6 Photographers Share Unique Perspectives on Iconic Cities

The social media age can make us feel as if we have already been everywhere. And seen everything – even if you have never visited Paris, photos of the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower fill your feed. What makes an image stand out when, this year alone, an estimated 1.4 trillion photos will be taken and 95 million will be uploaded to Instagram? Six photographers show us how to cut through the clutter of iconic landmarks and share new ways of seeing some of the world’s most photographed cities, proving that you can still capture the mystery and magic of a place – if you know how to look.

March 25, 2020

Tel Aviv

A row of palm trees on a sunny Tel Aviv beach
  • The Photographer Sivan Askayo @sivanaskayo

  • The Camera Nikon D750: because of its wide ISO range. I use the Sigma Art 35–mm F1.4 for shallow depth of field.

  • Hidden Gem Kiryat Hamelacha Art District’s artists, designers and musicians.

  • Pro Tip Hone your skills and seek advice from seasoned photographers.

  • Favourite Subjects I look for a play of light and shadows, a pop of colour, patterns and layers.

  • Inspiration I want to tell a story, portraying Tel Aviv as a cosmopolitan city with a Mediterranean flair.


Views of Havana, Cuba: Horse and buggy and vintage cars
  • The Photographer Rafaelem @rafaelemspain

  • The Camera Fujifilm X–T2 with a 23–mm lens: It forces me to get closer to subjects.

  • Hidden Gem Fábrica de Arte Cubano: See the work of great artists and sip pina coladas.

  • Pro Tip Invest in books that improve your eye and your mind.

  • Favourite Subjects The people of Havana. I’m also attracted to how the city’s new and old buildings have become intertwined.

  • Inspiration I’m moved by the culture and idiosyncrasies of people – Havana has endured bad times, but there is a lot of joy and spontaneity.


Four photos of Chicago's street walks and buildings
Sky high white pillars of a Chicago office building
  • The Photographer Clarissa Bonet @clarissabonet

  • The Camera Hasselblad X1D with a 90–mm lens: I like its compact design, dynamic range and large sensor.

  • Hidden Gem Taco El Jalisciense – for the al pastor tacos.

  • Pro Tip Experiment a lot; don’t be afraid to fail. Keep pushing forward until it clicks.

  • Favourite Subjects The mundane and often overlooked moments of the pedestrian’s commute.

  • Inspiration I aim my camera at locations that are somewhat nondescript. I move more slowly through the city on foot and notice things I would never see from the seat of a car.


Korean women in traditional dresses along a lane in Seoul
  • The Photographer Julien Legrand @julienlegrand

  • The Camera Fujifilm X100F: It is small, fast and the image quality is very good.

  • Hidden Gem Eating street food by the river in Seoul Color Park.

  • Pro Tip Take photos of what you would like most to see on your wall, and learn by failing.

  • Favourite Subjects I’m attracted to geometry, the play of reflections and surprising characters.

  • Inspiration I’m inspired when I’m in a place I don’t know. Seoul’s contrasts are what interest me the most: old and new, tradition and high technology, small and large streets.


Four photos of people enjoying life on Melbourne streets
  • The Photographer David M. Clarke @thethinblackframe

  • The Camera Fujifilm X–PRO 2 with a 23–mm lens: It marries with how I want to frame shots.

  • Hidden Gem The State Library Victoria; some might not know you can wander in.

  • Pro Tip You will take terrible shots, so do your best to learn from them.

  • Favourite Subjects Colour, shadows, raw human emotion, silhouettes and juxtapositions. Everything is subject matter to me.

  • Inspiration I’m sensitive to small moments of human behaviour. Melbourne is vast and nuanced and it takes time to really see it.


A group people in white sailor outfits heading into a Paris subway station
Window view of a restaurant in Paris
  • The Photographer Fabien Ecochard @fabien.ecochard

  • The Camera Fujifilm X100F: It’s compact and versatile and 35–mm is my preferred focal length for street photography.

  • Hidden Gem The Louxor Cinema, an Egyptian–style cinema built in 1921.

  • Pro Tip Experiment before finding your style. Find inspiration everywhere.

  • Favourite Subjects I track light, shapes and colours and isolate subjects in their daily environment.

  • Inspiration I’m drawn to stories; I explore relationships between people and their surroundings, focusing on authentic Parisian experiences in ordinary places.

A man walking beneath the neon sign of Le Splendid in Paris