Architecture Photography: The Definitive Guide 2022. You have come to the right place!. Maybe you are looking for how to improve your architecture photography, or you want to give it a try for the first time.
This super guide is created to solve your doubts and lay the foundations of everything important you need to know today about interior photography and architecture photography with fully updated information.
IMPORTANT: This Guide will become paid, therefore, I advise you to take some time to read it and share it with your co-workers and friends.
History of architectural photography:
Let’s start by briefly mentioning the photographic history in case you want to expand knowledge on your own before entering more practical subjects.
What is architectural photography?:
This type of photography has been popular all these years, and that is not surprising due to the importance of architecture in the world and in our lives.
The architecture photography or interior photography, is mainly based on document the works, designs or creations of the different spaces and projects that are carried out by architects, interior designers and other companies involved in the process, such as real estate agencies, construction companies and other interested parties.
Nacho Villa ©, the creator of this guide, is a specialist architectural photographer who works all over the world. He seeks excellence in his work and captures spaces in his best light.
Architectural photography and its history:
The architectural photography plays a fundamental role.
If you would like to know the beginnings of the history of architecture photography, I recommend that you meet the two references that were the main precursors of it, of course all under my personal criteria:Julius Shulman Y Ezra Stoller. These two photographers laid the foundations for the history of architecture photography that we know today.
Famous architectural photography by Julius Shulman ©
The buildings They do much more than provide us with shelter. Toothey are works of art and enduring cultural symbols.
Architectural photography took off, first as a form of document buildings, but along the way, it has become its own art form.
What is architectural photography?
The definition of architectural photography, also known as photography of buildings or photography of structures.
Generally it means focused or specialized photography of buildings, constructions, homes, businesses, properties and hotels.
Includes from photograph interiors and exteriors of buildings, their context, as well as bridges, other structures and urban landscapes.
The work of specialists who photograph architecture:
What exactly do specialists in photographing architecture do?.
There are many specialists that they capture stunning architecture photos.
Some of them do it as a purely artistic or hobby pursuit.
Others like the architecture photographer Nacho Villa, make it their lifestyle and trade when shooting for clients such as large architecture firms, companies, construction companies, real estate agencies, photography for hotels , interior designers and architecture magazines.
Architecture photography inspiration on Instagram:
Three architectural photography professionals you should follow on Instagram:
• A talented Portuguese: Fernando Guerra.
• The incredible Canadian artist: Emma Peter.
• Nacho Villa, @nachovillafoto a Spanish architectural photography specialist.
Being the creator of this guide, I have allowed myself the license to include myself so that you know my photographic work and follow me on Instagram: @nachovillafoto After doing all this work, it would be great to have you among the contacts on my social network.
If you want to get great images like these architectural photography specialists, you have to train your eye and you architectural vision.
Therefore, it is highly recommended, follow them on architecture social networks as an architecture and instagram platform, to learn from their images and composition.
Equipment and camera for architectural photography:
1. You are considering pursuing a career in the architectural photography niche.
2. You are simply searching expand your portfolio with some architectural photos, and then I’ll tell you the basics you need to get started.
If you have come this far, surely you have asked yourself some of these questions:
Which one is the best camera for architectural photography?.
What camera do the most famous architectural photography specialists?:
Is the equipment to photograph architecture very expensive? That architectural photography lenses and lenses they are the best?
One good thing about architectural photography is that the subject makes a great job standing still.
When looking for a camera specifically for photograph structures, you won’t have to worry about features intended for action or portrait stuntmen.
You do not have to look for the camera to have a very high shutter speed, this feature is indifferent to photographing architecture.
You can exclude technical features like fast continuous shooting modes, autofocus or face-tracking systems.
If you want to see recommendations for specific photographic material for real estate and architecture photography, I recommend that you expand information at The Material Guide and cameras for real estate photography.
Ideal camera for architectural photography:
I recommend that you look for a good body, a DSLR or mirrorless camera.
DSLRs with full-frame sensors have long been the standard for architectural photography.
These cameras that can provide high quality images and strong perspective control.
