, that the sun was starting to come down and cast a shadow reflecting the nearby street light onto the wall, adding further content to my imagery. I photographed this using different shutter speeds throughout to allow certain manually controlled light in to be ready for HDR editing in the final stages. I used quite a high ISO and M settings. ContactSheet-001 ContactSheet-002 ContactSheet-003 ContactSheet-004 ContactSheet-005 ContactSheet-006 ContactSheet-007

Location- This location is also on my walk to uni, just a few minutes before the first location. I was set on photographing this as I walk under this rail bridge every day, and am interested in the garish tone of the green box and how it’s in the way, imposing. I wanted to draw attention to this object being there and make people look at it, and perhaps see it’s visual qualities. I used a tripod again, set my camera up and documented the view of this from the other side of the footbridge. Whilst taking photographs- a man stopped to ask why I was taking photos of this, and once explained he found my concepts very interesting. I used M settings and different shutter speeds again for final HDR.ContactSheet-001


Location- This location came to mind on the first shoot as it’s also in view, just a little bit further on past the first location, on my walk to uni. A big imposing red bricked housing estate with high rise tower blocks surrounding it too. I also had a tripod set up, but struggled more with these shots due to being so close to the ground and the ground being very uneven- on a slant! I initially had the image in my mind of being strong, composed and showing this huge rectangular build in all it’s glory- which in a way I still captured. Again, I M and used different shutter speeds to control light for the final stages of editing using HDR.


Location- This was probably my favourite shoot (location wise) as it’s an “urban landscape” hidden treasure! A bonus that it can be seen on my walk to uni also, just a short walk from the two locations before, near Kirkstall Fisheries. I had seen one building, which until you walk down and delve into- you don’t really see this part, it’s hidden. I used M settings again and different shutter speeds for the HDR. I enjoyed this shoot and spent about an hour photographing and exploring this fascinating urban space.


Location- This location is also in Leeds, Burley road maybe. I decided to document a wall graffiti’d which is quite typical of urban landscape photography. From this, further on the walk I documented a house on a hill in Hyde Park, with its urban decay and strong chipped paintwork. Again, different composures and M settings.


Location- This location is on my walk to work, I decided to photograph these quite ordinary looking garages and then a wall with an interesting fixture on it, as they would be good to transform with HDR into perhaps more visually interesting subjects, and also tie in with my ideas for this project. Using M and different shutter speeds again.


Location- This is a bridge in York I have past under hundreds maybe even thousands of times. Many people will just view this as a dingy tunnel, with an urban decay stamp on it. To me, this shoot was visually exciting and I spent a great time taking different aspects of this tunnel in and documenting it. Again I used M settings and different light for HDR. ContactSheet-005


Location- This last location is on my walk to work in York. It’s all on the same long country road (miles long!) Walking past a water works in Naburn (not a nice smell) and it’s strong imposing buildings and equipment.

This location is perhaps the most controversial out of them all due to the water works being seen as a menace to many of the public as it’s an eyesore to many and a nuisance with the smells! The contrast of the rough metal fencing seperates the traditional landscape of a ‘tree’ with the harsh urban landscape of the tough metal fence. I found this concept extremely interesting and concentrated on well composed shots- also the water works cylinders were really good to photograph. Again I used M settings and different shutter speeds to control the light let in for final HDR editing. ContactSheet-001ContactSheet-002ContactSheet-003ContactSheet-004



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