Architectural photography is a specific kind of photography wherein images of aesthetically pleasing buildings and structures are modelled to look their best, usually for use in a portfolio, as advertisements, for websites, or as display pieces. Architectural photographers are usually quite skilled in their uses of equipment and techniques, leading to stunning photos that can catch the attention of any onlooker. These images are often impressive, and great for advertising cities, or the building itself if it’s for public use. Architecture is about creating a structure that has good aesthetics and blends in with an overall area while standing out in its own unique way. An architectural photographer can capture this beauty in the best way to showcase it properly.
Architecture covers a broad subject area, including all buildings from skyscrapers to bridges to residential homes. Wherever we go, architecture is there. If it’s a building or a structure, someone designed it. Even children’s parks are designed by architects.
Despite the diversity of architecture, some photography methods are better than others:
- For old architecture, it’s best to photograph the structure from the front with a simple composition that shows the whole building. Keep some of the surrounding greenery in the frame, but, ultimately, shoot this type of architecture like a standard landscape shot.
- Modern architecture can be shot in a much more abstract style, usually highlighting the detail put into the building work. You make use several images of the same building, one that shows a specific detail, one that shows the structure as a whole in its surroundings.
The only reason it works to be more abstract with modern architecture is because the buildings and structures are typically very artistic. Older architecture should be shown in all of its dated glory, standing tall above its surroundings. With modern architecture, it’s easier to get away with photographing parts of the building, usually against the sky, or from further away to show how the building sits amongst the landscape.
You can be fairly artistic with all architectural photography shots. There are ways to work with the building in its best light, and ways to highlight detail or age that really make the structure pop against its background.
There are many uses for these images:
- Photography exhibits. Architectural photography is no different to any other type of digital photography when it comes to putting an image on display. They are perfectly viable in the art world, and even stunning to look at in certain situations.
- Selling the property. This is a very common use for architectural photography. Properties need images to be able to sell properly, and an architectural photographer will know how to photograph the building from the best angles to show its potential.
- From banners to hotel leaflets to website images, architectural photography images can be used to help “sell” a location to visitors by highlighting the best areas to visit or showing off the neatness of the property.
These are just a few of the main ways architectural photography is used today, but it is all around us, and very visible.