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Why I Decided to Try Architectural Photography

What is your least favourite type of photography?

I haven’t much interest in food photography and documentary photography is a genre I haven’t really tried. I haven’t tried fashion photography either, and I don’t think I’ll be doing it anytime soon.

There are two types of photography that interest me but in which I haven’t yet made much progress.

One is portrait photography, and the other is architectural photography.

Initially when I started photography, I steered away from portrait photography as I felt that it was a difficult area to get right.

Also, I didn’t know where I would get subjects who would pose to have their portrait taken.

Then my first grandchild was born and suddenly I was into baby portraits with a ‘willing’ subject.

As she has grown, I have had many opportunities to photograph candid images of a child at play, and her little sister now obliges for the baby portraits!

That leaves architectural photography.

I happened to discover a few YouTube channels which gave some tips on how to get interesting images in architectural photography, so I decided to give this form of photography a try, for three main reasons:

(a) I think it will provide me with a new challenge, which will benefit my overall progress in photography.

(b) It is a good winter photography activity.

(c) It will give me an opportunity to learn new skills and techniques.

As in all types of photography, it is not always easy to capture a good image in architectural photography.

It's not simply a matter of going out and snapping buildings. That might give us images, but it won’t give us images that are pleasing to the human eye and that, after all, is always our aim in photography.

How we compose our images is a key element in successful architectural photography.

Architects design buildings in a certain way for a reason so if we can make the most of these design elements in our compositions, we have a good chance of capturing a good photograph.

Composition is central to all types of photography. Some of the main elements of photography, such as shape, line, texture, form, scale and pattern are dominant elements in architecture. If we concentrate on working with the geometry of buildings, it will give us something definite to work with.

Symmetry, and indeed asymmetry, are also found in abundance in the built environment and they offer opportunities to create pleasing images.

One of the most fascinating aspects of architectural photography is the sheer diversity of buildings we find in our towns and cities. This diversity is also evident between cities and between city and countryside.

There are buildings representative of different eras and made up of the many influences of the people who lived in the place and their design preferences.

As part of this delve into architectural photography, I was led into doing some research on the key architectural influences in my own city and country, which proved to be a very interesting activity.

Below are some of my initial images in this genre of photography.


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