Seven Tips for Taking Better Photographs of Architecture

Architectural photography is deceptively difficult. Here are seven tips to make sure you're getting the best photos you can.Taking photographs of architecture might seem straightforward to the uninitiated; the subjects are large, you generally don't need to light it yourself, and the buildings don't move. However, this genre comes with a whole host of problems. With a subject that doesn't move, composition becomes tricky and requires you to navigate around to find that perfect angle. Without being able to light the subject, it means you either have to shoot at the perfect hour for natural light to illuminate the structure, or you need a tripod and time for a long exposure of two. With the subjects being large, you have to work out how to keep the verticals straight, and avoid vignetting with your wide angle lens.

This video by COOPH shares some great tips and suggestions for improving your architectural photography, with a particular focus on the compositional side of the task. With my work taking me to Oslo next week, it's certainly well-timed advice. For a talented photographer of buildings, cities must be a playground.

For you architectural photographers out there, what advice can you give newbies entering your niche? Share them in the comments below.

Log in or register to post comments
Matt Hucke's picture

Good advice, all of it, if your subject is modern architecture. But if you prefer Victorian/Edwardian stuff, ornate terra cotta and stained glass and Gothic pinnacles, carry a telephoto also, because "God is in the details".

Andrea Brizzi's picture

Great video and good advice, Robert. All true when confined to "Photographs of Architecture" (as opposed to Architectural Photography), for the fun of it. Pointing up, isolating details, looking for angles and curves, all good but .. having made a living as an architectural photographer for several decades, I can assure you my clients would not be happy with such -beautiful- images, by themselves. One can -as you do- "interpret" a building, and produce artistic results, but we professionals are more often expected to "document" it. That translates in views of the whole and straight lines (perspective control). Just my two cents worth. Sorry to be a nuisance. Happy shooting everyone!

John Muggenborg's picture

Thanks for the video and article. Check out my recent post: 5 Tips to get the most out of your Architectural Photo Shoots....