Image made with an architectural tilt-shift lensBrands are currently undergoing a transformation from DSLR “Reflex” to Mirrorless system, improving even the characteristics of traditional DSLRs and expanding their functionalities.
If you already have a full-frame reflex camera then great, but if you would like or are thinking of buying a new one architectural photography camera, I recommend that you opt for one of the new mirrorless mirrorless like the Sony A7 or the new Canon EOS R.
If you want the camera to be a «Reflex» DSLR, I recommend the Canon 5DSR.
Lenses or lenses for interior architecture photography:
Better to have a variety of goals or architectural photography lenses at your disposal.
The objectives fijos deliver sharp images with less distortion, while the zoom lenses make it easier to capture detailed images of some architectural features that would otherwise be difficult to reach (such as a statue on the roof of a building or a special forge in the cover).
The wide angle lens They are also useful for structure photography. They can be of great help when trying to photograph a huge structure or for indoor photography in tight spaces.
The wide angle lenses have one drawback: Angle lenses cause more distortion around the edges (making straight lines in a building look curvy).
However, you’ll also have more room to work when it comes to clipping, and distortion can be easily fixed in post-production with the editing software for architecture.
Lenses for architectural photography (Specials)
The Tilt-shift architectural photography lenses are the most popular within the architecture photography lenses.
These lenses allow you to adjust the angle of the lens independently of the camera.
These lenses are especially useful for avoiding perspective distortion that makes vertical lines appear to converge when shooting a tall building.
Lens offset tilt shift for architectureThe objectives Tilt-shift, can also be used to create a miniature effect or mock-up, which can add additional insight to your architectural photography catalog.
Ideal tripod for interior architecture photography:
The tripod it is a basic. All the specialists in photographing architecture use in their projects, especially when it comes to photographing interiors is of great importance.
The tripod is usually commensurate with the price of the camera it has to hold.
If you have invested several thousand euros in a camera, surely you will not put it on top of a cheap ultra-thin plastic tripod.
Investing in a good sturdy tripod is something basic if you want to start taking quality photographs, since when we photograph we cannot allow the bus that passes by, emitting great vibrations to the ground, to spoil our wonderful image. Within the basic tools used by professionals specialized in architecture, there are also the Bubble level and the wireless trigger.
For more details on choosing the right gear, check out our next equipment and camera guide for architectural photography!
How to Capture Great Architectural Photos
Next we are going to show the main Tips so that learn to photograph architecture.
Architecture photography tips:
In this section we are going to give you practical tips like choosing the location, knowing and exploring your subject well, including or not people, the best times to photograph architecture, editing or post-production, and the great challenges when it comes to taking pictures.
Choose well the location:
You should have no trouble finding possible models for taking architectural photographs. In any city, you can focus on photograph historic buildings or the new contemporary architecture which is currently being built.
You can start with buildings or structures that catch your eye or that have some special meaning or interest to you.
But if you are looking for ideas, here are a few architecture photography tips that they are going to help you get better architecture photos:
Often, specialists who photograph architecture focus on photographing things like government buildings, museums, skyscrapers, contemporary architecture and historical monuments.
These types of structures can generally offer interesting or impressive architecture. For inspiration, check out these architectural photography images of all the world:
In addition, you can also choose to photograph more classic or historical buildings. The photography of old buildings creates captivating images that «teleport» you back to a bygone era.
That includes well-maintained historic sites that offer the ability to continue to see examples of classical architectureAs well as dilapidated or abandoned buildings that show their age and the passage of time in different ways.
To help you find great places to build photos near you, there are a variety of web and mobile apps that make it a breeze.
Go to «Shot Hot Spots»:
A website that uses geo-tagging from sites like Flickr to locate popular architectural photo locations.
By entering your location, you can filter the results to show only the locations of buildings or architectural monuments filtered by your preferences. Personally I think this is very useful especially when you go from trip to a new city and you can find where to take the best architecture photographs When you travel.
Know your subject:
Once choose a building or structure to photograph, you must spend some time to explore it and get to know it better.
Start by simply walking around the outside of the building and watch the light change, try to explore the interior (if possible).
Also, consider doing a little research on the building and its history. Learn how it was built, who are the architects, design, interesting details and how it is used today.
