How to Plan the Perfect Cityscape Photo

Living the life as a cityscape photographer - Peninsula Excelsior Hotel, Sky Lounge - Singapore.

Capturing the perfect cityscape photo requires careful planning and preparation. With the right techniques, you can take stunning photos that showcase the beauty and vibrancy of the city. Here are some tips to help you plan the perfect cityscape photo:

Scout for Locations

Before you start taking photos, it’s important to scout for locations that offer a good vantage point. Look for high buildings, rooftops, terraces, or bridges that provide an unobstructed view of the cityscape. You can also research online to find popular spots for cityscape photography or ask locals for recommendations.

Time of Day

The time of day you take your photos can greatly impact the final result. The best times for cityscape photography are typically early morning or late afternoon when the light is soft and warm. Avoid taking photos during midday when the light is harsh and can create harsh shadows. my go to app to find the perfect time of the day is Photopills (no sponser, I just use them).

Blue Hour

The blue hour, which is the time period just after sunset or just before sunrise, is a great time to capture stunning cityscape photos. During this time, the ambient light is balanced with the city lights, creating a beautiful contrast between the sky and the city. Experiment with different weather conditions during the blue hour to capture the mood and atmosphere that you want to convey in your photos. When editing your photos, adjust the exposure to achieve a perfect balance between the ambient light and the city lights, resulting in a cohesive and stunning final image.


Cityscape photography requires specific equipment to capture the details and beauty of the city. A sturdy tripod is essential to keep your camera steady and avoid blurry photos. My personal favourite lens to use is a specialised lens, known as a tilt-shift lens. With a tilt shift lens I am able to correct perspective error where buildings tend to lean backwards when the camera is angled upwards. Alternatively, a wide-angle lens can also help you capture more of the cityscape and add depth to your photos. With regards to filters, I tend to favour Neutral density filters to create smooth blurs in the clouds and polarising filters to reduce glare and increase contrast.


Composition is key to creating a visually appealing cityscape photo. I always try to include an iconic element in the photograph, for example if I was in New York, I would include the Statue of Liberty, or Eifle Tower for Paris. Look for leading lines, symmetry, and patterns in the cityscape to create an interesting and dynamic composition. You can also experiment with different angles and perspectives to add depth and interest to your photos.


After taking your photos, it’s important to edit and post-process them to enhance their quality. Use editing software to adjust the exposure, contrast, and saturation to create a cohesive and stunning final image.

With these tips, you can plan and capture the perfect cityscape photo that showcases the beauty and vibrancy of the city. Happy shooting!

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