Tips to Help you Take Amazing Photos of Architecture

If you want to photograph buildings you will need to bare some tips in mind if you would like to elevate your shots above mere holiday snaps to something with a little more style. There are so many approaches to this style of photography, how do you know where to start? Thats where today’s guide comes in, follow these tips to take your archiecture photography to the next level.

1. Scouting the Location

If you live nearby you can take a look around and plan some locations out before you head out, if this isn’t possible because you are on a day trip or on holiday, you can still do some preparation by using google maps street view. Note down some locations that look interesting in your notebook or on your smart phone.

2. Shoot Wide

If you have a wide angle lens, make sure to bring it – this can help you capture street scenes and the building in their surrounding environment. Shooting low with a wide angle lens can have a dramatic effect.

Ludwigstrasse Munich by Werner Kunz

3. Zoom Lens for Details

Using a zoom lens you are able to home right in on the details of a building and take a more artistic shot – zoom in on things like hoardings, windows, beams and use the shadows. Look out for buildings with symmetry and use this, you can get some amazing photos like this.

Black Angels from a White Future by Gilderic Photography

Reflections on Market Street by Thomas Hawk

4. Use a Tripod

Buildings dont move! Therefore you can use a tripod and a lower shutter speed, rather than raising the ISO, if shooting at night a tripod is essential. Another important thing when shooting buildings is getting the picture correctly leveled so you can use a bubble level on your tripod.

Parliament House Canberra by Sam Ilić

5. Time of Day

Shooting during the day is fine but early morning or dusk can give a more dramatic effect. In particular, office buildings, hotels, restaurants and bars can look great when they are lit up at night. Dusk is probably the best time as you can get a balance between interior and exterior light on the building. See our post on city skylines for loads of examples.

Darkness Falls in Rome by Storm Crypt

6. Positioning Yourself

If you stand at the base of a tall building and shoot upwards then the top will look tiny compared to the base so you dont want to get too close to the building for these type of shots. If the building is really wide you will need a wide angle lense or will have to move farther back. Don’t forget to include some of the surroundings if they are relevant – this will give scale to the building, especially if you include people in the shot.

A Foggy Empire by WanderingtheWorld (www.LostManProject.com)

Examples

The following are a few great examples of Architecture photography I found on Flickr which have been licensed under a creative commons license.

Green Bottle

Green Bottle by Bert Kaufmann

Liège / Luik / Lüttich

Liège / Luik / Lüttich by Bert Kaufmann

Playa de Bocagrande, Cartagena, Colombia

Playa de Bocagrande, Cartagena, Colombia by szeke

Working Late

Working Late by Thomas Hawk

light looks back

light looks back by ecstaticist

arne jacobsen, aarhus town hall 1937-1942

arne jacobsen, aarhus town hall 1937-1942 by seier+seier

Dome of the Reichstag building

Dome of the Reichstag building by alles-schlumpf