How to take good architectural photography

Pick beautiful buildings!!!

I know, that isn’t really the most useful advice, but I can tell you that architectural photography isn’t really my thing. However, this past weekend in Mudgee, I was able to take some shots that I’m really happy with.

Mudgee Solicitors
1/1600 sec at f4.0, ISO 200
Perspective Correction & Edited in Lightroom

Mudgee Post Office

1/4000 sec at f1.8, ISO 200
Edited in Lightroom

I think what helped me this time was the fact that I was constrained to using my 50mm. It made me look at isolating buildings from each other (above) and picking details since sometimes I could not get far enough back to fit the whole building in (below).

Regent Theatre - Mudgee

1/1600 sec at f 4.0, ISO 200
Perspective Correction & Edited in Lightroom

Mudgee Town Hall

1/1250 sec at f4.0, ISO 200
Perspective Correction & Edited in Lightroom

Usually I try to take building shots using my wide angle to get the whole building into the frame. Problem is, most wide angle lenses have complex distortions. Plus, wide angle lenses accentuate the distortions that occur by not having the camera level (usually this means you have the straight lines of your building converging towards the top of the frame. At times this effect can add to a photo, but not always.

You can also get even closer to some of the details of the buildings:

Mudgee Brewing Co.

1/640 sec at f4.0, ISO 200
Edited in Lightroom

97 - Reception

1/800 sec at f4.0, ISO 200
Edited in Lightroom

So by using my 50mm, I minimized complex distortions and I only had to slightly correct for the camera not being level to the ground. I used the Lens Corrections pannel to make the converging lines parallel. I added some clairty as well as some vibrance to really make the buildings pop. I also added a bit of a dark vignette since I thought it worked well with the look of the old buildings.

If you feel like you need more of an explanation, please let me know in the comment section.

Matt

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2 Comments on “How to take good architectural photography”

  1. rachel jane says:

    These look good with a 50mm. You have captured the essence of the buildings!

  2. vk says:

    What do you know – an old gold rush town down under! Your pictures really bring out the beauty and individuality of the buildings. And you are right on, that sometimes the detail is more telling than an overall shot. I love the Regent Theatre close-up.


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