What are the purpose of architectural photography

There are two goals for architectural photography

First – Documenting the project for the architect, developer or the client with the emphasis of planing, and execution of the project.

Second – Leveraging the photos to create interaction of the client motivating them into “call to action” and hiring the architect.

When we document architectural project with professional architectural photographer we must understand who’s the client and what are the goals of the photoshoot, what make the project special and how the architects work comes into play.

When we take it one step further, we will focus on the ultimate goal of the photos and this is where we try to create those gut feelings of your potential clients of “ I want this “.

How to plan an architectural photoshoot

No matter if you’re in New York or Berlin, architectural photography almost all the time starts from outdoor to indoor.

Starting outside we should consider if to photograph the space by it self or tie it to the environment.

When we photograph structure its important to put a spot on the environment, location, views and incorporate all of them into one visual.

Don’t forget to address all the design and architecture elements that make the structure special, from the front, the side, try booth angels of each side

Architectural photography doesn’t end on the outside it continues to the inside as well.

Interior Design and Architecture goes hand in hand, it always recommend to have booth visuals of the indoor and outdoor as well, booth design and architecture as it’s always best to have your project documented as a whole.

angled photos are the most hard to keep straight.

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What equipment should you use for an architectural photography

The basic always starts with a good camera with enough resolution and a compatible lens.

Us the professional ones uses a high resolution camera, architectural lenses like tilt shift that allows us to minimize lens distortion and keep the lines straight.

Studio light, transmitters and receivers, light stands and tripods and many more technology driven gear that help us take the photography one step further.

Here are few tips how architects can capture better photos of their projects

Shutter Speed:

Structure does not move, however don’t forget the environment does (trees from the wind) also the camera it self moves slightly when making a picture.

Lets start with the basic, a tripod is a must

As possible try to photograph on M (manual) mode

If we want to capture people in motion within the frame go under 1/25 shutter speed, if you want to make sure your photo is as sharp and not blurry keep your shutter above 1/125

Apature

The aperture defines the depth of filed and also the sharpness in the photo.

Try to stay within F9-F11 to make sure we have the best sharpness as possible. 

If you use (A) – Aperture priority mode or Automatic mode the camera will choose the aperture for you, so it’s recommended to keep it simple and use the M (manual mode)

ISO – Keep your sensitivity to the minimum 50-100 the lower the better is for your picture quality.

Utilize the Sun – Big structures can’t be lit with studio lighting, we have to use the sun for it.

Wait for the sun to come in front of your building / angle but it’s best that it will come from one of your sides and not behind you for better gradient of light and shadows.

Choosing the right lens – it’s not always best to go wide as possible, as wide lens getting distortions, try to keep your focal length on 24mm and above unless you are using TSE lenses.

Keep it straight – architectural photography leans on straight lines and proper ratio of the structure and space, keep your camera on a tripod parallel to the floor, use the bubble head on the tripod or buy one for the camera if your cameras does not have one built it to make sure your straight to the object and from the ground.

click the image to enlarge

Photographing with a phone?

  • Activate those grid lines from the settings for straighter photos
  • photograph parallel to the floor
  • Don’t photograph when the sun is not behind or to the side of you.
  • if you tilt your phone up or down you will have the space out of proportions and not straight due to the distortion of the angle

That’s all for now, good luck with you upcoming photoshoot.

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