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5 Tips to Improve Your Architectural Photography

To be a good Architectural Photographer in London is harder than it may seem. It takes patience, practice and learning of the key principles in order to excel.

When approaching architectural photography for the first time, it can be challenging for even a seasoned photographer in London. Especially when working in the capital, you may begin to get frustrated with the amount of crowds (pre-pandemic) and wonder the feasibility of removing them in post! Alongside the human traffic, you also have unpredictable weather and fluctuating lighting. You can however get over all these little irritations and create some amazing architectural photography by following a few simple steps.

Get Better Results in Architectural Photography

Good lighting is Your Best Friend

Any photographer will tell you that lighting is the most important element in a good shot. It not only makes the image technically possible, but it also creates the atmosphere and mood. Obviously when shooting in a studio you are in full control of the lighting, whereas in architectural photography, you have to deal with natural lighting, thus, watching for particular hours and weather conditions. The golden hour is your best time for photography. During the first hour after the sun rises and the last hour before the sun sets, light looks softer and more diffused. Shooting during golden hour will give a magical quality to your building images as their long shadows will be stretching along the street.

Alongside the golden hour, there’s also the blue hour, a time in which your architectural photos will take on a whole new quality. This occurs before the sunset and after the sunrise when the sunlight is indirect and the sky is mostly a deep blue with pink, yellow, or orange undertones.

Don't Exclude People

Although crowds of tourists might be annoying and distract viewers from the main subjects of a photo, architecture with some context can work in your favour. Unless you're up at the crack of dawn to shoot during golden hour, your architectural photography of London will look pretty odd without some tourists milling around. Or your shots of pretty parks will seem pretty soulless without one or two visitors eating their lunch in them. Including people in your shots brings them to life, gifts authenticity and helps to showcase scale.

Embrace the Weather

To make a difference as an architectural photographer in London and to create unique shots, you need to shoot during various seasons and weather conditions. For example, in autumn, you can try shooting in the rain, be it a drizzle or a storm. Capturing the textures of clouds and drops of precipitation can often make your work look more dramatic. Snow and frost add some mystery and charm to buildings and can help you create atmospheric and cosy visuals.

Shoot Indoors, as Well as Out

When most people think of an architectural photographer in London, they imagine someone capturing a building from the street, but the genre embraces both interior and exterior shots. When deciding to represent the appearance of the objects indoors, interior architectural photographers face a lot of challenges. For example, you need to properly level your camera, translate vertical lines and diverse shapes - while also not going too wide on the shot so as not to distort the image. However, getting interior architectural photography right is not only a way to increase the profitability of your portfolio, but also an opportunity to diversify it. Besides, including people on your interior shots may help you get an authentic image and also tell a story.

Add Lines and Shapes to your Compositions

An important aspect of architectural photography is to include lines and shapes in your shots. Because? They will influence how your viewer feels towards the shot as much as a vibrant colour might. To find out how you can evoke other emotions with architecture photography, you need to get acquainted with design basics and the psychology of shapes. Rectangles and squares symbolise stability and make people feel safe, as they are used to seeing these shapes in their everyday lives. Circles and other round shapes usually make the audience feel pleased and symbolise the universe and eternity. Meanwhile, triangles are associated with motion and symbolise risk and excitement. Combining all of this knowledge will be useful if you’d like to develop a unique approach to architecture photography.

If you feel my work as an architectural photographer represents what you are looking for please feel free to get in touch using the contact info below.

Tony Brown Photography

+44 (0)7973 731286

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