Shooting in populated and popular cities like New York can pose challenges to even the most experienced photographer as they arrive on location to discover the streets and sidewalks crowded with automobiles, tourists, and people on their way to work. Trying to shoot clean photos of landmarks or other prime locations without people in the photographs can feel impossible sometimes, but it just takes looking at the situation from a different perspective. Follow a few helpful tips on shooting in crowded locations and you’ll know how to avoid the frustration and annoyance that throngs of people can cause a photographer.
One sure way to avoid getting crowds of people in your photographs is to look and shoot up. When you point your camera upward toward the peeks of skyscrapers, you get images with a unique and interesting angle. Shooting upward reveals intriguing architectural elements and subjects that you may otherwise miss and that the masses are completely ignoring. Iconic buildings, memorials, churches, fountains and sculptures work perfectly for this technique, as you don’t have to show their entirety for them to be recognizable in your shot.
Up close details
Along with looking up, try moving up closer to your subject matter to bring the details out. This works great for food as travel publications often utilize such photos to share local traditions and customs along with the regional cuisine. Everyone seems to love taking pictures of their food these days and when you’re trying to relax and enjoy your meal after finding your chosen spot too crowded, photographing your food is easy and enjoyable. Also, try shooting close-ups of reflective surfaces such as puddles or windows and concentrate on the smaller elements that go into your photographic story.
Beat the crowd
Arriving early in the day, such as right at dawn, can help you beat the crowd. Early morning photographs in the city can be stunning when you shoot the sunrise and capture the morning light. Best of all, a majority of tourists sleep in during their visits to populated locations so you have a better chance of finding empty streets and sidewalks waiting quietly for you to take photos.
Embrace the later hours
Not everyone is a morning person and if getting up early to beat the crowd doesn’t appeal, try going later in the day, hours after time people usually eat dinner. Chances are you’ll find areas less crowded and can photograph your chosen locations without anyone in the shot. If you’re feeling very ambitious and have a strong desire to avoid people in your images, go in the early morning and later evening to make the most of both opportunities.
Incorporate the people
When all else fails, incorporate the people in your shots. Photographing the people might not be your original plan, but it shows a key element of the location and reflects the real energy of the area with the crowds of people enjoying their surroundings.
By approaching photographing in crowded locations from a different angle, you can explore your creative side and see new details and elements even if you’ve been in that spot numerous times before. Share your photographic story with the world with professional flair by utilizing Baboo Digital’s extensive variety of printing, framing and mounting services.
Featured image by Roger