Great Tips to Improve your Architectural Photography Skills
Architectural photography is one of the early - and often under-appreciated - genres of photography. The most obvious benefit of architectural photography is to serve as visual documentation or commemoration of buildings with exceptional design or important historical value. Architectural photos can tell a story and through imagery preserve an extraordinary building or structure.
Here are a few tricks you to help you improve your architectural photography:
As any photographer knows, lighting can be everything to a picture. With architectural design, especially, light can strengthen the visual effects of your image. Learn to manipulate light - whether natural or artificial - you'll find that you can become adept at drawing the viewer's eye right to where you want.
2. Weather and Time of Day:
You will probably find that a certain time of day or weather condition turns out the most compelling portrait of a building's design. Sometimes inanimate objects can be powerful in their silence. Use the sun to your advantage but also know how to use a cloudy, moody day as well. Practicing your photography throughout various hours of the day and in various weather conditions will make you a better photographer in general, but especially if you want to improve your architectural photography skills. Learn how to work with what nature offers to create powerful photography of what man has built.
3. Angles, Perspective & Details:
Think out of the box when looking at architecture, especially if you plan on photographing it! Consider a building's angles, lines, and the perspectives from which you could shoot. Walk around the building while looking at it critically. Sometimes the most beautiful pictures of a building are taken from an unusual angle. Sometimes it's the details that make a picture. A good photographer closely studies their subject. Look at it with critical eyes and particularly its details. Those details are usually what make its design remarkable or even historic. Be certain to capture the details if you hope to create a stunning photograph.
4. Make What is Iconic, Not Iconic:
Don't shoot an iconic building from an iconic and ubiquitous perspective similar to thousands of other photos. What's the glory in that? Look at an iconic structure, not as the icon that it is but what it could be and hasn't been seen as before. If you can look at the structure from a new perspective, you will be taking one amazing and memorable photograph! The more you know about the building or structure, the easier this will be to do. Do your research ahead of time. You might learn something that could influence your perspective of the building. Lastly, if possible, visit the building several times. You are likely to see something different each time you do.
Some photographers think that architectural photography should not include people. However, we don't agree. Some of the best architectural shots include people to provide context. Think of the famous picture of the Taj Mahal with Princess Diana sitting in front of it looking forlornly out into the camera. The photo became instantly iconic. Having the world's most photographed woman sitting in front of the building in the picture doesn't diminish the photo or the value of the building. A lone woman in front of a place built to commemorate a couple's love was a powerful and memorable image. Including a person in your architectural photography could be as powerful as not including them! Use your best judgment and your photographer's eagle eye. You might find that including a person or people in your picture provide context or potency to your shot.
6. Software such as Lightroom:
In many instances, editing software is incredibly useful or even indispensable in post-processing. Don't hesitate to use it to make minor adjustments such as cropping, highlighting, and exposure as long as the changes are acceptable for your photo's use. Lightroom's many features can help you provide the perfect finishing touches to your otherwise powerful and perfect picture!
7. Equipment Makes a Difference:
If you want to take serious quality architectural photography, you will need to invest in a few key pieces. A wide-angle lens is vital whether shooting inside or outside a building. A tripod is useful. You should have several types of filters including a polarizing filter. A zoom lens can be helpful for honing in on exterior details on higher floors.
If you're planning a big trip where you expect to be taking architectural shots, you should practice first in your own hometown. A building doesn't have to be iconic or famous to be beautiful or remarkable in its own right.