5 Tips to improve your architectural photography

No matter if you are a professional architectural photographer, an architect or anyone that want to improve your architecture photography skills.

Here are 5 tips how to improve your architectural photography.

01. Distortions

Distortions and straight lines are crucial for proper architectural photos.

Distortions typically coming while using ultra wide lenses

The professional can minimize this by using tilt shift lenses that allows to keep the lines straight.

Everyone else can reduce this effect by using a longer / higher focal length of 24mm. If you are on mobile, you can zoom slightly but not too much as mobile phones zoom digitally and not optically and can impact your photo quality.

Straight lines can be easily fixed while using the camera or external leveler, those bubble levels on the camera or on the tripod to make sure you are leveled to the ground.

TIP: use the grid option on the camera or phone to have straight gridline when photographing

The second element to keep your photos straight is photographing parallel to the space while keeping your camera straight forward and now tilting up or down, just straight.

angled photos are the most hard to keep straight.

click the image to enlarge

02. Tie the environment

Tying your space to the environment always helps to upgrade your architecture photos.

Try to understand what makes your space unique and the space around it a part of it.

It can be the landscape, the unique views or the location it self. Include those views and surrounding in the photos.

After all, location, location, location is what most people pay for these days.

03. Work with the light

The sun movement is predictable, one quick look on countless apps will let you know in which exact time the sun going to be in the sky.

Use the light to enhance or light the space, try to create powerful photos while using the sun to your sides and not directly behind you to create gradient of light on surface.

Photographing while the sun is in front of your camera will result most of the times in glare on the lens and washed out sky but sometimes this can work for you.

click the image to enlarge

04. It’s not about the space it’s about the work

Many people think that architectural photographer job is to create beautiful photos, while this is true it is not the first agenda.

The photographers job is to explain to the viewer his client hard work and time in designing, creating, executing and supervising.

It’s also important to reflect actual value and represent why should one hire your client for the next project.

Focus on what the creator had in mind, translate hundreds of hours into single photos by focusing on the elements and not just the space.

05. Finish with the Hero Shoot

The magic hour is the twilight hour, you have the whole day to create beautiful images using the sun light, but you only have 5 minutes to capture twilight.

Capturing a stunning twilight architectural shoot is done in the moment when the sun is setting and the lights from the space is strong enough to capture booth at the perfect time.

Start by:

  • Turning all the interior and exterior lighting if you can control them.
  • Find the perfect spot and angle that works for you prior to sunset
  • Take a picture every few minutes when the start is starting to set down.
  • Wait for the moment that the interior lights allowing to view inside while there is still light outside.
  • Keep photographing after the sun has set.
  • To get the most out of twilight shoots we use a combination of multiple exposures in post production to mix the best of the sunset and the best of the interior light to create one photo that shows all.
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