Since we’re in the middle of summer in North America, our minds are consumed with travel. Whether it’s planning a trip to visit favorite destinations while the weather’s warm or indulging our wanderlust by scrolling through our bookmarked feed of travel photos, we’re currently very distracted by dreams of traveling the world. Our Content Team has spent the season interviewing photographers to get the story behind some fantastic travel shots. Here, Content Editor, Natta Summerky caught up with Mitul Shah, a Toronto-based photographer to discuss his photo “Espresso” which highlights the beauty of urban travel.

Espresso by Mitul Shah on

Where was this photo taken?
This photo was taken from a luxury Toronto hotel/residence balcony.

What inspired you about this location?
The opportunity to offer a perspective of the city that many haven’t seen before. In fact, since I haven’t seen any photos from this exact spot, it was also my first time ever witnessing this view. This pushed me to create my own perspective rather than ones I’ve already seen.

What do you look for when capturing a unique travel moment in regards to city life?
A goal of mine is to always make the city look larger than it actually is. Considering that Toronto is small compared to cities like Chicago and New York, I’m always given the opportunity to test my skills.

What did you technically do to capture this beautiful moment?
As the shot is a look down, it meant turning up the ISO. Since my camera doesn’t handle low-light well, I’m very conscious of noise, so I rarely go over ISO 400. Thankfully, there wasn’t much wind when I took this shot, so I was able to keep my shutter speed fairly low. As a personal preference, though most don’t suggest it, I expose slightly to the left to create darker shadows.

What did you hope to convey through this photo to a viewer?
A sense of height, though the building actually isn’t as high as it looks.

See more of Shah’s from-above cityscapes by following his profile or licensing his photography, which is exclusively available on 500px.