Architecture photography has a lengthy past. Indeed, the oldest existing photograph in the world, View from the Window at Le Gras, showcases architectural photography and dates to the 1820s! 

The medium has stayed in demand over the years, which is to be expected given the importance of architecture. Buildings serve a larger purpose than just offering us a place to live. They are also artistic creations and enduring cultural representations. 

The practice of building photography had initially started as a means of recording buildings, but over time, it has transformed into a varied art form of its own.

This manual will educate you on the basics of architecture photography and provide helpful tips to help you create an impressive online architecture portfolio. 

1. Choose the Location Carefully 

location of architectural photography

In any city, you should have no difficulty finding subjects for architectural photography. You can begin with buildings or structures that catch your eye or hold personal significance for you. If you need inspiration, here are some architecture photography tips on discovering locations. 

Frequently, photographers concentrate on capturing buildings, museums, and historic landmarks. Typically, these kinds of buildings can provide captivating or remarkable architectural designs. To find motivation, look at these architecture photography examples from different countries. 

Additionally, photographing old buildings creates intriguing pictures.

This involves preserved historic sites showcasing classic architecture and neglected or deserted buildings displaying their age in various ways. 

Various mobile apps and online tools are available to help identify ideal spots for photography in your vicinity, simplifying the process for you.

An excellent demonstration is Shot Hot Spot.

This website utilizes geo-tagging data from platforms such as Flickr to identify popular photo spots. Once you arrive in your city, you have the option to filter the results for architecture photography hot spots, enabling you to discover a unique structure you might have overlooked. 

2. Learn More About Your Subject 

After selecting a building or structure to capture, it is important to take the time to familiarize yourself with it. Begin by taking a leisurely stroll around the exterior of the structure and then venture inside, if permitted.

Additionally, make sure to conduct some investigation into the building and its historical background. Gain knowledge about its construction and its utilization. 

All this data can guide your architectural photographs and aid in determining the desired style.

For example, if the building has a rich and extensive history, you may wish to try your hand at black and white architectural photography.

It can also give your photographs a timeless quality and evoke the historical significance of the building to the viewer. While researching, you might come across a distinctive or fascinating architectural element that you can highlight in your photographs. 

3. Try Shooting the Photographs in Different Times 

architectural photography

To achieve varied aesthetics in architectural photography, consider returning to the location at various times of day and in different weather conditions. 

For instance, attempt taking photographs during sunrise or sunset to capture golden tones, reflections in windows, and elongated shadows. Alternatively, you can also go in the evening to capture the building with its artificial illumination. 

Overcast conditions, snowfall, or wet surfaces from rain can bring a unique element and greatly alter the atmosphere of your photos, so don’t restrict yourself to taking photos on sunny days.

Finally, if you intend to feature individuals in your architectural photography, you may notice that the way people interact with the building and its surroundings can vary based on the time and day. By simply returning to the website, you may discover fresh chances for taking photos. 

4. Look at It from a Different Perspective 

When creating architectural photography, your initial reaction may be to take full shots of the building’s exterior. However, to improve your architectural photography, it is important to seek a distinct point of view. 

Attempt to approach closely and concentrate on a specific detail to produce abstract architectural photography. Alternatively, fill up the whole frame with a massive structure to create ambiguity regarding its boundaries. Also, be sure to enter the building and take some shots of the interior. 

As you explore various viewpoints, remember fundamental photo composition rules to produce captivating images. For instance, locate an arch or entrance to frame your shot accordingly. Also, utilize architectural features to establish prominent lines, balance, and recurrence of forms. 

Once you stop attempting to capture a typical photo of the entire building, you will have greater freedom to explore creative options. 

5. Collaborate with Some People 

architectural photography of building

While building photography typically centers on buildings it’s quite important to also think about incorporating people in certain shots.

In the end, architecture is solely dependent on human existence. 

By incorporating individuals, your architectural photography can evoke the connection between humans and architecture, revealing how people interact with it. Adding individuals to the stage can also bring vitality to an otherwise dull setting. 

If individuals in the background are diverting attention from the building, experiment with taking photos using a slow shutter speed to create a blurred effect on them.

These kinds of photographs tend to highlight the enduring quality of buildings, with the structure appearing static while the blurred figures suggest the presence of bustling crowds. 

6. Understand Aperture and Shutter Speed 

It’s difficult to discuss architectural photography without bringing up motion blur.

The blurring of movement, whether it’s of individuals, cars, water, or clouds, can enhance the representation of architecture in a photo.

Slowing down or speeding up the shutter based on the object’s speed and path blurs it effectively. With that said, perfection is achieved through practice as there is no standard. You wouldn’t want to experiment with it during critical moments. 

The same holds true for aperture. A skilled photographer understands the reasoning behind their choice of a specific f-stop. Study mathematics and apply it.

Don’t simply establish it and then completely ignore it. Certain photographs require an aperture setting of f/4, while others require an aperture setting of f/16.

Each lens varies, so make sure to calibrate it to your camera and discover its optimal focal point. You will sense as if you have recently improved your camera. 

7. Try Stabilizing Your Camera 

stabilization of camera

Architectural photographers require stability.

Although a few shots can be taken without using a tripod, most are typically captured using a tripod along with either a wireless remote trigger or a shutter delay.

Because numerous shots necessitate extended shutter speeds and various exposures, any movement of the camera could lead to shake and pose challenges during post-processing.

Each professional has a story of this happening to them, and the hours spent in photoshop trying to fix it. The tripod and head are just as important as the lenses for architectural photographers.

Some people will go to the extent of attaching a five-pound sandbag to their tripods for extra stability. An idea is to attach a utility apron to a tripod and use the lenses, filters and other items to provide additional weight. 

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