- Definition of Architectural Photography
- Architectural Photography Lens Choices
- Architectural Photography Equipment for Unusual Views
- Use Contrast and Shadows for Architectural Photography
- Rural and Urban Architectural Photography Ideas
- Recommended Photography Gear
- SkyAI (shown above) makes sky replacement as simple as a couple of clicks.
- Sky Enhancer gives you the tools to boost the interest in the sky of your architectural images.
- AtmosphereAI adds realistic elements like fog and mist to take your architectural images to another level.
- Tools like Color Harmony, Super Contrast, and Mood give you additional controls over the appearance of the image - all of which are easy to manipulate to get the perfect result.
Photo by roman_slavic via iStock
As an art form, architectural photography is a fascinating part of photography.
It is different from other photos of buildings, such as in real estate photography. In some cases, you might not even see the building, only a part of it. Interior architectural photography, exterior architectural photography, and isolated elements of the structures can all be a part of stunning architectural photography.
We’ll cover some tips and ideas for capturing outstanding images of buildings and structures as architectural photography. Shall we get started?
Table of Contents:
Definition of Architectural Photography
Photo by gremlin via iStock
An architectural photography definition helps us to get familiar with the genre. Have you ever seen a photo of a building that makes you sit up and take notice? What makes that happen?
An eye for art is what makes the difference between photographing a building and creating architectural photography images. Many buildings and structures are aesthetically pleasing already; capturing that photographically is what lies at the core of what defines architectural photography.
Some people like to make abstract photo art of architecture; others want to make a mostly realistic impression of the structure being imaged. Both schools of thought work for making great architectural photography images.
Architectural Photography Lens Choices
Photo by vndrpttn via iStock
What is the best lens for architecture photography? Surprisingly, I actually have several answers to that question.
The basic answer is that any lens you have on a camera can be used for creating these images of photography art. Capturing these artful images has much more to do with vision and how you interpret that vision into the final photo than with one magic lens option.
I like to have several types of lenses available that I can use for what I have in mind as a final image, which highlights what is most important about architectural photography, namely, having an idea of what to show in an image and then working to create that goal.
Whatever you use as a normal lens can work marvelously, whether it’s a Nifty Fifty lens (or the equivalent for your format) or the normal range kit zoom lens. An ultra-wide angle can give some unique perspectives, and a longer telephoto can also be used creatively.
What I find vital for architectural photography is to look at the structure, pick out some aspect of it you want to creatively highlight, and then choose the lens that turns that vision into an image. It could be a pic of the entire building, an interior space, or a small aspect of the building. The best lens for architectural photography is what makes your idea come true.
Architectural Photography Equipment for Unusual Views
Photo by Chunyip Wong via iStock
In my photo treks, I run across a lot of interesting places. Some buildings have exterior features I want to capture; for others, I’m more focused on interior architectural photography.
Point of view can make a huge difference in how the photos turn out. Sometimes, getting way down low is the best choice for an artistic expression of what I’m seeing. I like to use a compact camera mount instead of a tripod for those low-angle images.
With interior architectural photography, the lighting is often rather low intensity, so a camera mount also helps with that, either as a way to hold the camera still or to place an LED light to enhance an aspect of the interior design.
The Octopad camera mount works awesomely for both uses. With a wireless remote and my camera down low looking up, fresh views of the structure open up. Since Octopad is inexpensive, I can have a couple on hand, one for the camera and another for a light.
I’ve bragged about Octopad many times in my hints and tips because it’s just so darn useful. With a small weighted disk with a non-slip bottom pad and a ball head on top, this camera mount is the perfect accessory for interior architecture photography.
Use Contrast and Shadows for Architectural Photography
Photo by Stephen Harker via iStock
Some of the most fun we can have with architectural photography is to use light, shadow, and contrast to accentuate aspects of the structures or to create what could be virtually an abstract image.
Look for the areas where bright light and deep shadow occur next to each other, which is common with several styles of architecture. It can be modern, made of metal or glass, or classic, crafted of rock, stone, brick, or wood.
Of course, you need a rock-solid editor to help you bring your architectural images to life, so why not try Skylum's Luminar Neo?
Not only can Luminar Neo help you enhance the contrast and details of your architectural images using AI-powered tools like StructureAI - which uses content-aware tools to boost details without overprocessing - but you can also use traditional tools like layers, masking, and local adjustments to fine-tune your shots.
And since Luminar Neo is constantly evolving and adding new features, extensions, and capabilities, you can stay on the cutting edge of innovation and use tools that simplify the editing process.
But Luminar Neo doesn't stop there. In fact, there are many other tools at your disposal to elevate the quality of your architectural images:
No one ever said architectural photography is easy. But with tools like Luminar Neo, it's certainly a lot easier!
Get Luminar Neo today for MacOS, Windows, or as a plugin for Lightroom or Photoshop.
Rural and Urban Architectural Photography Ideas
Photo by Alexander Bushkov via iStock
Old barns, schools, and town halls make excellent architectural photography subjects. I found it easy to come across older structures in rural areas, but there’s plenty of classic architecture in big cities, too.
Some modern buildings seem to be made to be more photogenic and aesthetically pleasing than is needed for the building, which works out great for architectural photography.
Get off the beaten path, the well-used streets, and look for something that stands out. Once you find it, design the image in your head and then use your tools and techniques to make it happen. You’ll have tons of fun, I’m sure.
Recommended Photography Gear