If you always wanted to know how the pros capture the best lines and angles of architecture and interiors, EOS Professional Jun Pagalilauan offers tips on how to get started in this genre.

 

EOS 5D Mark III | F/11 | ISO 800 | 1/50s

Modern cities are often defined by their skyline. With towering skyscrapers vying for attention with their ultra-sleek steel and glass facades and cavernous interiors, no wonder architecture exteriors and interiors remain a favourite subject of photographers everywhere.

EOS 5D Mark III | F/16 | ISO 200 | 1/60s 

SHOOTING ARCHITECTURE

Architectural photography is more than just shooting buildings. It includes all the elements which urbanises your environment to form its cityscape.

My gear for a shoot usually comprises my Canon EOS 5D Mark IIIEF16-35mm f/2.8L II USM, TS-E45mm f/2.8, TS-E45mm f/2.8, EF8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM, EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM, a sturdy tripod, a remote shutter, and some ND and GND filters for shooting exteriors. I usually shoot in RAW format to maximise my dynamic range using the sharpest aperture as much as possible.

EOS 5D Mark III | F/11 | ISO 640 | 1/50s

DECIDE ON LOCATION

Firstly, you need to decide on your location. Remember your subjects are stationary so you need to patiently wait for the light. Once you are acquainted with the way your subject is orientated and how natural light falls on it at different times of the day, you can add drama to your composition based on your angle.

EOS 5D Mark II | F/14 | ISO 200 | 30s


EOS 5D Mark III | F/6 | ISO 200 | 25s

MIND ON FRAMING AND LIGHTING

A dramatic light gives life to a building, imbuing it with aesthetic elements. This attention to light will help you compose your shot and visualise your perspective. A good framing and lighting will always be principal in achieving a strong perspective.

EOS 5D Mark III | F/13 | ISO 640 | 1/50s

I still consider the blue hour the most interesting light to bring out the aesthetic beauty of a building. If I’m shooting interiors, I favour soft ambient light during the early hours in the morning. Some buildings are designed to be lighted up after dark. As such, these buildings come alive and are more vibrant at night.

EOS 5D Mark III | F/6 | ISO 200 | 25s

APPLY RULES OF PHOTOGRAPHY

I often wait for the light as this helps me improve how my images look. But I still need to consider the design elements and the way light behaves in relation to the former. Only then can we compose with rules such as the Central Full, Rule of the Thirds, and the Golden Ratio that serve as guidelines. These are fundamentals we cannot ignore if we work in this genre of photography.

EOS 5D Mark III | F/18 | ISO 100 | 121s

EOS 5D Mark III | F/16 | ISO 500 | 1/80s

TIPS ON USING REFLECTIONS

In creating a composition using the subject’s reflection, you will need to have a ratio of 50/50 ratio on both background and foreground. Another angle is looking up from ground level which applies to both exterior and interior shots.

EOS 5D Mark II | F/16 | ISO 200 | 30s

If I don’t have the option to move or adjust loose elements, I take time to scout the site for possible angles and then frame my composition. When it comes to interiors, staging certainly plays a major role, and I strongly recommend cleaning up the interior before the shoot.

 

EOS 5D Mark III | F/11 | ISO 1600 | 1/30s

LINES, CURVES AND PATTERNS

Be aware of vertical lines when shooting buildings. Good to use the Tilt Shift lens to do that even though I will still check my vertical lines in post process using the Perspective Crop Tool in PSD.

EOS 5D Mark III | F/16 | ISO 500 | 1/80s

Converging lines can also be helpful in creating unique compositions, specifically if it leads to a design element. This brings out your attention to details when looking at the building facade.

EOS 5D Mark III | F/13 | ISO 640 | 1/160s

Curves, linear elements or patterns are examples of this kind of feature. You can also use a telephoto (EF70-200mm f/2.8L USM) lens to help you find specific details to capture and focus on a specific design element.

Check out Jun’s architecture shots at: https://500px.com/pipo_nuje5