Captivating City Photography by Michael Salisbury
- By: Tim Kok
Urban photography by Michael Salisbury shows the city from different fascinating perspectives. The city’s architecture, mostly in his hometown Chicago, seems at times like a natural landscape covered by fog and clouds; at other times, Michael captures the static, modern face of the city with an impeccable sense of composition. He also takes great shots of the never-ending movement of the metro and the magic of a cityscape at nighttime.
We asked Michael a few questions about his photography.
What got you into photography in the first place?
Photography has been a long time hobby of mine. I first got seriously into it after discovering my dad’s old Minolta bodies in high school, and have been shooting ever since.
What inspires your photography?
Inspiration is everywhere for me. A lot of it comes from the architecture I see in the city, but it could be anything from the mood I’m in or even the music I’m listening to.
Like any other photographer, I also get inspiration from reviewing other’s work. I love deconstructing an image to figure out how it was taken; you can pick up lots of good technical knowledge this way.
Do you prefer a cloudy day or a sunny day?
I like shooting in both conditions! Cloudy days are nice because the light is more evenly diffused and you can get shots otherwise impossible due to the sun. Sunny days are great too because you can experiment and play with the light, whether it be with silhouettes or lens flares. It all depends on the mood or emotion I’m trying to convey.
Which photo are you most proud of?
The one I’m most proud of is actually a pretty recent photo:
I’m really drawn to this not only for the unique view of the city, but the fog adds a very surreal dynamic to the photo that wouldn’t be there otherwise. It gives off a very mysterious vibe, I get chills when I look at it.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in photography so far?
I’ve learned so much over the years, I could go on and on. The most important thing that I’ve come to realize, however, is to be patient. Being patient and carefully evaluating composition really makes a difference in a photo.
That seems like a no-brainer, but there was a time where I would just run outside and shoot as much as I could, and hope to get a couple decent photos. I’ve come a long way from that, I think.
What would you still like to learn/do in photography?
So obviously most of my work focuses on Chicago and its architecture, but I would love to explore more portrait/people photography. Taking photos of people on the street is extremely awkward for me. I hate to inconvenience someone or put them in a weird situation. Yet I see very visually interesting people every day on the streets–someday I’ll get over my fears and start experimenting.
Do you have any advice for other urban photographers?
Shoot. Every. Day. I have my camera with me 24/7, I’m always prepared when an opportunity presents itself. I think of it like playing an instrument, shooting often keeps your skills sharp and gives you more opportunities to experiment or discover new things.