When it comes to photography, there are so many things that are fun to shoot: other people, nature, animals. But learning how to photograph buildings – buildings don’t seem to have the liveliness and beauty of the aforementioned things. This, however, couldn’t be any more false.Done correctly, photographing architecture can be incredibly dynamic and can produce photos that are truly mesmerizing. Old, new, tall, short – there are so many photogenic buildings in the world. It’s just about finding the right ones and understanding how to properly shoot them. Juxtapose different aesthetics together
No two buildings are the same, and when photographing them, this can truly work in your advantage. Instead of shooting a cluster of structures that look identical, look for two buildings that couldn’t be any more opposite, like a modern high-rise and an old church, or a brand new house and a dilapidated one.
Once you’ve got your shot, you can play around with color and contrast in Photoshop to really make each building pop. Don’t have Photoshop? Sites like Pixlr allow you to do basic editing for free.
Look for Reflections When Photographing Architecture
When scouting out a location to take architectural shots, find some areas with water. While a straightforward shot of a building has the potential to be captivating on its own, a building with its reflection adds a bigger dynamic to your photo.
And if you want to up the wow factor even more, try to capture a structure and its reflection during a sunrise or sunset.
No water in sight? No problem. Skyscrapers, like the ones you’ll find in NYC, make for perfect mirrors, and they’ll reflect other buildings or clouds. So if it’s a particularly cloud-filled day, head to the nearest city and snap some photos.
Wait for the Right Setting
And speaking of cloud-filled days, an architectural shot is going to be much more interesting if the weather, too, is interesting.
Instead of taking a photo of an old home on a particularly sunny day with zero clouds, wait for a big storm. An old home surrounded by ominous clouds is going to tell a much more captivating story than a photo of an old home on a sunny, cloudless day.
Play with angles
Stand in front of a building, about 50 feet away, and gaze at it. Next, stand directly underneath a building so you have to crane your neck to see the top. These are two completely different views, right? Well, consider this when taking shots of architecture.
Take multiple shots of the same building while standing in different locations, and you’ll have a large variety of different shots without even having to travel to multiple locations.
Also, when you’re testing out different angles, don’t forget to play with negative space. Instead of fitting an entire building into the picture, shoot just a corner of the building and let the sky cover the rest of the shot. It’ll add a nice mixture of colors and textures to the photo.
Don’t be Afraid to Try Out Some HDR Photography
When it comes to HDR photography, it truly looks best when used on cityscapes and architecture. So if there’s ever a time to break out the HDR software, it’s after snagging some shots of buildings, especially colorful skyscrapers. Using this technique on architectural photography will make the buildings pop as opposed to laying flat like they normally would in other photos.
Another unique technique to use when shooting buildings? Old school film photography. In an age where digital cameras are what’s most popular, film cameras have been thrown by the wayside. If you or someone you know owns a film camera – like an old Minolta 35 mm – take it with you the next time you find yourself in a city. The older look and feel of film can juxtapose itself quite nicely against a shot of a modern building.