Being a great architecture photographer isn’t an easy practice. It takes a lot of planning and patience and shifting of lights around.
If engaged to photograph architecture I always start with a visit to the property. It’s important to assess the natural and artificial light, where and when it fall and plan your photography shoot accordingly.
Generally it’s best to photograph architecture early morning or late in the day. The softer the light the better. The less contrast between the exterior and interior light also.
The first thing I do is turn all the lights on. With my camera on a tri-pod I frame the shot making sure the camera is level. To retain a decent depth of field I set my aperture to at least f8 and use the camera speed to correct the exposure.
With two flash on stands I begin to light the space. it is important not to over ride the ambient light of the room as they generate much of the atmosphere. What I am trying to achieve is depth, ambiance and contrast.
Placing lights outside pointing back through windows and glass doors is a great way to add shadows and create ambiance. Be aware where the shadows fall as they must look natural and not create dark areas.
It’s all in the lighting. To get this right I shift the lights around to ensure the light falls where I want. Take a shot, study the image and adjust the flash being aware nothing is over or under exposed. Good interior photography is well lit but most of all looks natural.
Exterior architecture photography
Photographing exteriors is more reliant on the perfect moment when the lights of the building are balanced with the natural light of the sky.
Turn all the buildings lights on. With the camera on a tri-pod find the best angle and frame your shot. Set your camera to correctly expose the lights of the building.
There is a moment when the natural light is balanced with the lights of the building. This is always later than I expect when the sun has set and there is very little light in the sky.
Darwin Architecture photography tips
Visit the site
Assess the light. Both natural and ambient of the building
Photograph early morning or or late afternoon
Use a tri-pod
Use an aperture over f8
Use two flash
Beware of over exposing and shadows
Use a tri-pod
Turn all the house lights on
Set your exposure to the lights of the building
Photograph when the natural light is balance with the house lights