How can we make architectures look great in pictures?
Basic Photography
Pixean
January 2, 2017

Architectures surround us every day, everywhere. They are absolutely fabulous subjects for photography. Whether classic or contemporary, architectural photography attracts people from across the globe. If shot perfectly, these engineering marvels are stunning subjects for photography. With so many varying angles, patterns and environments with which you can work and this is obviously a photographer’s dream.   

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Let’s look at the following ways to do architectural photography.

Firstly, we will discuss the kit. I would recommend using a full frame dslr. Get yourself an ultra-wide angle lens to try and have the entire subject in your frame, a fisheye lens to give dramatic wide angle effects and the panoramic mode in post-production, in case you fail to have the entire architecture in a single frame.

Light – You will not have control over light. So, wait for the ideal conditions. Lighting will not be generic here. Each construction will have its different style and patterns. As a result, you will have to figure what which angle of light will give it the best look. Shoot in different times and different weather conditions. An architectural photograph will look different when shot at different times of the day. Different weather conditions will also bring out different dimensions.

Composition – Frame the architecture in your mind. Architectural photography is not only about shooting the particular building alone. Try combining your subject with the environment surrounding it. This will not only add further beauty to your shot, but will also add sharp contrasts. Thus, shooting in black and white is also recommended. You need to see the marvel from several perspectives, ranging from the common people’s view to the bug view. Move around the construction and you will find several angles to shoot the building, whether shoot upwards or across the walls as if you are a bug crawling on it.

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Sunset and midnight – Shoot the structure as a silhouette during sunset. Place your subject between your camera and the sun. If the subject is lit up, decrease the exposure compensation to negative. This will darken it further. A silhouette will look fabulous. Try to shoot it at midnight too. Make sure there is still some light left in order to illuminate the backdrop of your subject. Use a wide aperture and long exposure to make sure the ISO is kept at a low value.

Wide angle and reflections – While shooting with wide-angle lenses, you will be able to introduce distortions. This can cause a dramatic effect too. If your subject is located close to a water body, then it’s needless to say you got to capture the reflections too. A wide angle lens will again be crucial. Do not forget the rule of thirds while doing this.

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Insights – Study the architecture beforehand. Knowledge of your subject is vital and with this your photographs will add insights too.

Post production and panorama – When done with the shoot, use the panorama mode in photography software in case you have failed to capture entire construction in a single shot.

Architectural photography is all about your perspective, composition and the behavior of the architecture to different light conditions. Happy shooting!

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Basic Photography
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Pixean
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