How to take a good architecture photo?

Even though I do not belong to AEC Industry, as I was an architecture student, I believe all the people who love buildings would love to take photos of buildings.

In this blog, I will teach you how to take good architecture photos (real photographing skills, tips, and techniques), with our mobile phones. We do not need a professional DSLR, a mobile phone can produce excellent photographs. You can even try to submit your photo to IPPA (iPhone Photography Awards), maybe you can win the newest iWatch!

1. Use Reflections

Using reflections to take photos of buildings or cities is the simplest and most effective way to enhance the image of a work. In cities, you can take a reflection/reflection image by using a pool on the ground after rain, a pool in front of a building, or a glass mirror on the building itself. Natural symmetry can immediately enhance the beauty of the picture.

2. Catch the light

Light is the most wonderful magic hand. Light can make the picture produce a dramatic story effect. One of the most convenient things about taking photos with your mobile phone is that you can take out your mobile phone and record the moment when you meet a special light immediately. So take your phone with you and go travel, and don’t let go of the wonderful light.

3. Color and Texture

@Alex Jiang

The strong contrast colors can always grasp the photographer’s eye at the first glance. Emphasis was placed on one thing at a time, so after finding the contrasting elements of color on the building, let’s only focus on the color. The same goes for textures. If you want to emphasize textures, only focus on textures.

4. Rainy and snowy days are the best time to take photos

Everyone thinks sunny days are the best time to take photos. Actually, one of the famous mobile phone photographers Cocu Liu once said that rain and snow genius is his favorite weather to take photos. There are two reasons: first, the light is softer when it’s cloudy, and second, it’s easier to get those rare, story-telling images in the city when you’re out on a rainy or snowy day. Under the lens of Liu Chen’s mobile phone, the face of Chicago in the rain is even more fascinating.

5. Clean composition

Mies van der Rohe always said that “less is more”, and this applies not only to architectural design but also to architectural photography. Especially for mobile phone photography, pixels are not as good as DSLR. In order to avoid clutter and blur, a clean composition is more important.

6. Create a sense of space

When photographing the interior of a building, try to capture the sense of extension or depth of the space. Atrium, stairwell, and so on are the most suitable space for practicing hands. Outdoor, you can choose colonnades, laneways, streets, etc.

7. Characters serve as visual focal points

Properly using people as visual focal points can light up the picture. At the same time, as a kind of scale contrast with buildings, figures can also highlight the sense of space of buildings or cities.

8. Creative Ideas

Creativity can always surprise people, and mobile phone photography is no exception. Everyone loves fun and unusual shots, like this one, which takes advantage of the slope of downtown San Francisco by flattening out an otherwise sloping horizon so that the house looks sloping.

9. Retouching

We are all concerned about the problem of post-retouch after taking photos on mobile phones. The following apps can probably answer some of these questions.

VSCO CAM: Simulate film effect, can adjust color, adjust light, add the filter, and so on

SKRWT: Lens correction, suitable for use when shooting buildings

FilterStorm: Multi-layer processing, can adjust the contrast of a specified area

UNION: Make a double exposure effect

Mextures: Add textures such as textures and particles to the image

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in Life Outside of Design Studio and has been updated for accuracy and completeness.

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