“Urban Landscape III” by Andrea Aiello

One of my favorite photographers is Franco Fontana, who is famous for his cityscapes full of chiaroscuro, sharp shapes and forms, and vivid colors. In particular, his dark, saturated skies resonate a lot with me.

So, when I wake up at the weekend and look out my window and see a clear, cloudless sky, I quickly leave the house and walk around the city taking pictures. I am lucky enough to live in a modern neighborhood in a town in southern Germany. Those who are familiar with modern German construction know that the Germans like to paint their houses and buildings in vivid, contrasting colors (sometimes too much; some call this construction the “traffic light architecture” because of the colors). So, for those who love photographing cityscapes, this architecture represents a wonderful opportunity to produce some good shots, and walking through a modern neighborhood is like walking into a candy store for me.

This image is part of a series of cityscapes that I make every weekend (weather permitting) and was taken on the second Sunday of June at around 7 am. This series includes images taken within a radius of about one kilometer from my home. One of the most important lessons I learned in a photography course is that you need to know well the area you want to photograph and plan your shots carefully at different times of day and during different seasons to find the best light in terms of quality and direction (two masters in this planning are, for example, Fan Ho and Michael Kenna). A second lesson I learned from reading a book by Umberto Eco is that to be able to produce something relevant in some creative activity, be it writing, painting, photography, or whatever, you need to become a real expert and connoisseur in a particular, small field, and the smaller the field, the more expert you become. That is why I am building this series exploring a very small area near my home.

I took this photograph thinking of it as a representation of the quietness that reigns here on Sunday mornings. For this, I chose a very balanced composition, and to reinforce this idea, I removed a couple of small distracting elements in the lower left sky area that were breaking the equilibrium of the image.

What are the TWO most impactful features that make your image a good photograph? Don’t be shy!

I believe the strength of this photograph lies in the color contrast between the deep blue of the sky and the bright orange of the building fa├žade lit by the morning sun and in the balance of the composition. I paid particular attention to this last aspect by choosing a square format, ideally dividing the image into four Cartesian quadrants, three occupied by the sky and one by the building. I also chose the portion of the building to be placed in the frame in such a way as to have four windows locally, repeating the global four-quadrant pattern of the entire image.

If you could make this photo again, what would be the ONE thing you would like to do better or different?

Honestly, I wouldn’t change anything, I like the picture as it is.

Andrea Aiello shared this photograph in the FRAMES Facebook Group.


Andrea Aiello, Germany


Equipment and settings

Fujifilm XH-2 + Fujinon XF 16-55mm
F2.8 zoom lens @16mm
f/11, 1/400, ISO 125
Editing with Adobe Lightroom Classic and Adobe Photoshop

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Comments (2):

  1. Tareq

    July 8, 2024 at 18:09

    Stunning color and composition. Love how the orange building pops out against the dark blue sky. Very well done Andrea!

  2. Ron Timms

    July 20, 2024 at 12:04

    Great picture!


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