6 Tips for Better Architectural Photography

Achieving an architectural photography image that invokes excitement with the viewer can be extremely challenging.  The following are tips that  have worked best for me…

5) Shoot During the Golden Hour

Humber Bay Arch Bridge | Etobicoke | Canada | 6.0 sec at f / 22, ISO 160.

My absolute favourite time to shoot is during the evening just before sunset.  The golden hour is when the sun shines a glowing light and anything that it reflects off of often creates a beautiful image. When an image is shot during this short time, the viewer’s eye is immediately drawn to the brightest spot of the photo which adds a new exciting dimension to the shot.

4) Try Un-boring Compositions and Perspectives

Sacre Coeur | Paris | France | 8.0 sec at f / 22, ISO, 100.3)

When composing my image I often find that I avoid taking images facing straight at the subject .  I try to find an angle that is interesting to the eye and will add a different element to my image other than just the structure itself.  I aim to find a perspective that allows the details and colours of my subject to really stand out.  I find it best to do a few test shots from different angles to see which will give me the best composition and perspective.  In the image below, I shot the Sacre Coeur Cathedral in  Paris from as low to the ground as I possibly could.   I aimed my camera upwards on a short tripod to give the illusion that the Cathedral is grander against the blue sky and cloudy background.

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Cities at Night from Space

If there is one type of photography I most want to explore, it would have to be astro photography.  I don’t just mean taking photos of galaxies and nebulae from a mountain top with a telescope adapter, but I mean actually taking photos while floating in space. As a mere earthbound mortal, I’m not sure if commercial space exploration will be available in my life time. But in the meantime, we can live vicariously through the photos taken by the lucky astronauts in the International Space Station.

How many cities do you recognize? What does your home town look like at night?

New York City

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New York City (Nikon D3S @ 400mm, 1/30s, f/2.8, ISO 51200) – The lights illuminate the undeniable shape of Manhattan Island, surrounded by the four other boroughs of the city. North faces left in the photo. The narrow unlit area in the middle of Manhattan is central park. NYC, the city that never sleeps. With all those lights, seems about right.

Beijing 北京

Beijing (Nikon D3S @ 400mm, 1/40s, f/3.2, ISO 51200) - The concentric "ring roads" of Beijing surround the Forbidden Palace in the city center. North is up in the photo (rotated from the NASA image) and the city's brightly lit financial and commercial centers are located in the eastern parts of the city, between the 2nd and the 4th rings roads,
Beijing (Nikon D3S @ 400mm, 1/40s, f/3.2, ISO 51200) – The concentric “ring roads” of Beijing surround the Forbidden Palace in the city center. North is up in the photo (rotated from NASA’s original image) and the city’s brightly lit financial and commercial centers are located in the eastern parts of the city, between the 2nd and the 4th rings roads.

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