Behind The Facade

Every City has its thoroughfares full of people going about their daily business. In the 21st Century most UK cities look very similar, dominated by the same shops and outlets. The trend towards out of town shopping has accelerated this homogenisation. Behind these City Centre Facades I find more interesting subject matter for photography.

Urban environments require access and roads often have to be raised and lowered to fit in with existing constructions. These concrete structures allow changes in light, texture and shape to be captured. You’ll often see people having a coffee/smoke break outside fire exits and in stairwells, or pausing for thought at junctions. I find the best time for this type of photography is early morning and late afternoon when the sun is out. I like to make images that reflect the atmosphere of the urban environment rather than a 100% accurate representation of reality.

The main thing is to always look at your surroundings and try to see them afresh. The key to portraying urban landscapes is to look for the effects of light throughout the day and how it falls on buildings etc. Revisit familiar places again and again and you’ll start to see the possibilities. Pretend you don’t actually come from your home city and imagine how a tourist would view it. I often see things that I have never noticed while driving through Aberdeen where I’ve lived most of my life. Remember if you don’t have a camera with you (I tend to carry my Fuji X-T10 and 40mm F2.8 Lens) you can always use your phone.

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