How To Capture The Beauty Of Architecture

It can be a challenge to take very good photographs of architecture – however, it does not have to be. Once you understand the ins and outs of taking beautiful shots of buildings, you will be able to create images that are frame-worthy.

How To Capture The Beauty Of Architecture

This is because there are certain techniques that can help you. For example, you will want to make sure that you are making the most of details, or are making use of natural lighting. 

So, the next time you head out to take some pictures of architecture, make sure you take note of the tips and tricks below. Read on to find out how to capture the beauty of architecture in this simple guide (see also “Capturing The Beauty Of Interior Spaces“). 

Can A Beginner Photograph Architecture?

A beginner photographer can take photographs of architecture. What will make you stand out from other novice photographers is how you use your creative eye.

While you can just take a picture of a building, there are ways to make the photograph capture the beauty of the building. One example is by making use of natural lighting, as well as the weather. 

The time of day will also affect how the architecture looks. The harsh sunlight at noon will always look different from the morning glow of sunrise. 

All of the elements that have been thought out to create the picture will make sure that the end image is magnificent, and one that you are proud of.

8 Ways To Capture The Beauty Of Architecture

Here are 8 easy ways to capture amazing architectural photographs:

1. Choosing The Location Of The Architecture

Even though you have likely taken many pictures of buildings on your vacation, you will want to choose something that is closer to home. This allows you to choose something that you are very interested in, but also that you have time to photograph.

When on vacation, you will find that the people you are with probably do not have the same love for architecture photography as you do. For this reason, you will not have the time to spend experimenting with different photos.

Also, you are on vacation, so you also probably don’t have much time just in general!

Instead, choose a building that you want to take pictures of in a local area. Think about why the architecture interests you, and what kind of photos you are hoping to get out of it at the end.

2. Explore The Chosen Architecture

Once you have decided exactly what building you would like to photograph, spend some time getting to know its architecture. Take a look at the different stonework and walls, as well as where you are able to stand to take pictures.

Are there interesting places you can stand that have amazing focal points? Are there parts of the building with wonderful texture in the brickwork?

Whether in your cellphone or a notebook, write down some notes and take quick snaps to remind yourself for the next time you visit.

You may also want to work out from these notes exactly the kind of photos you would like to capture. Also, have you taken a look at the history of the building? This can sometimes inspire you to capture a certain feeling from the photos.

3. Frame A Focal Point

Creating a focal point within the frame can let the eye of the viewer move along different lines and shapes when they look at the photograph.

You will want to understand how different lines and compositions can affect the end result of a photo, and how it can make two pictures of the same building look different: one amazing and the other basic.

This is because, if you just take a picture of the building, then you have a lovely picture. However, if you use horizontal and vertical lines and focal points, then the picture can look stunning.

Following the lines of the architecture can create very strong attributes to the photograph. You will find that architectural shapes are very important in this kind of photography. 

4. Bring Attention To Details

How To Capture The Beauty Of Architecture

One of the best things about photographing architecture is the details. If you have spent the time taking a look at the building before any photography was done, then you will have noticed the different quirks and details.

This means that you can focus on these to create a wonderful set of photographs. For example, you may have noticed the texture of old bricks with the new ones or found some writing scratched into the wall.

There may even be gargoyles to take pictures of. Whatever it is, just remember that the details matter.

5. Take Pictures In Various Angles

While it is tempting to photograph the entire building, you will want to put on your creative shoes to avoid doing so. It is fine to get the odd shot of the structure but to capture the real beauty of architecture, it is always better to be specific.

For example, take a look at certain focal points to focus on. This could be standing at the top of the stairs and taking a picture below. You might also want to take a photograph that is above you.

Not all of the photos have to be taken at eye level. Instead, experiment with various angles. Not every photo will work, but the whole point is that you are getting to experiment with different types of angles.

Over time you will understand the different ways to photograph architecture, and how certain things like the angle affect a photograph. 

6. Photograph At Different Times Of The Day

When you visit a building, remember to visit it again at a different time of day. What you will notice is that the sun might hit a different spot on the wall, and shadows appear on walls where they were not before.

All of this can create a completely different photo. While the sun in the morning might make the architecture of the building appear bright and happy, later on in the day when the sun is setting, the architecture might seem a little sad and gloomy.

This is exactly the same on gray days too. Sometimes it can be difficult to photograph architecture when the sky and light are gray because it often does not add oomph to a photograph. 

If possible, you can add artificial light to blast some freshness into the photo, as well as some creative shadows. Just make sure that it does not actually look like artificial light in the photo.

7. Photograph In Different Weather Conditions

Along with different times of the day come weather conditions. While you do not have control over the weather, at least you can choose which time of the day you want to photograph architecture.

The weather can actually add to a photo. When the rain has been and gone, often what is left are pools of water and droplets from the rain. Both of these things can add a wonderful touch to a building.

You can use the reflection in the rainwater to create an interesting effect. You may also want to let the rain droplets do the talking on the side of a wall.

Have fun experimenting with the different types of weather conditions, and see which ones you get the most interesting pictures of while using the same architecture.

8. Use People To Focus On Scale

More often than not, especially if it is magnificent architecture, there will be a lot of other people around who are also taking in the breathtaking views. When this happens, you can always use the people to your advantage. 

While before it was not a popular thing to include people, more and more professional photographers are using people in their architectural photography.

One of these reasons is that it often adds scale. There are many huge and magnificent buildings that look small in pictures. Having a person or two enjoying what they see can really add a different perspective to the final image. 

It can also just make the photograph more visually pleasing too, as well as create a different focus entirely. 

If there are no people about but you would like to add some interest or a size comparison, then use your focal point elsewhere. This can be a bike or some other object.

Final Thoughts

More often than not, taking pictures of architecture can result in a flat and bland photo that lacks vigor and oomph. It is not a surprise either, as more often than not we do not have much time to photograph such large buildings, especially when on vacation.

However, if you give yourself extra time to photograph architecture, then you will find that you can take stunning images of even the most mundane-looking buildings.

To really get to grips with taking photographs of architecture, you may want to practice at local buildings where you can spend time visiting during different parts of the day or when the weather changes.

No doubt you will become familiar with capturing the beauty of architecture within photographs.

Laura McNeill
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