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How To Photograph Architecture

Architectural photography is one of the most popular styles in visual storytelling. It’s also one of the hardest to learn, due to its depth and complexity. While there are some general rules that apply across the board, every project has their own special touches that make it unique.

By learning how to use all of these features, you’ll be able to take your architectural photography to the next level. Once you have, you can start building your portfolio or even find new ways to sell them.

In this article, we will discuss the types of architecture photographs, what settings work best for different scenes, and some basic tips for taking great pictures.

Take your time

how to architecture photography

A lot of people get stuck in their artistic process when it comes to taking pictures. They start with trying to make pretty or interesting photos, but never take the next step which is editing the photographs.

Editing means adding contrast, changing shades, lightening up or darkening an image, cropping, and incorporating textures and patterns into the photograph. All of these effects add new depth and dimension to the picture!

If you are ever struggling to take what really good photography calls for then spend some time editing other peoples’ work. Try looking through different styles, seeing what touches them and why.

You might find that there’s something about an angle, expression, setting, or overall design that makes you say “ahhh” under yourself. Or maybe you’ll notice how they balanced colors in the painting and it inspired you to do the same.

Use your environment

how to architecture photography

As with any form of artistic expression, being creative is in large part determined by what you use as materials and how you apply those materials to create your image. What kind of environments you can photograph in is important so that you can use them for inspiration or to convey a message.

The easiest way to start is by taking pictures outside. Try exploring new locations and capturing different types of settings. Build up from there by experimenting with more complex photoshoots such as having someone interact with each other or having people do something specific.

Another easy way to begin practicing photography is to take one-off photos! You could take candid photographs at work, have someone pose behind a backdrop, or just ask someone to play around with some products.

If you’re looking to advance beyond these, try taking group shots or doing event photography. Both are much harder to find jobs for, but will give you great practice and opportunities to showcase your talent.

Look at your own images

how to architecture photography

A good starting place is by looking at your own work. You can use these as references or just to give you inspiration, tips, and strategies for improving your craft. Some people start with taking pictures of things they like and then develop their skills from there, so do that!

Your personal photography archives are a great source of high quality material. Pick one area of the field (for example, nature) and take in-depth looks at it, studying all the features. Then, add onto that by experimenting with different settings, lenses, and photoshoots to get more detailed information.

After creating enough content, someone who has done this before will be to teach you the tricks of the trade. They may talk about how they made the background look natural and what types of photos they designed using architectural structures and shapes.

Architecture photographers also tend to discuss the importance of light as well as recording shadows and reflections. Getting strong lighting is very important since most parts of an architecture photo require it.

Pay attention to little details

how to architecture photography

As we mentioned before, capturing great photographs is more than just having a good camera! It is about paying close attention to every detail of your subject or scene. These are the small things that make up the picture.

Landscape photographers spend lots of time focusing on large areas and beautiful light. But what really makes a photo stand out is all those tiny plants in the foreground or an interesting pattern created by shadows.

Architectural photography has something very special – skylights! A lot of architectural photos feature some impressive natural lighting or at least one large window for reflection.

But what if there were no windows? Or maybe you’re not allowed access to any glass structures? What can you do when nature doesn’t cooperate with you?

We have tips here for you! Read on to learn how to photograph through a window, use artificial lights to create cool effects, and take pictures during early morning and late night times.

Use your lighting

A lot of people get really creative with their light sources, but there is one thing that you should never use as a light source!

That is direct sunlight. If you are shooting in the spring or summer when the sun is up for longer than half an hour, it will be very difficult to obtain good quality photographs due to overexposure.

Likewise, if the weather is extremely overcast, then the shadows will look fake and dark. So, make sure to find out when your ideal shoot times are so that you can account for that.

Another important factor is ambient light. Even though you have illuminated the subject, some of the parts of the photograph may still need additional light to look natural. Find ways to add more light by using reflectors or placing lamps next to the object.

This article has discussed some basic tips for aspiring architectural photographers, now let us talk about how to take professional pictures.

Know your equipment

how to architecture photography

A small, light camera with fast autofocus is best for capturing architecture photos. There are many great options out there!

The most important thing about taking architectural pictures is knowing your gear. You don’t want to handhold your camera while shooting because you will not have good quality images.

You also do not want to use a tripod, as this would be very boring photo-strobe style photography. Rather, you should use slow shutter speeds or no shutter at all to create an atmospheric effect.

Camera brands such as Sony, Nikon, and Canon all offer incredible depth of field and sharpness in their professional level cameras. Make sure to check out some of their products before investing in one.

There are several different modes that can help take better architectural photographs. Some examples include BIF (Bump Filter) mode, long exposure, and time lapse. Read more about these types of photographs here.

Create a studio space

how to architecture photography

After you have done some research and determined that your style is more candid, natural light focused, or documentary, then it’s time to create your own photography studio!

You will need a place to do photo takes of people. This can be in your home or someone else’s house. Your house has to have enough room for lighting equipment, camera settings, and easy access to bathroom facilities for everyone involved.

In my case I use an external hard drive with all of our photos organized by year and event. This way I can easily go back and organize or edit pictures later if needed.

Tone down your sounds

how to architecture photography

When it comes to architecture photography, tone is an important factor in creating beautiful images. What kind of tone you use for your photos can make a difference between them feeling soft and romantic or sharp and professional!

As you probably know by now, human perception of sound is a little weird. We perceive loud noises as bigger and more powerful than softer ones, but with music, conversely, that intensity is what makes it fade away into nothingness.

This effect can be used for good or bad, so try experimenting to see how different tones affect your image! For example, using very bright lights such as flash will totally wash out the colors of most materials, making them look gray-ish. Using very strong ambient light will create hard, contrasty shadows which also reduce the appearance of warmth. A way to avoid this is to use neutral lighting – natural sunlight or heavy shade trees with no other sources of illumination.

Another thing to consider is the color temperature of your light source. Cold light has lower wavelengths (think blue) while warm light has higher ones (yellow and red). Most common type of light is white light, which contains all visible frequencies. Florescent bulbs are usually colder because they have less heat energy.

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