Creating a stunning visual composition of architectural wonders of the world—it’s the art of architectural photography. Architectural photographers strive to capture the unique beauty of structures, from the most stately of cathedrals to the most modern of skyscrapers. By showcasing the diverse styles and shapes of these buildings, architectural photography helps to celebrate the wonders of the human world. From eye-catching curvature to massive stonework, it’s an art form that reveals the remarkable magnitude of man-made creations. Through this art form, we can bask in the glory of the world’s most unique structures while gaining an appreciation of the beauty of these architectural masterpieces.
1. Capturing Unique Architecture Through the Lens
Photography can bring to life the beauty of architecture like no other art form. From ancient ruins to modern structures, you can capture unique architecture through the lens with creative and technical techniques. Here are our top tips on how to capture unique architecture through the lens.
Find the Right Angle
- To bring out the unique features and lines in your architecture, look for interesting angles.
- From straight on, or shooting directly above, mix it up with different perspectives.
- Try both high and low angles, and also at an angle from the side.
Use Foreground to Frame the Image
- Including some foreground in the image can create a frame, drawing attention to the architecture.
- Foreground elements could be trees, flowers, signs, people, or any subject that naturally occurs around the architecture.
- If the architecture has elements that naturally frame the scene, such as doorways, these can be used instead.
Capture Details of the Structure
- If your main subject is a large structure, look for smaller details of its architecture that may go unnoticed.
- Details such as unique bricks, intricate carvings, or patterns in stone.
- If possible, look for abstract details that could help highlight the most interesting aspects of the building.
Capture the Whole Scene
- Also remember to capture the wider scene or context of the architecture, to tell the whole story.
- Where is architecture located? How are people interacting with it?
- Can you pick out any environmental elements that may accentuate the architecture?
With these tips in mind, you can explore your surroundings and capture unique architecture through the lens in creative, expressive ways. Have fun and share your best shots with us.
2. Illuminating the Beautiful Symbols of Historic Architecture
Lighting the Past
The past is a place full of mystery, and many structural and artistic marks of our ancestors manifest throughout our world. Historic architecture is a visual treasured component of many of our cities, and in hearing its stories the thoughtful observer can see beyond the present.
These treasured pieces of history exist in grand cathedrals, quaint cottages and castles surrounded with tall walls. Throughout their passages, man-made symbols of the past display stories of the people who lived, the struggles they faced, and the successes they achieved.
Soften the Shadow
The deep shadows of historic architecture often require careful lighting techniques to bring the details of fascinating stone work and statuaries to life. Accents and beams of light should be used sparingly to pick out important shapes and highlight lines and texture. Subtle vignettes or outlines can be used to draw attention to specific features and define the edges of the structure.
When it comes to lighting historic architecture, it pays to tread lightly. Light fixtures should honor the period design, even if it is traditional lighting connected to modern technology. Neutral tones and dim wattage, well-placed focused light can draw the eye to intricate features such as gargoyles and archways.
In certain conditions, the wall finish may become a reflective surface that enhances the visual beauty of the architecture with the right lighting. Consider adding indirect light sources that activates the stone surface through gentle reflections and shadows giving a sense of softness to the shape of the structure.
Create the Drama
When ready to create a show-stopper, strong floods and turrets can dramatize the entry points to any structure and accentuate the walls themselves. For select occasions, it pays to add targeted accentuating light, which can locate sculptures, arches and spires for a dramatic effect. Imaginative illumination can bring out the secrets in these reverent structures.
3. Exploring the World of Creative Architectural Photography
Capture Magical Scenes
Photography is an art and many people are mesmerized by the beauty of architectural photography. Whether it’s capturing images of ancient monuments, urban skylines, or the grandeur of nature, architectural photography can add a magical touch to any scene. With the help of the right equipment and the creative eye of a photographer, it’s possible to capture some truly stunning images.
Choose the Right Light for Maximum Effect
Light is one of the most important aspects of architectural photography. Capturing the right lighting can make a big difference in the quality of the image. During the day, the sun can provide the perfect backdrop, while at night, careful use of artificial light can make a building look stunning. It’s important to pay attention to the angle of the light, the color of the shadows, and the way the light interacts with the building’s features to get the best effect.
Play Around with Different Angles
Getting different angles of a building can provide truly unique perspectives. Experimenting with different camera placements, such as from the ground, on the roof, or near the water’s edge, can offer interesting results. It’s also great to try different lenses and focal lengths to capture different facets of a building.
Give Photos an Extra Touch
A great way to really make an image stand out is to add some extra elements. People, cars, and other elements of the built landscape can make a huge difference in an architectural photo. Including these elements can give the image more depth and can be a great way to capture a unique sense of place.
Experience the World as an Architectural Photographer
By exploring the world of architectural photography, you can experience the built environment in a unique and beautiful way. From the vast skylines of cities to the intricate details of a fountain, each scene can be captured in its own unique light. Investing in the right equipment and playing around with the right techniques can help you experience the world through the lens of an architectural photographer.
4. Capturing and Captivating Unique Buildings and Structures
Architects are magicians- they build places that are both captivating and functional. Every architectural structure has a story, a unique feature or intrinsic design detail that keeps it standing out from the background. Photographers seeking to capture that detail have a unique responsibility: preserving the masterfully crafted story of a structure, be it modest or extraordinary, with a single image.
Though most may be familiar with classic architecture, like the iconic skyline of Manhattan, there are remarkable structures around the world awaiting to be documented. It is captivating to witness the beauty of a colossal pavilion, a whimsical windmill, and nearby hidden alleys with quaintly colored houses. For photographers on a never-ending journey for the picture perfect takeaway, here are a few tips to make that journey as fruitful as possible:
- Take your time. Photographing a building is about more than just composition; it is about exploring and understanding the building’s form – the gentle curves, the protruding balconies, the arches, the expressed details. Focus on each one and capture them from different angles.
- Consider the play with light. Soft morning light, for instance, can give a romantic feel to a house while the crisp afternoon light can add contrast and depth.
- Wait for the right subjects. A human element can add extra charm and scale to a grand building.
- Embrace local life.Capture people interacting with buildings: walking their dogs, chatting, and doing all the nice leisure activities that adds an extra personal touch.
- Don’t forget unusual perspectives. Move your point of view and take shots from above, underneath or from the side to emphasize certain designs.
A last thought for capturing the perfect image is to have a bit of patience. Whether it is a memorable sunset, an exquisite view, or a photogenic subject in the foreground – the perfect angle may come in time, allowing you to capture unique buildings and majestic structures from all around the world in a completely original light.
As you’ve witnessed, architectural photography can capture some of the world’s most awe-inspiring and unique structures. Whether you prefer shooting cities or industrial landscapes, you can use the photography tips in this article to create stunning images of architecture. Now go forth and explore the world from a new point of view – through the lens of an architectural photographer!