Up for Discussion – Architectural Photography
My turn this week. I have been trying to work out all week what I would discuss with you, I mean what could I possibly talk about? I went through lots of ideas, copyright, critiquing images, something about blogging, and then I remembered my friend from a week ago telling me how she didn’t know how to photograph architecture. So here we are on a Friday and I thought I would tell you something about photographing architecture, well I hope I can.
This has been my favourite type of photography, but for the last year I haven’t been doing a lot of it. I think the new camera and learning to use my lenses in different ways has been partly responsible for that, but just recently, and with some reminders from other people, I’ve decided I should get back into it.
There are lots of different ways of photographing architecture. Open any newspaper and you will see lots of pages of images of houses for sale and the real estate images. Real estate images are about getting images of houses that are representations of what is there. They try to show a house at its best to help sell it. There isn’t a lot of scope for doing anything different.
Nothing wrong with that sort of photography, it just isn’t something that I have been interested in. I like to do something different with my architectural images. I am more into fine art images of architecture. I like to try and get some mood or drama into an image.
When I look at buildings I like to find old ones, and ones that have some sort of character. Not that it is a hard and fast rule, I do occasionally find newer buildings that I also find interesting. When I am out and about I will photograph everything and anything that I think might be interesting. It is rare when I am out taking photos that I find something straight away that I know I will want to do more processing too.
I don’t have particular angles that I go for. I try everything. I might show you one image, of a building, but I might have taken about 50 images of that same building. When I have a building in front of me I try every angle I can think of. I will photograph it from across the road, right in front of it. I will try to the right, to the left. I will try photographing the whole building.
Once I have all the angles for the whole building then I start looking for details. Buildings are something that I have that I have always enjoyed looking at the details of, though I haven’t tended to look at really small parts, but rather parts that I think will tell part of the story.
When I get an opportunity I do like doing the inside of buildings as well. Especially older buildings that have been, either kept in their original state, or restored to it. I find those sorts of buildings have more of a story and you can get more from them.
I know a lot of photographers who do architecture will spend a lot of time taking photos in different light, use their tripod, or use tilt-shift lenses, but I don’t do any of that. I will use the tripod for indoors, and only use it outdoors if the lighting is bad and I can’t get shots with low ISO.
For me the magic starts to happen when I get home and put the photos on the computer. I never really know which one I will work on. I go through the images and mark my favourites and then one will often stand out and I begin. I try not to have any preconceived idea of what the final image will look like. I have found in the past that I usually just end up disappointed when that happens. So I just go for it, try things, delete, or go back, go forward and I just keep going until I think I am happy with an image.
When I work on images I’m not always trying to get a true or accurate image of the building. I try to provoke something more like, I don’t quite know, a feeling, maybe or drama, I have always like the idea of putting some theatre into my images. I like to give the building a story I suppose.
I like to change the lighting, manipulate it, and put the focus where I want it to be. It is a hard thing to describe, it is just something I do. I know that doesn’t help, but when you don’t have a client and are just doing it for yourself, it means that you can do whatever you like to the image. Experimentation is the key and just trying things. I will often replace the sky to get the one I want, and I do a lot more manipulation as well. It is my image and I will do what I want, I will try everything, delete most, but keep going.
So that is basically how I do architecture. There is no real plan or goals, I just shoot and work with what I have.
I might try doing some more too on just a straight image process.
I think that about rounds it up on how I go about photographing architecture, I hope it gave you some idea of what I do.
I am always open to having people guest post, so if you are interested, then send me an email, my contact are here. The discussion needs to be about photography, or blogging. I don’t mind it being about blogging, but obviously being a photography blog, photography is best. You can go through the archives to see what has already been done, and maybe you can give a different point of view to that.
If you are interested, then please send me an email and I will send you the guidelines. Please take note that I don’t pay people to guest post and I want accept posts that are advertising of any sort.