Want to be a photographer of architecture? Chances are you already are but don’t know it. Here are some tips that can help you to become one.
I approached this colorful bridge while driving near my home. The first photo is one I like, because it shows the bridge much as I saw it. My tip to you is to go ahead and take such a photo, and then take some time to walk around the bridge, looking for new ways to see and photograph it. It’s best not to be wearing your best clothes as I had to be lying on the ground to get that second shot with its new angle and its emphasis on architectural details.
In the first photo, these San Francisco buildings look like they are falling down. That is how they looked in reality. The camera captures them that way and our eyes compensate while the camera doesn’t. My tip here is to think about purchasing a photo editing product such as my favorite, Corel Paint Shop Photo. I used its perspective adjustment that resulted in the more natural look of the second photo. Adobe Elements is another program to consider getting. These programs are often on sale for about $60, and once you get one you will wonder how you ever got along without it. In the meantine, a tip that will cost you nothing is to download the free Picasa (from Google) program that allows for an amazing amount of “tweaks”. You can also try the free, 30-day downloads that are offered by most programs.
Sintra, Portugal is a favorite place for me to visit and I never get tired of taking photos there. This one is from the walk in front of the apartment I rented. It shows a real architectural jumble that adds to the charm of the town. When you have similar photo opportunities, I suggest you take a lot of shots, both in vertical and horizontal mode, and don’t forget to zoom in for some of then. It’s much better to crop in the camera rather than later on, as the quality of the photo will suffer if you crop too much.
This shot, of what is called “The Crooked House” in Sopot, Poland, looks unreal. An architectural nightmare you might say. But it is for real and my camera captured exactly how the house looks to the eye. My tip here is to shoot such a subject pretty much as you first see it. In such a situation you should still move around, take the building from different angles and be patient so that people do not block out too much of the subject. On a sunny day, you might want to time your shots so they occur during the early morning or early evening “Golden Hours”.
I hope these examples have inspired you to think differently when shooting architectural challenges.