Architectural Photography: The Art of Good Lighting

Commercial photographers can venture in various areas in the photography industry. Apart from theatre and film production, have you thought of architectural photography?

Architectural photography involves taking photographs of buildings and similar structures aesthetically and accurately. Homeowners and builders, construction and real estate companies, and magazines are some of the big clients of architectural photography that you may get to work with.

Architectural photography has many challenges, especially when it comes to lighting both the interior and exterior. Let’s look at some ways that can help you improve lighting when doing your projects.

Lighting Tips for Architectural Images

Architecture is arguably one of the trickiest and challenging subjects to compose and light, but it is also rewarding. There are always issues related to ambient light, too much or too little light, color balance, etc. The tips below should help you take breathtaking photographs of interior and exterior settings of any kind of building:

>Contrast reflections and texture to avoid increasing the shadows. Check the direction of light. Many photographers expose their scenes incorrectly due to false levels of contrast. You can overcome this by applying exposure compensation. You can also bracket shots at the highlights and later merge them in a HDR program.

>Sometimes it may be difficult to balance the white in the interior correctly. Compensate for this by using the White Balance menu in your camera. Most traditional buildings have small windows and doors, which may make the interior shots dull. You can use a tripod and execute long exposures or use additional lighting to improve brightness.

>For excellent architectural shots, you should use cameras with wide lenses and focal point that can frame the entire building. Most of the new compacts have scene mode features for merging several shots and are perfect for architectural shots.

>To get a good lighting effect, shoot photos when the sun goes down. You can shoot the building as a silhouette at dusk. When shooting, make sure you have deactivated the flash mode. On the same note, tune the exposure compensation to negative value if there is too much light in the foreground.

>Take photos where there are reflection features such as water, windows, etc. Reflections add dimension to architectural images, making them dominating.

Architectural photography can be done in any weather. The above tips will help you get dazzling photos that will sell your brand name as a creative commercial photographer.

Here are some photos from a recent session we did at the BJCC, new Westin Hotel and restaurant Todd English P.U.B.

architecture_photography

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