All this information can guide you to achieve enhance your architecture photos and help you decide what kind of style you want to achieve. For example, if the building has a long history, you may want to experiment with the black and white architecture photography. It can bring a timeless feel to your images and bring the history of the structure to the mind of the viewer. During your research, you may also discover a unique architectural feature or interesting that you can show in your photos.
The architectural detail of a building shows a closer view of the texture and material from which they are built. This type of closer framing provides great additional information on the materiality, usability and finishes of the building or property.
Try to photograph the building at different times of the day (Light is the Key):
To capture the attention of the public, architects, or clients when taking pictures of structures, try reverting to visit site to shoot at different times and in different climatic conditions.
Try photograph buildings at sunrise or sunset to capture some golden tones in the famous «golden hour «, the reflections of the sun in the windows and the long shadows of the building.
You can also visit it at night to capture the structure with its artificial lighting and city traffic in the famous » blue hour”. Snow, cloudy skies, or some wet surfaces from rain can add interest and dramatically change the emotions that your architecture images, do not limit yourself to photographing only on sunny days.
Remember that if you plan to include people in your photographs of buildings, you may find that the way people use the building changes depending on the day and time.
So only by revisiting the site, you can find new opportunities to photograph buildings and spectacular buildings.
Composition in architecture photography:
When it comes to the building photography, your first instinct may be to try to capture exterior shots of the building. But in order to start taking a better construction photography, you have to put in the effort to find a unique perspective.
Maybe you can zoom in and focus on a single detail to create a abstract architecture photography different from the rest. Or try to fill the entire frame with a large building so that the viewer cannot tell where it begins or ends.
Are artistic architecture images They are usually focused on galleries, art exhibitions, architectural exhibitions, even selling the images.
Also, make sure you try to enter the building and do interior photography.
As you experiment with different architectural perspectives, keep in mind some of the basic rules of photo composition to create interesting images.
For example, find an arch, either artificial or in nature with the trees, that you can use to frame a shot.
Once you are free from trying to capture a traditional or standard shot of a building, you will have much more freedom to be creative.
Include some people to show the scale:
Although building photography generally focuses on buildings, you should consider including people in some of your shots. After all, architecture only exists because of humans.
What’s more, the images of architecture with people may help show the scale of the building and better understand its use.
By including people, your architecture photographs they can remember the relationship or coexistence between humans and architecture.
Including people in the composition can also bring life or freshness to a scene that is sterile or lacking in force.
Technique for taking architectural photographs: (and some secrets tips).
Regarding the in-situ technique, if you understand that the people in the scene are a distraction and interrupt the focus on the architecture, try shoot with long exposure to make them blurry or you can even ride a ND filter to make them disappear totally.
Help yourself by placing a find filter for photographing shots in a space or building with a great traffic of people who do not interest us because either they distract excessively or the client does not want people to appear in the images. These types of images of buildings tend to emphasize temporality of the buildings, as you can see the still structure while the blurred people transmit the movement.
Overcoming the great challenges in architectural photography:
The HDR technique It is the best ally to get good architectural photographs.
High dynamic range (HDR) images are well suited to the artistic photography of buildings.
When used correctly, and this is key, the HDR photography can add drama and creative flair to your exterior building images. Start creating some impressive architectural images.
HDR photography can also help you overcome some challenges in solving technical problems when photographing architecture.
With architectural photography, it will usually depend on the lighting in the place, and that can cause us some problems.
For example, suppose you are photographing the interior of a building but you also want to capture some of the details that can be seen outside through a window or blue sky showing in the image. Interior lighting that contrasts with external conditions outside can make it difficult for us to obtaina perfect and balanced photo.
Thanks to taking pictures with different exposures, we can then combine them, create perfect images with HDR and make sure everything is exposed correctly.
The lens distortion can ruin a great architecture photo:
Distortion from a wide-angle lens can create unwanted deformations that disproportionate the size or shape of objects, furniture, and straight lines in interior photographs and facade. Fortunately, with editing software, you can solve this problem with the click of a button.Programs for post-production and editing of architectural photographs:
Photoshop and Lightroom include lens profiles that will compensate for distortion and allow you to adjust your images until they look just as they did with the naked eye.
