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Amazing architectural shots

Turn even the most boring buildings into bold and beautiful images

Amazing architectural shots

Architectural photography can be challenging to say the least. You can't just move a building, so getting a different perspective can prove tricky. Then there's the test of getting a big bulky subject to fit neatly in a single shot. What's a photographer to do?

Location, location

Before you even think about getting your camera out, step back from your subject and soak up your surroundings. Be it a bridge in a modern metropolis, or a country cottage, it's often the surroundings that give meaning to the main attraction. Especially if there's a fascinating mix of old and new, or a great sense of space. Look at different ways of including the location in your framing to enhance the overall impact of the image.

Up close and personal

When photographing any type of architecture in a built up city, you usually have to stand pretty close to avoid your view being obscured. Trouble is, if you stand too close and you might not be able to get everything in. The answer is a suitably wide angle lens, wide angle converter, or stitching images together with software.

Amazing architectural shots

Eye for detail

Once you've got your general all encompassing shot of the entire structure, go for a bit of detail. With architecture it's often the little touches that portray the personality, so even the smallest detail can make an important picture. Pick out any interesting patterns, reflections, colours or materials and make the most of them.

The sky is an important element in the majority of architectural shots and can really impact the mood.

Sense of scale

If one of the most impressive elements of your subject is its sheer size, you really need to convey this. For example, New York's massive skyscrapers are often photographed by people lying down in the street and gazing right up to emphasis their imposing feel. Or purposely include people and passing cars to relate a sense of scale.

Converging verticals

A common problem with architectural photography is vertical lines, like the sides of tall tower, looking like they're converging. To avoid this use a longer lens and get more distance between you and your subject. Alternatively, get higher up so your camera isn't tilted as much. If neither of these is possible, or practical, you can always stretch your image with editing software for a more realistic look.

Amazing architectural shots
Amazing architectural shots
Amazing architectural shots

Pick your moment

With architectural images you’re relying on natural daylight. Without being able to move your light source around, you need to pick the best time of day to suit how the light illuminates your building. Different light suits different structures. Warm afternoon light is great for bringing out the rich tones of brickwork, whilst side light is excellent for emphasising texture. A floodlight shot at night will also give a totally different feel.

Look to the sky

The sky is an important element in the majority of architectural shots and can really impact the mood. A clear blue sky will help highlight the outline, whilst storm clouds will add drama. Other ways to create a dramatic feel include using a fisheye lens, or going for monochrome images.




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