Architecture photography may seem simple, but there is potential for nuance beyond what you may have considered. A striking architecture photo will convey the essence of a structure while providing an accurate representation of its appearance and function.
Below are seven basic considerations to make when planning an architecture photo session.
A wide-angle lens is a must for architecture photography – many photographers will own equipment that allows for continuous panoramic shots to be strung together, which is great for perspective. Failing this, there is software available that allows you to stitch together panoramic images taken using a DSLR.
Learn a Little About the Building’s History
It pays to get as much background history as you can about a subject building before shooting. Older structures often have features that merit discussion or exploration in your architecture photo – for example, an older building with elaborate or rustic brickwork could be zoomed in on to capture the roughness of the finish. A great architecture photo tells a story – discover what it is, and use your skills to convey it.
Consider Shooting in Different Weather Conditions
It’s sunny or nothing for many forms of professional photography, but this need not be the case when taking an architecture photo. Shooting in tricky meteorological conditions can help you craft dynamic images and help to convey the atmosphere of certain architecture. Early morning or late evening shots can have a similar effect, as strong natural lighting can accentuate shadows and highlight certain features.
Embrace Unique Features and Details
A lot of architecture is designed for function before aesthetics, forcing photographers to search for the unique in their subject. Whether you are shooting the interior or exterior of a building, your work should look to take advantage of and display these nuances.
The above image is an example of using an interesting piece of design to add perspective.
Incorporate Movement and Life into the Frame
For a long time, architecture photography was devoid of human beings and activity. Depending on the intent of your work, don’t be afraid to feature people going about their daily business in your photos. While the structure itself must still be the subject of your architecture photo, it can be helpful to see people engaging with their environment.
Play with Perspective
When photographing larger buildings, you will be unable to capture the entire structure up-close without playing around with perspective. You can create a powerful architecture photo by positioning yourself very close to the base of a building and shooting upwards to the top of the structure. Use a smaller aperture to ensure the image stays in sharp focus throughout your image series.
Use Subjects and Objects for Scale
To accurately capture scale in your architecture photo, stand at a fair distance from the building to shoot the entire structure. Ensure that there are everyday objects such as people, cars, trees or similar to accurately convey the building size.
Professional Architecture Photography from Porfyri Photography
Andrew Porfyri has an extensive history in architecture photography, having composed images for a range of industries. Whether your needs are commercial, residential or otherwise, we can work together to craft image sets that capture the aesthetic quality and essence of your structure.