Glasgow City Square – Photo of the Week

Glasgow, as I’ve mentioned a couple times of the past few weeks, became one of my surprise favourites so far on my trip across Europe.  Sure, there might not be as many things to do as places like Dublin or Edinburgh, but the mood in town is a photographer’s dream.  Glasgow always seems to have a vibrant sky that is full of life and emotion.  The historical buildings too capture the mood in their gothic architecture and intricate design.  Oftentimes too that history is juxtaposed beautifully with modern creations.  While other cities in Europe might appeal to the general tourist much more, Glasgow is as photogenic as anywhere in the UK.  And although I’m just displaying one image as the photo of the week I’m sure I could show off about a dozen more from this beautiful city.

How I Got this Shot

A productive day in the life of a travel photographer often comes down to planning. The day before I took the above photo of Glasgow I wandered town during the day taking notes and drawing a rough map of the things I wanted to photograph. I then decided a few things: what mood do I want to portray from each setting, what light will I need, where is the sun going to set? That day of planning meant for an amazing day of photography the next.

I started by shooting photos of Glasgow Necropolis around sunset to capture a nice contrast in colour in the cemetery.  Then, as the light became faint I ran (I’m not exaggerating) to the square to capture this blue sky behind the Ferris Wheel.

The tech behind the photo of Glasgow City Square is quiet simple.  Take your filters off the lens, set it to a narrow aperture like f/16 so the street light doesn’t look like a blob of light, focus on something well light about 1/3rd the way into your photo, and take the picture (preferably with a remote control or at least on timer mode).  The slow shutter speed will give the wheel it’s movement and the rest of the image will stay sharp as a tack.

“Glasgow City Square” was taken at 18mm with a shutter speed of 2.5 seconds and an aperture of f/16; ISO100.


Author: Brendan van Son

Author: I am a travel writer and photographer from Alberta, Canada. Over my years as a travel photographer, I have visited 6 of the 7 continents and more countries than I have any desire to count. If you want to improve your skills, be sure to check out my travel photography channel on Youtube . Also, check out my profile on . to learn a little bit more about me and my work.

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    • Thanks Noelle – It was a fun evening for photography 😀

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  1. Beautiful shot from a city that doesn’t deserve the harsh rap it gets. Fantastic!

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    • Alex – I never heard that rep before going. People were like, “Oh you were in Glasgow, did you get shot???”. I couldn’t have felt any safer in that city. I’m not even sure where that comes from.

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  2. Hi Brendan, I enjoyed how you laid out your thought processes for the shoot. It gives a photographic newbie, such as myself, food for thought on how to push my photography forward. I’ve visited Glasgow once before and I agree with you on it charms, a little bit more rugged than Edinburgh, but stunning just the same.

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    • Beth – I’m glad you like the insight. I do that on each the photos of the week on my site. The one piece of advice I give to every single newbie is to marry yourself to your tripod and shoot on the lowest ISO possible in all situations… 😀 have fun out there!

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  3. I love that you always show you are a photographer first and a traveler in just the slightest second place. This photo’s beautiful 🙂

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