Architecture is one of the most dynamic art forms engraved into the fabric of human civilization, from the Giza pyramids to the temples of Ancient Rome, from a suburban home to a towering modern skyscraper. Since no two structures are the same in design and size, and no two views provide the same image, architecture is a popular subject for photographers.
What Is Architecture Photography?
The design, engineering, and building of artificial structures, as well as the completed structures themselves, are all covered under the umbrella of architecture. Throughout the years, a plethora of architectural styles have arisen, each with its distinct expressions: Romanesque, Gothic, Classical, Neoclassical, Baroque, Modernist, Brutalist, and so on.
While it is simple to point a camera at a building or a bridge and take a picture, photography architecture is an art form. Albert Levy, who began shooting older structures in the 1870s, and Julius Shulman, an American mid-century modernist who became famous after capturing modern buildings, are two famous architectural photographers.
2 Styles of Architecture Photography:
Exterior and interior architecture photography are the two categories.
Photographing the outside of a building Photographs of a building's exterior are referred to as this. Exteriors have a lot of natural light, so they're easy to photograph. Exteriors can offer dramatically different, melancholy, and dramatic results depending on the vagaries of nature.
Photography of interior design. Photographs of the interior of a building are referred to as this. Interiors are more difficult to photograph because the amount of ambient light accessible from windows or skylights is generally restricted, and it is often filtered, as in churches with brilliant stained glass windows. Interiors can benefit from additional illumination in the form of a flash.
What are the best cameras for photographing architecture?
Any camera can take interesting architectural shots, whether it's a smartphone or a DSLR.
When used in conjunction with manual camera apps like Adobe Lightroom, smartphones, such as Apple's iPhone, may take remarkably good architecture photographs.
2. Digital cameras
Particularly mirrorless cameras and DSLRs, allow for more lens experimentation and manual control of camera settings such as exposure, shutter speed, and ISO in manual mode. From entry-level point-and-shoot cameras to top-of-the-line mirrorless cameras, Canon, Nikon, and Sony all have a variety of cameras to choose from.
3. View cameras
Which allow for large format photography, are the ideal camera for producing professional-looking photographs, and they are chosen by specialist architecture photographers all over the world. However, their size and price make them unsuitable for beginning or hobbyist architecture photographers.
Step-By-Step Guide on How to Photograph Architecture
Follow these easy principles once you've decided on an architecture interior or exterior to photograph.
1. Investigate the topic
Every building has a tale to tell. As a beginning point, look into the architect's influences, as well as the style and year the building was built or renovated.
2. Make a good first impression on your audience
When standing in front of or inside a structure, take a moment to glance around and assess what you observe. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about this? What has drawn your gaze? Allow your intuition to lead you to the fascinating aspects of your architectural subject.
3. Zoom in on the Details
You might notice little elements that match the narrative of your architectural subject if you've done your study. There is still lots to discover if you haven't done any research if the building's history doesn't inspire you. Think about the roof's shape, as well as the ceiling and floor's materials. Look for strange symbols or repeated design components. It's just as important to portray the entire as it is to capture the specifics in architecture photography.
4. Zoom out On the landscape
It's also crucial to examine the surrounding landscape and put the architecture in its proper context. Try photographing the building's reflection alongside the building itself if there is a body of water nearby.
5. Other buildings or rooms can be incorporated
Try incorporating other structures into the frame if they contrast well with your topic. When photographing interiors, try catching your subject from a separate hallway or room. The incorporation of these nuances to architecture photographs adds another level of complexity and appeal
6. Take pictures from Every Angle
When you've had enough of your architectural subject, you can go on to something else. Look for new perspectives, angles, and vantage points. Is it possible to photograph an interior from a window or from above? From below, how does that bridge appear? Is the structure as spectacular from the air as it is on the ground?
7. Take pictures at various times and in various environments
On a rainy day, how does your outdoor subject appear? What effect does a desk lamp's light have on the atmosphere of a room on a night? Various climatic occasions can give a special appeal to your architectural photographs.
Tips and Techniques for Architectural Photography
To make the most of your architecture photos, follow these guidelines.
1. It is crucial to have a good position
Positioning the camera perpendicular to the vertical lines of a building is the simplest approach to creating a spectacular photograph. Control the viewpoint and change the focal plane to catch many parallel vertical lines to create a visually appealing image.
2. Dynamic shapes should be avoided
Clean lines against a clear sky emphasize a structure's symmetry but look for curves or other dynamic features that bring movement to an otherwise static image.
3. Locate the ideal light source
Wait for the light to change so you may photograph the shift in shadows cast by windows or columns. Adjust your shutter speed and aperture (or, on a smartphone, your exposure setting) to get three shots: underexposed, automatically exposed, and overexposed, if the light isn't optimal.
4. Experiment with the settings on your camera
Play with shutter speed and aperture for the three pictures above, recording one that is darker than you'd want, one that is brighter, and one that appears to be fine but could use some work. Because you'll be blending all three photographs during post-processing to create a final, balanced image, perfection isn't important at this stage.
Given our proximity to buildings ranging from the ancient to the ultra-modern, it's fortunate that capturing the perfect photo requires minimal talent or knowledge. You can begin experimenting with architecture photography as soon as you have a camera in your hands, starting with your own home before moving on to the rest of the globe.