How to remove people from architectural photos:
Possibly, if you try portray a construction or space that is a very popular landmark or waypoint, there may always be someone walking around and you can’t get the final image you’d like.
Want to get a clear and unobstructed vision of the structure without people or even vehicles or uninteresting furniture can be quite a challenge.
However, there is a way to do it in editing and take advantage of the fact that the structures will not move when performing some architectural image editing techniques.
Start by taking a series of identical photographs, without moving your camera, always using the tripod and to be able to be a remote trigger so as not to touch the camera too much and transmit vibration.
As people move through the scene, you should be able to capture a person-free image of the chunky building.
You can then overlay all the shots in Photoshop through glasses and erase the people from each layer that don’t interest you.
Architecture photography books pdf.
I recommend the architecture books «New Architecture ”in its different versions (Los Angeles / New York / London) to see quality architectural images at print edition or PDF or Ebook.
Aerial architecture photography:
A few years ago to do aerial architecture photography you had to hire a private helicopter to get some aerial images of buildings.
Drone brands have been taking out aircraft very advanced that allow to do architectural aerial photographs very good quality without the need to put the personnel and the pilot at risk to be able to take some aerial images.
How to edit architectural photographs? (Post-production process):
As with any type of photography, post-production is an important step in creating high-quality images. Therefore, understand how to edit images inPhotoshop, Lightroom, Capture One or other editing software is essential for any professional photography.
From my point of view, it is important to understand when it is okay to use these image editing tools and the edit quantity to do so as not to edit too much and that they look unreal.
Post-production editing software for architectural photographyIf you plan to create abstract architecture photographsAs an art project, you can manipulate its photos as much as you like.
In general, photography of structures is often used for the documentation of structures and spaces, and in those cases, potential individuals, architects, or clients will expect their images are spectacular but represent reality as much as possible.
For example, suppose you are photographing buildings that will be used by the architect or designer of the building as an award presentation. Removing a design element from those photos would probably be like destroying the idea of the architect and the beauty of the building.
In most cases it is accepted practice to make small changes (such as removing a distracting outlet or removing an oil stain on the asphalt).
Therefore, if you are taking architecture photographsFor a client, it is a good idea to talk with them beforehand about what types of photo edits are acceptable.
How to publish your architectural images in magazines?
You may be interested in this article about publish images in architecture magazines.
In this article you will discover the 9 steps and 1 professional secret to publish in decoration, interior, architectural and media magazines for free.
More about publish your architectural work here: https://www.nachovillafoto.com/architecture-magazines/.
Architecture and Landscape Photography (Architectural Urban Landscape):
The urban landscape is a architectural landscape photography where the city is in front of you. Perhaps you know the English term «Cityscape«. This incorporates a structure between buildings, bridges and skyscrapers and combines it with some natural element, such as a river.
Water can also work in this technique, as it gives the image a natural texture. Try to photograph the city just after the sun goes down, at blue hour, the images are usually more striking.
The astronomical twilight or blue hour as it is popularly known among specialists, can add a nice contrast to the sky, just when the city lights come on.
Get out of bed early and shoot the entire skyline of your city with this technique, you will love it.How to become a professional in building and property photography?.
Now that you know you know some of the basics, the best architecture photography tips and some of the architectural photography specialists, you may have decided that this is an exciting career path that you would like to explore.
It is true that starting this path may be easier than you think.
There are also some guides and free architecture photography courses like this one, don’t forget to share it so that it reaches more people.
Finally, the most important thing you can do is start creating your own online portfolio that includes a wide variety of photographs of structures and buildings.
Once you have a website of your own that shows potential clients your skills, you can start looking for interesting architecture projects. If you want to stay updated on architecture photography, I encourage you to follow me on social networks and send me a message telling me what you think 🙂
Thank you for making the effort to go to the end,I really hope you liked this guide to Architecture Photography.
Finally, I would appreciate it if you share the link of this page with your friends and colleagues through social networks, if you have found it useful and valuable.
See you on instagram, in my account @nachovillafoto with hundreds of images of architecture and stories from day to day, about my work and everything related to the world of architectural photography.