Architecture is a beautiful and highly technical skill that produces incredible and functional art. Architectural photography is a captivating niche that allows photographers to capture the beauty, complexity, and artistic essence of incredible structures across the globe. Whether you're an aspiring architectural photographer or simply looking to enhance your skills in this field, bring your photos to life with our top tips.
Get the Right Gear
Before you can start shooting, you’ll want to ensure that you have the necessary equipment to capture the best images possible. A DSLR camera with a wide-angle lens will allow you to photograph the entirety of colossal structures in vivid detail, while a tripod will help keep the camera stable for clear shots.
Research Your Building
Once you’ve decided on a particular building to photograph, you’ll want to do your research to best understand the architect’s vision and influences. This will inform the way you stage, capture, and edit your photography, as you may want to convey similar themes to depict the true story behind the building.
Be sure to also scope out the location of your building to find the best possible spots to set up your camera. Remember that buildings look different from every angle, so you should consider testing multiple locations to find the best spots to shoot from.
When you visit the space for the first time, take note of the areas and elements that catch your eye. These can be great focal points for your photography and reveal exciting new elements of the building’s design, which are valuable to creating a holistic depiction of the architecture.
The composition of your photo will drastically influence the overall story you’re trying to tell. Some questions to consider may include:
- Are there lots of hard, defined lines built into your chosen structure, or is it softer and more rounded?
- What other elements are in the area surrounding your building, and how do they contribute to the story you’re trying to tell?
- What angles will give you the most visually intriguing photos?
- What time of day will you be shooting?
Utilize leading lines to draw the viewer's eye towards the main subject. Look for patterns, repetitions, and geometric shapes that can create a visually appealing composition.
Prioritize Good Lighting
Shooting architectural photography at different times of day can help you get a sense for the building’s evolving personality throughout the day. Depending on the location of your selected structure, though, certain times of day will be better suited to capturing the perfect image due to the light available to you. Good lighting will help to highlight the features of the building and make the editing process easier for you!
Buildings Exist for People
Photographing architecture with or without people in the frame is a contested debate, and it may not always make sense to include them in your photography. With this in mind, don’t shy away from including people in your photographs, especially if it’s in a public space that has frequent foot traffic. The hustle and bustle of humanity existing in a space is part of what breathes life into a building, and helps to create a holistic view of its personality. Showing people working out in a gym may make more sense than showing workers coming and going from their office after a long day. Consider this in your research and test different angles and times of day to find the best balance for your photography.
Editing to Emphasize
Editing and fine-tuning your images is an essential part of any photography workflow. Use editing software to enhance the colors, contrast, and clarity of your images. Define shadows to create depth and intrigue, or brighten up the display to make a building seem greater-than-life. Experiment with different editing styles whilst striving for a balance between enhancing the photograph and maintaining a natural and realistic representation of the building.
The Perfect Display
When all is said and done, it’s time to think of how you’ll display your final product. A an aluminum print will bring the vividness of your image to life whilst enhancing the building itself, making it feel like you’re right there in front of it!
Bring your latest architectural find to life with stunning metal prints from Aluminyze today!