Architectural photography is a huge trend right now, with more and more talented artisans trying to convey the way they see the world’s most famous structures, awe-inspiring constructions, or just an “ordinary” building in the neighborhood and their own apartment. The highly-demanding audience is spoiled for choice and regardless of whether they scroll through the endless property listings at Airbnb or want to take a virtual tour of the Eiffel Tower, the consumers have no intention to settle for less than a top-notch picture able to tell a unique and emotional story.
If you are passionate about this photography genre, then you already know how tricky those stay-still models can be. Even though they are always at your disposal and can’t run away, you need a heck of a lot of knowledge and experience, as well as incredible attention to detail if you want to capture the vibes of all conceivable and inconceivable buildings, exteriors, and interiors. So, read on to learn some tried and true tips on how to perfect your architectural photography.
Research Your Model
If you’re not plotting to produce just another average picture but one that stands out from the crowd and leaves no one untouched, make sure to get connected with the building you’re about to photograph. According to Chad Chenier, a big name in architectural photography in Houston, Texas, to create captivating images that convey the essence of a certain building, structure, or interior, one has to set aside some time to get to know it. So, always do a bit of background research to find out the story behind your “model” and highlight some unique details that really matter.
Do Not Overlook Details
Being fascinated by the size or impressiveness of the building, it is very easy to overlook small yet incredibly important details that can become real game-changers. Unleash your inner artist and try to recognize some unusual geometric patterns or mesmerizing interplay of lines. Do not be afraid to explore the options offered by a rooftop or a balcony – boldness usually pays off, giving you that one-of-its-king look even at something that has already been photographed thousands of times.
Look For Unusual Perspective
Again, if you dream of shooting a picture able to catch people’s eyes, do not copy someone else’s work in terms of how they have photographed this particular building. Make it your own masterpiece, look for unusual perspectives and angles but not for shortcuts – do your best to scope out the location and figure out all the possible ways to access it. See how the sun affects the building to determine the perfect time for a truly magnificent photo without any problematic shadows.
Do Not Ignore The Golden Hour Rule
In architecture photography, light can mean the difference between an awe-inspiring image and a total disaster. Many people have tried to circumvent the famous golden hour rule but without success. Do not follow their example and use the first and the last hour of sunlight for your perfect photo. The blue hour (the one before sunrise and after sunset) also works miracles, hence do not hesitate to give it a shot.
Make The Best Of The Light
As a rule, interior sessions are far more challenging in terms of light than exterior counterparts. Not everyone can brag of a full suite of lighting equipment, what’s more, even people who have all the necessary stuff in the great bulk of cases can’t bring it to the site. The bottom line is you have to make the best of what you have on the spot, hence take advantage of natural light scheduling your photo session for the brightest hours. Artificial light can be very tricky in terms of how it changes the perception of colors, that’s why everything is much easier, and you simply catch plenty of natural light.
Do Not Skimp On The Gear
You can’t make your perfect shot without decent gear, obviously. This is not to say, you have to spend a fortune on a bunch of different cameras, but a few lenses is a must. The starter set includes a DSLR camera (we bet you already have one), a tripod, and a remote shutter cable. Speaking of lenses, consider getting a tilt-shift lens to take advantage of their ability to minimize or maximize depth-of-field in the picture. Architectural photography provides a plethora of opportunities to express your creativity and share with others your unique perspective on both the exterior and interior of a certain structure. Use your imagination and these tips to perfect your architecture shots.
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