PHOTOGRAPHING LARGE BUILDINGS

By SnapSquad - May 17, 2018




















Summer holidays are back! Something to celebrate, look forward to and prepare, together with your 
camera bag. I am not exactly sure where I am going to go yet, as I am still hesitating between visiting friends and aiming towards more unchartered routes. Still, no matter where I or you are going to end up, there will most likely be buildings, monuments, towers or even light houses that will belong in your travel album; so here are a few points to refresh a memory that may have hibernated for the last few months.

What time for the best lighting?

As always with photography you’ll have to do a little planning to do your shooting under the best possible lighting at the least crowded time. Early morning light is usually the best; somehow it feels like the purest. An early morning shoot will also mean that most people may still be in bed and that the building may be all yours to take. A word of warning though, do make sure that early morning light is the one you need for the angle you want to take!

Sunsets call for a different form of photography. The building will have to stand between you, your camera on a tripod and the setting sun light. To darken the foreground, set your exposure compensation to a negative value. With your camera on the tripod, you will be able set it to a low ISO while using a wide aperture and a long exposure to take lights effects all in.

What do you find interesting in that building?

In relation with the above (correct lighting), dig your thoughts a little bit deeper than the initial emotion that made you grab your camera. What is it that really makes you tick in that building? Is it the whole of it? Is it a particular angle? A particular detail? Letting the structure and its elements talk to you will help you with your photo composition.

Are you keeping the lines?

Always pay attention to the horizon and all the lines, horizontal and vertical. Keep the horizon of the photograph to line up horizontally with the base of the building. In order to achieve that, you may simply want position yourself some further distance away from the building or pick a higher spot to keep sight of the horizontal base of the construction.


Are you working on the perspective?

You could play with adding a special perspective to your picture, using what is near-by: a car, a tree, a bench that would convey a sense of scale of the building; or you may instead want it to stand against an empty background? Yet, sometimes you’ll just have to be creative and perhaps acrobatic too. You may not be able to avoid a crowded front to the building, find a more distant or higher view point and you’ll have to tilt your camera and shoot straight up. The acrobatic part will probably come when you want to keep the lines! And if you can’t manage this last part, do not despair, you can work around it and adjust the perspective with photoshop.


A word on Architectural photography.

Professional architectural photography is a very skilled field with lots of complexities where the photographer must bring out the artistic beauty as well as the soul of the building: for what purpose was it built? Why was it abandoned? Etc… Questions which the amateur photographer too may use to bring creativity to his/her photograph.


Author: Annie R. Teo

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