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Archive for the ‘Architecture’ Category

Sep
17

Architecture: Photographing Exterior Details

Filed Under Architecture, Digital Photography School, Photography Tips and Tutorials

Between shooting for clients, teaching my kids photography class, family obligations, and all of the non-photography activities essential to running a photography business, Life has a way of not letting me shoot just for me very often. So, when I do get a chance to get out and shoot for myself, I find that I gravitate to architectural subjects. I live pretty close to a busy downtown area with a lot of history, so there’s never any shortage of interesting buildings to photograph. Much has been written about the technical aspects of architectural photography. Everything from perspective-correcting tilt-shift lenses to reflection-reducing polarizing filters have been suggested by some of the best in the business for capturing compelling images of buildings big and small. Don’t fall into the trap, though, of thinking that you need lots of expensive accessories to take interesting architectural photos.

Architectural photography, like every other genre, has its share of cliches, and I’ve probably shot them all.  Skylines? Check.  Laying down on the sidewalk and shooting straight up the side of the city’s tallest building? Check. So, if you believe (as I mostly do) that there is no such thing as an original idea, how do you capture something original and unique? Step #1 is to not care whether somebody else has taken a similar photo before you. If it’s original to you and you like it, then go with it. Print it big and hang it proudly. But if  you’re still looking for an original, unique perspective, start concentrating less on the big picture and more on the details.

detroit-architecture

Older buildings like these in Detroit offer a wide variety of textural and structural components to photograph.

You’ve heard the old line about the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. It’s the theory that something grand and impressive can result from the combination of less significant components. What you may not have heard is that the opposite can be just as true. Depending on your lens, vantage point, available lighting, and a host of other variables, it is entirely possible– if not likely– that an entire building would appear so small in the frame that whatever drew you to it in the first place could be lost and overlooked in the actual photo. Also, light that might be perfect for windows, doorways, and other details could be completely unsuitable for capturing the detail and character of the building as a whole.

french-quarter-architecture

The French Quarter in New Orleans is a treasure trove of distinct architectural elements.

As photographers, we strive to put our personal stamp on every image. Every picture tells a story. Architects are no different, imprinting style, history, and textures into their work.  They are easy to find. Just take a step back and look for the parts that make up the whole. As with any other type of photography, concentrate on angles, composition, and lighting. As far as selecting the right lens?  Just like photographing portraits, landscapes, food, or any other subject, your ideal focal length is going to depend on the size of the subject and your proximity to it. If, for instance, you are photographing gargoyles several stories above the ground, a long zoom of at least 200-300 mm is a must. On the other hand, if you are photographing a doorway, you’ll definitely need a wide angle of 28mm or wider.

Atlanta-Doorways

Three of my favorite Atlanta doorways. Going for bigger details will require a wide angle lens.

Beware of some of the common pitfalls. Even though you are not photographing the entire building, you still have to be careful about tilting your camera back too far and causing distortion. When you tilt back to look up at a building through your camera, the bottom of the sensor is closer to the building that the top of the sensor, resulting in an image where the top of the building looks considerably more narrow than the bottom. While you won’t encounter this issue too often while photographing details, you still need to be aware of it. Also watch out for reflections in windows and glass doors. Sometimes, slightly shifting your angle so you are not shooting at a direct 90-degree angle to the glass can correct the problem (and keep your own reflection out of the photos).

One last note on safety and choosing your buildings carefully. In this post-9/11 world–particularly in the United States– there are security issues to be considered. If you are photographing a government building, for example, do not be surprised to find yourself in a discussion with armed security guards within moments of taking your shot. While you are legally and technically allowed to take photos of public buildings from public vantage points, this does not always apply to federal office buildings, courthouses, and banks. Be polite. Don’t argue. If asked for your ID, provide it. Be prepared to delete the images on the spot. I’ve run into this issue a few times with non-governmental buildings also. I was once photographing the office building where I practiced law in another life, when I was approached by two very large men who were demanding to know what I was doing. I was not doing anything illegal or even anything for which they had the right to detain or question me. In these situations you have to ask yourself just how important that photo of the archway over the door really is. In my case, they pushed so I pushed back. They threatened to call the police, so I sat down on a bench and politely told them I’d wait. Everything worked out fine in the end, but it probably wasn’t my smartest move. Do as I say, not as I do.

atlanta-architecture

A few of the elements outside my old office building. Details above the first couple of floors will require a zoom lens

Photographing architecture can be a great way to hone your skills in a low-pressure setting.  You can experiment with composition and natural light without worrying about your subject getting bored and walking out on you. Take advantage of the opportunity to push your creativity and grow as a photographer.

Post originally from: Digital Photography Tips.

Check out our more Photography Tips at Photography Tips for Beginners, Portrait Photography Tips and Wedding Photography Tips.

Architecture: Photographing Exterior Details

Jan
15

A Lensbaby Adventure

Filed Under Architecture, Landscape, Nicki Exhibition, Outdoor



English: Based on my last post Carlos wanted to see more of my trip "Disturbia". On that day I also had to relieve my mind - thats why I choosed the Lensbaby Composer for getting some "other" captures. For all who are interested in (I receive many questions on postprocessing), I used Apples Aperture 3 for this series, no Photoshop or anything else. In the past I used Aperture only for archiving - It was time to check out his opportunities. I'm not really fascinate yet of Aperture, but it worked for me on this collection. What do you think, I'm very interested in your thoughts!

