Exaggerate the perspective
If you can’t keep the sides straight, sometimes it’s best to go the other way and exaggerate it. This way at least it will look deliberate. For maximum effect fit a wideangle lens, get up close and tilt the camera upwards. It works especially well with modern architecture.
Head to market
In any city the local markets are a great place to go for pictures. They’re often full of interesting characters and unusual produce or crafts that you may not find at home. Rather than snap away without asking, try striking up a conversation first – perhaps even buy something as a ice-breaker.
Look out for landmarks
On city breaks abroad don’t pass on opportunities to photograph the major landmarks, but don’t just go for the obvious shot. Try to find ways to put an interesting spin on it, either by shooting from a less hackneyed viewpoint or by including an interesting juxtaposition in the foreground.
Shoot at dusk
Cities and buildings often look better when they’re lit up – but don’t wait till it gets dark. The best time to shoot is at dusk, after the sun has set but while there is still some colour in the sky. The sky may be a dark blue, purple or orange, and will provide an appealing backdrop to the city lights.
Blur the crowds
City shots can be spoiled by people. The best way to minimise the problem is to shoot early in the morning, but another technique is to stop the aperture down and use an exposure time of several seconds. This will render passers-by as a blur. With very long exposures they may disappear altogether, though this might require you to use a neutral density filter on the lens to achieve long enough speeds.
Look for details
Cities offer lots of potential for interesting details, be they intriguing signs, market stalls or sections of unusual architecture. Keep your eyes peeled for these opportunities.
Never tilt your camera upwards
When photographing tall buildings the temptation is to tilt the camera up to get the top in shot, but doing so causes the sides to lean inwards. To avoid this keep the camera level. This may mean shooting from further back with a longer lens, or finding a higher viewpoint adjacent to the building you’re photographing – such as a bridge or the upper floor of another building.