Architecture Photography Techniques
Buildings can be photographed as they exist, and the photographer cannot alter the subject.
The only important controls that can be altered are the light and the viewpoint. Since only these two ‘settings’ can bring out the characteristic features of a building, assuring a representative image, we will further concentrate on these details.
– Direct sunlight can produce contrast pictures with simple lines, this type of light can create a nice illustrative effect.
– A slightly overcast sky is preferred when we want to reproduce the building materials more adequately, the diffused light will keep the contrast low on the texture materials, just enough to keep a good balance between the shadows and highlights.
– Side lighting is also good for architecture, revealing the shapes and materials of a building in a pleasant way.
– Try to avoid photographing buildings on cloudy days, only the light can bring in a picture the characteristic features of buildings.
– You can search and find the best light for a particular building by watching through the day how the sun position will affect the structure, light fall can be studied from different angles to determine the best time for shooting.
– Covering the whole building in the frame may be difficult, it’s very important to keep both the structure base and top in the image, cutting the base of a building in an image will suggest to the viewer’s a feeling of an incomplete object, even a floating object sensation. If the top of the building is not present will make the picture look like chopped, making the viewer wondering about how the building top looked like.
– Another difficult aspect is representing the building in its real proportions. Often, many photographers who don’t use view cameras will select a low viewpoint for the picture, finally resulting in a disproportioned image of the building. A real architecture photographer will never do this, instead, will use a view camera to adjust the viewpoint correctly, or with another camera types will choose another viewpoint (a far away position) from which the building looks correctly.
– To be considered the background and surroundings, the background must be kept simple with no other unrelated subjects or incomplete buildings interfering in. The surrounding environment must not contain distracting elements. Searching for different view points and angles is essential for every particular building.