German: Bezogen auf die letzte Aufnahme wollte Carlos mehr von meinem Trip "Disturbia" sehen. An diesem Tag musste ich meinen Kopf ein wenig "auslüften" und deswegen bin ich auch gleich mit dem Lensbaby Composer losgestreuselt um auch "andere" Bilder zu schiessen. Für die Interessierten von Euch (Ich bekomme immer noch viele Fragen), hier habe ich nur mit Apples Aperture 3 gearbeitet, kein Photoshop oder Ähnliches. In der Vergangenheit habe ich Aperture lediglich zum archivieren genutzt, also war es an der Zeit endlich mal herauszufinden was für Möglichkeiten zur Verfügung stehen. Auch bin ich immer noch nicht richtig angetan, dennoch ganz gut um eine Bilderserie zu überarbeiten. Was sagst Du dazu? Ich bin gespannt!

» This is a collection of 13 pictures, click on the image to see all.




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Jan
14

My Disturbia

Filed Under Architecture, Nicki Exhibition, Outdoor



English: As I told you - I'm still in process moving to my new apartment. But this day I was burned out a little bit, thats why I took doggie Mila and the Lensbaby Composer for a walk. And? I could not resist showing you a scene I really like. It's fascinating - sometimes I think my soul put his finger on the trigger, not me. And sometimes such shots are the result. I love life, I love so many things - but sometimes I'm looking for something more ... sometimes.

German: Wie schon angekündigt - befinde ich mich mitten im Umzug in die neue Wohnung. Aber an diesem Tag stand ich nur noch unter Strom, deswegen bin ich mit Hündin Mila und dem Lensbaby Composer zu einem kleinen Spaziergang aufgebrochen. Und? Ich konnte schwer widerstehen und zeige nun doch eine neue Aufnahme. Irgendwie ist es faszinierend - manchmal glaube ich mein Geist hat seinen Finger am Auslöser, nicht ich. Und manchmal sind dann solche Bilder das Resultat. Ich liebe das Leben, ich liebe so vieles darin - aber manchmal suche ich nach etwas mehr ... manchmal.

» If you are interested in, this picture is as print available
» Original shoot attached

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Lens: Lensbaby Composer
Aperture: F/4
Exposure: 1/160s
ExposureBias: 0.0 EV
Sensitivity: Iso 640

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Jan
14

My Disturbia

Filed Under Architecture, Nicki Exhibition



As I told you - I'm still in process moving to my new apartment. But this day I was burned out a little bit, thats why I took doggie Mila and the Lensbaby Composer for a walk. And? I could not resist showing you a scene I really like. It's fascinating - sometimes I think my soul put his finger on the trigger, not me. And sometimes such shots are the result. I love life, I love so many things - but sometimes I'm looking for something more ... sometimes.

EXIFS:
Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Focal: 50 mm
Aperture: F/4
Exposure: 1/160s
ExposureBias: 0.0 EV
Sensitivity: Iso 640

Nov
18

#220

Filed Under Architecture, Indoor, Nicki Exhibition, People



English: Can't get no sleep - not yet. To much coffee?

German: Schlafen geht gerade gar nicht, noch nicht. Zu viel Kaffee?

» Original shoot attached

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Lens: Canon EF 17-40L F/4
Focal: 40 mm
Aperture: F/4
Exposure: 1/160s
ExposureBias: 0.0 EV
Sensitivity: Iso 500

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Apr
11

Dickes ^B^

Filed Under 16:9, Architecture, Black & White, Cityscape, Nicki Exhibition, Outdoor



Die Reise gleicht einem Spiel; es ist immer Gewinn und Verlust dabei und meist von der unerwarteten Seite. (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

English: Back home from my latest trip to Berlin City. I'm sooooo tired, but really happy. It's always great being there, a outerspace where I can breath ^@^.

German: Zurück aus Berlin. Ich bin richtig müde aber auch zufrieden und froh. Es ist immer ein tolles Gefühl da zu sein, ein Platz zum tief Luft holen ^@^.

Attached: If you are interested, the original is here.

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Lens: Canon EF 50mm F/1.4
Aperture: F/6.3
Exposure: 1/500s
ExposureBias: 0.0 EV
Sensitivity: Iso 100
Cropped: minor (to 16x9)

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Feb
17

This Is Truth

Filed Under Architecture, Black & White, Nicki Exhibition, Outdoor



English: I stood so long in front of this stoned angel, and I cannot believe yet that this beauty was made from stone. That's why I want show you her face, a face which has more truth and feeling than some living people I meet every day.

German: Ich stand so lang vor dem steinernen Engel und kann immer noch nicht ganz glauben, dass dieser tatsächlich aus Stein ist. Deswegen möchte ich dieses wunderbare Gesicht zeigen, ein Gesicht das mehr Wahrheit und Gefühl in sich trägt als viele Menschen die täglich meinen Weg kreuzen.

Wallpaper: If you are interested, this shot is as wallpaper available (resolutions included: 1920x1200 | 1280x1024 | iPhone/iPod Touch).

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Lens: Canon EF 70-200mm F/4 L IS
Focal: 200 mm
Aperture: F/4
Exposure: 1/125s
ExposureBias: 0.0 EV
Sensitivity: Iso 640
Cropped: to 1x1

If you like my pictures, please take a moment to vote for me, your support is much appreciated:
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