Architectural Photography is one of the most popular genres ever since. So many people are fascinated with this art perhaps because of the limitless architectural photographic opportunities. If you are living in a city, so many skyscrapers and unique structures will catch your attention. Aside from the famous tourist attractions, old structures and residential homes are potential subjects for architectural photography, too. Your options are just as many as you can think.
Just like other genres, architectural photography has its own set of rules, techniques, and styles. Since architecture itself is a broad subject, photographing and giving justice to the beauty of a structure is indeed challenging. You have to keep in mind proper framing, lighting and composition to name a few. While captivating architectural photos are by no means guaranteed on the first try, you can develop your eye, skills, and personality with practice. If you are here because of these, then I will not keep you any longer. Here are some things that you will need to get you starting.
The Right Approach
Every building has a purpose and a story. The best architectural photos tell those. Thus, knowing the right approach to taking architectural photos is necessary. Before you peek through the lens, study your subject first. Being aware of its purpose and history will be a big help. Alternatively, you can approach the structure as it is, highlighting elements of design and unique features. The presentation is up to you. The first approach will appeal more to the emotions of viewers while the second approach accentuates the brilliance of architecture.
Because buildings are gigantic, you want to frame your subject as wide as possible. Therefore, for general work, a normal SLR camera is enough as long as it can do wide-angle shots. It is also helpful to always have a tripod ready. For historic buildings, a film camera is deemed more appropriate.
Many things must be considered when photographing architectures; the most important is the angle. Before taking a photo, ask yourself what you want to emphasize in the frame. Do you want to show symmetry, or do you want to include people and other elements in the frame? Do you want to show the structure in a different or rare vantage point?
The most apparent element in architectural photos is the line. So when you think of the right angle, consider the lines regardless if it is straight vertical, horizontal or curvy lines. Parallel lines can make your images look majestic and strong. Knowing the right angles and considering the line will help in enhancing the overall perspective.
Unlike subjects photographed indoors, you have less control over the lighting of the architecture. You cannot manipulate where the sun should be positioned, but you can make the necessary adjustment. Experts say that the side-front lighting provides the right amount of light you need. Aside from this, it also provides that long and interesting shadow effect which gives the structure more depth or a three-dimensional look. You will appreciate proper lighting more at night when the structures are lit by thousands of lights, showing a different kind of vibrancy that you will not see during daylight.