Architectural perspectives for photography

February 5, 2019

Architecture is a broad subject, encompassing everything from skyscrapers to shacks. Virtually everywhere we go, we are surrounded by some sort of architecture on a daily basis. Because of this, it should come as no surprise that architecture is such a popular subject in photography.

Despite its diversity, there are a number of principles and techniques which can be applies to most situations. Keeping them in mind at all times will encourage you to think more carefully about your framing, composition, and lighting.

With practice, you’ll develop your eye for architecture photography. This will help you shoot your subjects in a more interesting way, avoiding commonly-repeated compositions and injecting more personality into your photos.

When photographing old architecture, a straightforward and simple composition usually works best, showing the natural beauty and elegance of the building. It usually helps to include some of the surrounding scenery to give context to the architecture and make it feel less cramped.

When photographing modern architecture you can get away with using a much more modern, abstract style. Experiment with wide angle lenses to produce extreme perspective, or photograph the building from unusual angles. Also, because modern buildings are often squeezed in very close to one another, you can crop in tightly on the building without making the photo feel unnatural.

The question of whether to show your building’s surroundings depends on the situation and the message you want to convey. Ask yourself whether putting your building in context would add to or detract from the photo. If the scenery compliments your building then shoot a wider photo, but if the surroundings don’t fit with the message you want to convey, cut them out.