Roadside Photographs - Salt Lake City, Utah

The combination of great vistas and ease of access adds great value to certain outdoor spots for photography.  Cityscapes are usually fairly accessible for photographers, especially if the locale is not on the top of an inaccessible building.  If you can drop a tripod, though, the same rules apply to cityscape photography as they do for landscape photography.  The golden hour before sunset or the sunrise hours will still offer you the best contrast and color if you are going for a "natural" scene.

Pictureline itself is located physically in Salt Lake City, though of course, it is emotionally inside of us all and accessible throughout the world via the Internet.  We'll start the roadside list for cities in Salt Lake City because of its proximity to the store.  Salt Lake City is a west-facing city as the Wasatch mountains line the north and the east of the city.  This makes the sunrises a little later in the morning, but the sunsets are long and golden.  Because it is currently winter at the time of this writing, I would suggest watching the weather and trying to hit the scene just after a breaking storm when the air is clear, and there is a nice glow from the fresh snow.


This view of the city is from its northwest side where there is a clear line of vision to the downtown area as well as the classic backdrop of the Wasatch mountains.  The combination of the signature buildings downtown and the well-known proximity of the mountains give this view its obvious interest.  Now, the challenge is to find an area that is above the trees and has a line of sight into the city.  I've stood along I-15 at various points on cold nights, and I don't recommend this for safety reasons.  This image was taken off the 600 North overpass on I-15 just north of the city.  I used a 70 - 200 mm lens on my Canon 5D Mark II, and I zoomed until I had passed over the trees and still kept the mountains in view.  The use of a longer lens is usually interesting for a cityscape as it compresses the scene and brings the background "closer" to the city in the foreground or middleground.

Hint:  Set up at least 30 minutes to an hour before you think your shot is going to happen and take pictures every few minutes.  By reviewing these later, you can see at what point your golden light or your artificial light is most pleasing to you. (This can also make a great stop-motion video.)

Where to Eat/Stay:  I'll add this to all the posts about locations.  In Salt Lake City, a few good restaurants include The Himalayan Kitchen (Indian), Caffe Niche (New American), and Settebello (Italian) for a quick bite.

Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Caffe nicheCanon 5d mark iiCanon 70-200 mm lensCityscapeDuskFebruary 2012Golden hourHimalayan kitchenJoel addamsPhotographyRoad killSalt lake citySettebelloSkylineSunsetWinter