Architecture is all around us. Whether we live and work amongst skyscrapers, museums, churches, or office buildings, each has its own story to tell and a creative photographer can tell that story through the camera’s lens, creating spectacular images in the process.
Capture great architectural photography
- Pay attention to lighting: Direct sunlight or side lighting illuminates colours and details of a building, however depending on the building, a cloudy day could create a dramatic, moody feel to a photograph. A sunset could add colour and warmth to a dull exterior. Consider the subject and the mood you want to portray. Photograph during different times of day, even at night (using long exposures), to gain the effect you want.
- Use different vantage points. Photograph the entire building and parts of the building, singling out the most interesting aspects of the building. Before you begin pressing that shutter release button, take time to look at the whole of the building. Look up, look down, walk around. Once you’d found the areas you want to focus on, continue to experiment with your vantage point. Pay special attention to doorways, windows, archways, and stairways, which are often very interesting. If you are photographing the entire building, most of the time it is best to position yourself to see the building at an angle, as opposed to straight on. There are always exceptions but looking for most interesting angle helps to capture that memorable photograph.
- Take photographs with the building in context. Show the viewer the area around your subject if it is interesting. Use leading lines to draw viewers eye to your subject. These leading lines may include streets, pathways, light posts, bridges, tree-lined walkways, or rivers.
- Fix distortion by standing farther away and using a telephoto lens. Photographing from a close proximity can create a distortion of leaning or bulging. Photographing from further away will help avoid this problem. However, photographing straight up between two skyscrapers can create an amazing image.
Remember: The best way to improve your photography skills is to keep taking pictures, experiment with camera settings, camera angles, and lighting. Get feedback from others. (Photoion’s Facebook page is great too for feedback. We are cheering you on.)