Essential Guide to Principles of Architecture Photography

There is a unique relationship between architecture and photography. Read about the principles that make this art form work right here.

Have you ever seen the perfectly smooth round exterior of the Guggenheim in New York? Or how about the Dancing House in Prague with its warped sides? Then there’s the Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum in Brazil that looks like an alien spaceship.

These are just a sampling of some of the most unique architecture around the world.

If you’re interested in joining the many admirers who practice architecture photography, you need to know how to get started.

Nowadays, creative professionals use various Photoshop architectural rendering techniques to create models of future buildings, however, in many places across the globe the future is already here. Keep reading to learn how to take amazing pictures of beautiful buildings.

Use a Wide Angle Lens 

One tip that every architectural photographer will tell you is to use a wide-angle lens. These wider lenses will help you capture more of the building or room and fully capture the atmosphere.

It will also help remove that crime scene or “staged” look. It also helps make a smaller room feel larger in the image. This is a trick that real estate agents use to make that tiny bathroom look more inviting.

Don’t use a fisheye lens. Some people attempt to use this type of lenses to achieve the same effect. It doesn’t work, and you end up with distorted lines.

Know Your Angles 

Speaking of lines, you need to know your angles, or you risk the building looking like it’s leaning. Pay attention to the architecture and the vertical lines of the building. You want them to maintain their 90-degree angles in the picture.

To do this, you need to place your camera at the right height. Typically, it’s about three feet off the ground or waist height.

As you become more experienced, you can begin to experiment with different angles and camera heights. With a strong knowledge base, you can get a new perspective without warping the building.

Know Your Lighting 

Lighting can take a harsh and imposing building and turn it into soft and welcoming. Think about the angles and details of the building and how they cast shadows in certain light.

For generally nice looking photos, early morning or early evening provides the perfect amount of indirect light. Harsh midday sun will cast harsh shadows.

Another option is to take twilight or night shots. You can use the darkness and exterior lighting to create a whole new effect on the building.

Stage the Setting 

Look at the area you plan to photograph. If it’s an interior shot, then arrange the furniture and clean up the clutter. You want the focus on the building, not the stuff in it.

If it’s an exterior shot, make sure the landscaping is done, any trash is picked up, and the building is clean.

Become an Ace at Architecture Photography

By using these little tips and tricks, you too, can become an ace at architecture photography. Remember to look at your building and learn its shapes and lines. Then you can use your other tools to capture the building’s personality in your own unique way.

Follow our blog for more architectural news and industry-related happenings or CLICK HERE for additional information on a beginners guide to architecture photography.

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