Architectural photography is a challenging form of photography that is not just about taking a few snapshots. Unlike model or animal photography, architectures are immobile and you have time to plan the shot. Still, there are many things to consider. In addition to photographic expertise, basic knowledge of design theory and the architectural features of the architectural image, a trained eye is a basic requirement for high-quality architectural photography.
The wishes of the customer are important for the realization of high quality architectural photos. Do you need a glossy brochure, a documentary, a reportage, interior shots, a mood photo or an artistic architectural photo? No matter what type of architectural photography you need, the following procedure is always required: the photo object must be analyzed in detail.
What is important!
Where is the right shooting location, is the distance to the building sufficient? How does the sun move, when is the best time of day with the optimal exposure? What must the weather be like to achieve the desired effect? What is the exposure time. Does a filter need to be used, for example in a long exposure to make a busy square appear deserted? Which subject is in the foreground – the entire object or details that make up the building? These are just a few examples; of course, there are other requirements that make for high-quality photography. This applies to both indoor and outdoor photography.
There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are. –Ernst Haas
What lens should be used to avoid plunging lines. Lenses are an important, along with a high resolution camera and a tripod an important part of architectural photography. Falling lines, which make an image look unsteady, are avoided by using a tilt and shift lens. Of course, these can also be corrected digitally, but this results in loss of quality and distortion of the image. Many of these aspects also apply to videography of buildings.
Sloping lines -Telekom Tower, Cologne
One point perspective, Telekom Tower
Perspektives and Hints
Good architectural photos and videos play with perspectives and angles. Architectural photographers work primarily with two points of view: one-point perspective (straight ahead) and two-point perspective (corner-to-corner or diagonal). Architectural images are effective when they are intended to show one of these two viewpoints. The mistake I often see is choosing an angle between the two – not quite straight enough to be a one-point perspective, and not slanted enough to be a proper two-point perspective. The same goes for sloping lines; if you can’t avoid them, it’s better to exaggerate them. This creates an exciting, dynamic image.
Reducing to the essentials.
Architectural photography should provide a few targeted information and not too much. That overwhelms the viewer. Therefore, love to shoot a sequence of the architectural object and details separately. Often I see advertising interior shots for apartments. Except a bouquet of flowers and a bottle of wine ict nothing to recognize. that has with Architektubildern and what a viewer expects from it not to do. It says nothing at all! Reduction to the essential. In this case the architecture. A successful architectural photograph is based on a series of images. Trying to accomplish too much with a single image dilutes the quality of the image.
Two point perspective, modern house, Cannes
Architectural photography requires the desired lighting conditions. Post-processing with Photodshop is possible, but should not be overdone. If you do, something unnatural will result. If unnatural then it must also be extremely exaggerated.
Architectural photography is a demanding subject. Therefore, small mistakes can have a big impact on your work.
Architectural photography means to deal with the object thoroughly. For this you need time and rest. Architectural photography does not happen in a flash.
I have specialized in architectural photography for many years. But you always learn something new. New techniques, processes and above all new ways of looking at things. This is true for architecture and photography and can be applied to life as well. A long life of learning!
Indoor, modern house, Innsbruck