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May 11, 2021

6 Common Errors in Architectural Photography

photo of architectural photography

Though real estate photography and architectural photography seem similar, the differences between the two are rather significant. Architectural photography focuses on the integral beautification in displaying the structures of a space whereas real estate photography typically focuses on displaying a space so that the property can be sold. Building photography is an exceptional tool to utilize to display a property as it uses photos to tell the story of a building and it can also be used for longer marketing plans.

Architectural photography is no easy feat and many photographers can become ignorant to the errors made in their photographs. Here are six common mistakes that can be easily remedied to make the best picture possible.

Using the Wrong Equipment

As with any sort of photography, using the right equipment is essential in displaying what is being captured. For architecture photography, the most straightforward way to shoot is with a wide-angle lens to encapsulate the entirety of the property. Of course, there are limitations to the wide-angle lens and a good photographer will know when to change to a different lens to give a variety of views and feelings to a space.

It is important to be creative with the tools and equipment you have at your disposal. Knowing the settings in your camera that best enhance a photo is key for architecture photography. Using polarizing filters is a great way to make the structure and colors pop.

Drones are another piece of equipment that gives you access to more angles and dispositions of a place. When using a drone, they can find displays of building photography in hard-to-reach places.

The tripod is possibly the most important tool in an architectural photographer’s toolbox because it gives stability and endless options for photographing a space. With a tripod, the images are taken with very little shaking and it lets the photographer utilize things like panoramas and tilt-shift lenses.

Only Shooting from One Perspective

The beauty of a building is that it has an abundance of hidden features you can turn into a concept. The key in architectural photography is to not limit yourself to one spot and idea but, to expand and grow these ideas to display a grander picture. By limiting an image to one shot and one angle, the shot acquires an immense amount of pressure. In doing this, the one perspective aims to show all the techniques and design behind a building, which is nearly impossible to do. One image, one angle, one type of perspective does not give the chance to show the story of a building

Take your time to display the smallest of corners with the grandest of rooms. One image cannot show all of the space so allow for the architecture to speak for itself while you display the narrative of the property in your images.

Ignoring the Structural Beauty

Part of being creative in perspective and imaging is understanding the beauty of a structure. Finding those different perspectives and interesting angles comes from the exploration and understanding of a building. Interior architectural photography is a great asset to any showcasing of a space. The basic exterior shot of a place with a wide view will always showcase the structural beauty but the small parts that make up this building, that keep it standing, will help benefit your images greatly.

Find the little grooves on the outside that contrast well with what’s beyond the building. Look into the way the structure flawlessly flows on the inside and how it can contrast with the various structures behind it. Your camera can play with the movements and dynamics of a space that make up the beautiful composition. The way an image is captured can display the perfections of lines and movements the building was built to share with the world around it.

Limiting the Photos to One Shoot

Architectural photography is one of the few styles of photography where you don’t necessarily need a bright summer day. Shooting a building in different weather conditions lets the photographer see the interaction a building has with its surroundings. It lets the photographer encapsulate the personality of the architecture.

Shooting at different times of day can also have a similar effect. Seeing how the sunrise, sunset, and midday light interacts with a building. Do not limit yourself to one day at one time, explore what makes the building light up the most.

Underestimating the Editing Process

The editing process is essential in photography. The intention in editing is to enhance the photo even more than what has been captured. Editing can ensure that lens distortion is eliminated, large populations of people can be removed and distractions like electrical cords and sockets can be taken out of interior architecture photography.

The editing process allows for the dynamics of an image to be enhanced even more. It gives an artistic jurisdiction to an image that can’t happen during a shoot. Things like decisions to make an image black and white to enhance the classic nature of the build, using dark tones or pastel tones pop more than others, all give a better story to an image. Using editing and color correction can help best display the building as the focal point of an image.

Taking Pictures without Research

The beauty of architecture is that there is an abundance of history behind every detail on a building. This is essential in finding out how to best take images to showcase a property. Architecture has a rich history, new or old, and finding out the history of the building or the history of the architect can help find new and creative ways to shoot an image.

Think of these essential questions:

  • What were the complications in creating this building?
  • What is the general history of this building?
  • How does this building impact the public?
  • What are aspects of this building that the public wouldn’t know about?

An architecture photographer has to take the role of both an artist and an investigator. The image a photographer takes helps to show the surreal beauty and technique that was put into building these structures. Behind every pixel is a deep history of a space that is revealed through the story of a photograph.