City Landscapes: Talking About Cityscapes in Photographs

What is a city landscape?

For the government is understood as urban landscape, a landscape in which the natural landscape has almost completely been replaced by buildings, roads and landscaped green/water.

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Other people and institutions talk about "by man designed landscape". But basically, there are almost no original forests anymore around the world so that would mean that everything is urban landscape. That's strange. So we look at what a landscape is. According to Wikipedia: "An extensive piece of land that stands out as an independent whole of neighboring areas". Or according to Encyclo "an area that in its appearance forms a whole with natural elements such as soil type, relief, water management and soil". From this starting point, I think of the following description:

"Urban landscape or city landscape is an area or place which is unique and recognizable as a whole with elements inside like relief, urban development, designing of the public space eventually completed with natural elements like green areas and waterparts."

This means that skylines, bridges and the surface of a bridge, squares, parking areas and all kinds of spots in the city could be urban landscape or city landscape.

What should be inside a city landscape photo?

A city landscape should be mix of several parts and therefor none of the parts should take a main role. So if you put a human in; not all attention should go to him. If there is a building inside; it should not be the main part. Else it would be an architectural photo. All parts together form the landscape and are equal essential. The image should contain a vision of the maker concerning the atmosphere but also an opinion on choices made in that area. But its up to the viewer to have its own opinion of course. And of course the more original and unexpected the better.

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What does it mean photographically?

If everything is equal important; everything should be in focus. Aperture starts with F11 and more and there a tripod is needed. Also you might need a partly grey filter for the sky.

Using a wide angle lens seems the best, although not too much angle. It should approach reality for the viewer.

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With this article, a few examples made in several cities and copyrighted by Maurits van Hout.

In addition to view all photos of photographer's "City Landscapes" series, please CLICK the link here.

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