How can a nature-loving photographer take pictures in the city?

Compaq

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Last fall I moved to a (for me) large city in Sweden. I have tried to go outside and look for scenes, buildings, whatever that catches my eye that really gets that flame going - but it never happens. We have a Scandinavia's tallest church (Uppsala domkyrka), a nice river going through town, nice parks, and likely many interesting buildings, but I have this complete lack of motivation and inspiration. Going for a 20 minute bike ride with my tripod to the outskirts might help, but it's the middle of winter, and eastern Sweden is not very attractive in the winter, so far.

The city is too cramped, I feel, like I cannot back away far enough to get everything into view. Growing up on the south-west coast of Norway, dramatic nature has been a really important part of my life. Here in the city that's completely gone.

I am hoping other landscapers have moved to the city and experienced the same thing. Perhaps someone has some advice for how to kick some life back into the photography hobby.
 

jaomul

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Maybe urban wildlife such as city foxes and other animals in green areas just at sunrise might whet your appetite for photos again
 

Tim Tucker

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The city is too cramped, I feel, like I cannot back away far enough to get everything into view.

There's a theme for you right there, why not explore that for a while.
When I was living in London many years ago I did a whole series where I set myself the simple restriction that I wasn't allowed to include any cars in my shots. It's surprising how a seemingly simple restriction can shift your viewpoint and get you to look for more creative solutions. As you've reminded me I've decided to post some of the series in the B&W gallery:

London without cars
 
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Didereaux

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Last fall I moved to a (for me) large city in Sweden. I have tried to go outside and look for scenes, buildings, whatever that catches my eye that really gets that flame going - but it never happens. We have a Scandinavia's tallest church (Uppsala domkyrka), a nice river going through town, nice parks, and likely many interesting buildings, but I have this complete lack of motivation and inspiration. Going for a 20 minute bike ride with my tripod to the outskirts might help, but it's the middle of winter, and eastern Sweden is not very attractive in the winter, so far.

The city is too cramped, I feel, like I cannot back away far enough to get everything into view. Growing up on the south-west coast of Norway, dramatic nature has been a really important part of my life. Here in the city that's completely gone.

I am hoping other landscapers have moved to the city and experienced the same thing. Perhaps someone has some advice for how to kick some life back into the photography hobby.

First thing to change is your idea that you must get all things in the frame! Even in wildlife/nature and landscape that is NOT very often the best approach. Look for the picture within the frame and move in on it. As for 'wildlife...are cats, dogs, pigeons, rats not animals and 'wild'? For that matter there are quite a number of 'wild' humans in the urban areas that I am familiar with. A really good urbn wildlife lens is a 70-200 with a nifty 50 in your pocket.
 

table1349

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The problem isn't the location, it is between your ears. You are in a new situation and location that you are not familiar with. Change is always tough at first however if you embrace it, it become easier to make that change.

First read this article. Becoming a More Creative Photographer
Yes it may sound like a simplistic idea, but you are starting over in your new environment.

Next, pick up you camera, go out and shoot, shoot some more, then shoot even more. Examine your results, pick out the photos or parts of photos you like and work from there.

Go back look at the very first nature photograph and then look at your later work. Is there a difference. I would guess you improved over time and are far more pleased with your later work than that very first photo. Most people are not born with the ability to visualize outstanding or even interesting scenes. They learn. That is what you need to do, to learn and appreciate you new environment. It will come, it just takes work. Good luck.
 

SCraig

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No parks with birds and squirrels there? Bet there are. How about backyard bird feeders or just some bread crumbs scattered around? I've never seen a place that had NO wildlife, only places where one had to look a little harder.

I've also never seen a place that didn't have something scenic worth photographing. Once again, sometimes one just has to look a little harder.

Keep in mind that what you may take for granted others have never seen so it's unique to them. See with your mind, not just your eyes.
 

zombiesniper

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Having been to Denmark, Norway and Germany I can say from a westerners point of view even in the tightest spaces you have some amazing opportunities to shoot. Old cobblestone streets, the different (for me) architecture and just the city birds differ from what I would normally see.
My back yard I have feed set out so I can continue to shoot, even if they are birds I see everyday doesn't make them any less beautiful.
Keep at it and you'll find something that catches your eye.
 

jcdeboever

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This may sound stupid but I think it has some merit. I do not think it's location or what's going on in your head. It is a vision issue, I could write at length why this is probably the case and how this will fix your opportunity. I will spare the long drawn out reasoning.

ViewCatcher - BLICK art materials

Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk
 

beachrat

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The problem isn't the location, it is between your ears. You are in a new situation and location that you are not familiar with. Change is always tough at first however if you embrace it, it become easier to make that change.

First read this article. Becoming a More Creative Photographer
Yes it may sound like a simplistic idea, but you are starting over in your new environment.

Next, pick up you camera, go out and shoot, shoot some more, then shoot even more. Examine your results, pick out the photos or parts of photos you like and work from there.

Go back look at the very first nature photograph and then look at your later work. Is there a difference. I would guess you improved over time and are far more pleased with your later work than that very first photo. Most people are not born with the ability to visualize outstanding or even interesting scenes. They learn. That is what you need to do, to learn and appreciate you new environment. It will come, it just takes work. Good luck.



Uhhhm.Whammo.
 

Dikkie

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Isn't there some typical architecture that looks different than other regions?
Try ordinary street shots that show a specific mood.
Or details of it.
And night shots.
And each spot in each season.
 

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