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9 Creative architecture Photography techniques for stunning photos!

The post 9 Creative architecture-photography techniques for stunning photos! first appeared at Digital Photography School. It is written by Simon Bond.

It is great to take a technically correct photo and architecture photos require this. Correcting the technical side of your photos should be your first priority, but otherwise it is worth experimenting. In this article you will learn about some techniques for creative photography and how you can apply them to your architectural photography. Whether you take over one of these things for your work is at your discretion, but having extra options for your photography is never a bad idea. So read on to find out which techniques for creative architectural photography you could apply.

This photo of the metropolitan government building in Tokyo has used an eye to eye and a wide angle lens.

1. A different perspective

Many architectural photos were taken at eye level. In other words, a standing composition of street level or a height that brings you flush with the building if it is available. However, this is far from the only way to photograph architecture. The use of extreme perspectives such as a worm's eye or bird's eye view can produce dramatic results.

  • Worms eye view – This is probably the easiest perspective to achieve and works best when photographing higher structures. You can use this to emphasize interesting ceiling features or to take photos of skyscrapers from the base of the building. If you happen to be surrounded by tall buildings that are close together, you can use this perspective to fill the sky.
  • Bird's eye view – To get this type of angle, you first have to find a way to rise above the structure that you are photographing. With the advent of drone photography, this has now become a lot easier to achieve. No drone? No problem. You can always find a tall building to photograph from or, if you're lucky, a balloon ride!

2. Infrared photography

You can change the nature of your creative architectural photography without using extreme perspectives. One of the best ways to do this is by using infrared photography. This will change your image into more of a dream landscape. This style of photography works much better outdoors, and in places where there is vegetation. Through a number of post-processing you create an image in which photosynthesizing plants are white and the sky dark. Architecture then forms a powerful focal point in your infrared photo. There are some excellent guides about this method of photography. You have three main choices when it comes to implementing this style. You can convert your camera to infrared, use an infrared filter or produce this effect via post-processing.

Infrared photography is a great technique to experiment with.

3. Paint light

One of the most creative photography techniques there is is light painting. By using light painting techniques and styles, you can adjust the way you photograph the architecture. The trick is to know where and how you can apply this to your photo, because not all architecture lends itself to every technique. Perhaps it is impossible to gain access to the part of the structure in which you want to paint light? Maybe light painting is too big a distraction and it detracts from the architecture itself. When you can use light painting to form a guiding line to the architecture, or perhaps to frame the architecture, you are in the right direction. There are various tools that you can use. Below a selection.

  • A torch – The simplest of light painting tools. This can be used to create patterns for the camera or to illuminate some of the architecture that you want to photograph.
  • A light source on a string – Pattern repeats work well in photography, and spinning a light source on a string will produce this repeat. You can also use this to create a light sphere and strategically place it in the foreground of your architecture.
  • LED light sticks – In recent years, products such as the pixel stick and the magilight have revolutionized light painting. These excellent tools can be used to create custom-made light paintings for the architecture that you are photographing.

On this photo a pixel stick is used to illuminate paint around the pagoda.

4. Kinetic light painting

The cousin of light paintings is kinetic light painting. The technology also requires a tripod, but this time you move the camera instead of the light source. Again, this can be quite experimental and not all locations are well served by this photography style. The two main types of kinetic light painting are the zoom burst and camera rotation.

  • Zoom burst – This technique works well with tall buildings, from a distance, and where they are illuminated with a lot of interior lighting. You must place the camera on a tripod with a lens that can zoom. A kit lens works very well for this, or maybe a 24-70 mm lens. You start the photo with the longer focal length and then zoom out. Replace here drawer
  • Camera rotation – This time you turn your camera around a tripod head. It works well with tall buildings, where you can see a worm. Again, read more about how you can do this.

This is a single photo of the Tokyo Skytree. It comes straight out of the camera and has used kinetic light.

5. Refraction photography

You can also use refraction photography with a crystal ball for creative architectural photography. That is because the fisheye-like properties of the glass sphere captures the entire piece of architecture that you want to photograph. There are tricky aspects that you need to address, including the inverted image in the ball, and center the architecture in the ball. Provided you can find a good place to position the ball, you can use this technique to take a unique photo of a building or sculpture.

This location is a popular place to photograph St Paul's Cathedral in London. The addition of a crystal ball gives this image a different perspective.

6. Detail photo ' s

The main purpose of architectural photography is to capture the entire scene. However, that is not always necessary and you can find great detail photos with lenses with a longer focal length. These photos may not work on their own, but would certainly contribute to a selection of photos of a particular piece of architecture. You have to watch out for details in the roofing, lines of repeating architecture such as arches in a church, or decorative decorations on a wall. Then look to focus on this specific area. Take a good look at the detail photo by choosing the right time for the sun or using an external flash.

Detail photos of architecture are always worth the effort.

7. Digital mixing

A process known as digital mixing ensures that you can take perfect photos. The technique is great for getting technically perfect photos, but you can go further and become more creative. One of the most important advantages of this is the possibility to photograph in the direction of an evening sky and then to balance the light so that your architecture does not stand out too much. For this technique, you must use a tripod for the best results and create a set of images in parentheses. You must then use brightness masks to blend the images in brackets in the post-processing.

In this photo digital mixing is used to ensure that the skylights are not blown out.

8. Contrast

Contrast is a broad term and can be interpreted in various ways. You can use any of these interpretations for more creative architectural photography. Let us look at some ways in which contrast can be applied.

  • Light and shadows – The most obvious thing about photography is to use the light in your photo. You can use this to highlight areas of interest on the architecture, by using shadows to show detail points.
  • colors – In some cases you can display colors against each other. It's clear that you can't move architecture, so you have to be creative about how to add opposite colors that are opposite.
  • Old and new – Old architecture surrounded by new can make an effective photo. Think of a church or temple surrounded by modern skyscrapers.

Framing is a powerful photographic technique that focuses on the main subject.

9. Framing

Look to frame the architecture that you are photographing. A curved doorway is a great way to frame your main subject. You could introduce the framing yourself by holding something in front of the camera. You can use holes in a fence to frame your photo.

Which creative photography technique of photography will you use?

There are many ways to add creativity to your photography. You have now learned some of the best techniques for creative architecture photography. Are there techniques that you have tried before? Which of these ideas will you try? We would like to see the results of your photography from the past and everything you could do in the future. As always, share your thoughts and photos in the comments section of this article.

The post 9 Creative architecture-photography techniques for stunning photos! first appeared at Digital Photography School. It is written by Simon Bond.

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