Architectural photographers for years have lugged heavy bags and cases full of equipment worldwide. One case held the camera rig, bellow, stands, film holders, a loop, dark cloth and an assortment of lens boards. Inside duffel bags a large tripod, light stands, gobos, gaffer tape, gels, flares and reflector cards. This was a rare breed of Architectural Photographer London. They spent countless hours adjusting minute increments. Correcting vertical lines. And adjusting perspectives beneath a dark-cloth as they painstakingly checked the images sharpness. Their eyes bulged out, as their brains calculated the upside-down, rotated image before them. These were forever meticulous down to the millisecond of natural light necessary for the right exposure.
Eventually, a film holder could be placed in the shoot because they lifted the A-slide revealing the film towards the inner belly in the 4×5 camera. A press in the plunger cord opened the aperture to its precise coordinates letting light gradually fall throughout the film before closing it off. Next the A-slide was pushed down you flipped the film holder, opened the B-slide and exposed the 2nd sheet of film. Repeating as necessary up until you felt you had the shot. Before moving your camera gear to the next spot to set it all up again and fire off several sheets of film.
Fast-forward 200 years to the digital era of photography and you may get a new type of architectural photographer. No more strapped to some film case and two sheets. No more strapped down to an eye-loop beneath a dark cloth, architectural photographers are beginning to devise new strategies using software interfaces. They are will no longer without a darkroom when your digital darkroom as a laptop computer could be by your side during every shoot.
The very first aspect to be taken into account not simply in architectural photography is definitely the light. Lights can do magic by working on the shadows as well as the texture from the building. Bringing in the best contrast is the thing that the photographer aims to work at. Remember you are designed to accentuate those attributes of your building that are going to make it look magnificent. Selecting the best lens is vital. You should judge whether or not the building would look best in a fish’s eye lens or a panoramic view. Considering how it is sometimes challenging to get a whole building in a lens, it will be an important decision to choose the right lens. Should you be having a shot from the interiors of a building ensure the white balance is established right.
It is essential that you have a wise idea which geometric shapes are complimented by which weather. Your main task is to buy the appearance of the building right. With this you need to break the structure up mentally and discover that the perfect angle that compliments the building is. In case you are intending to select the skyline during the night it is a great idea to put the buildings between you and sunlight. You need to have a wise idea of how the reflections of the building would look. There are a few amazing photographs using the shadow play in the building. You must even be adept in getting the correct images in every single weather.
Today’s architectural photographer remains carrying a lot more tons of gear to their shoots yet it is much easier when all of your devices are neatly packed in your cargo van. Inside an architectural photographer’s van you can find a personal computer, extension cords, halogen lights, gobos, gaffer tape, light stands, halogen bulbs along with a digital camera. The exception the following is whether you want to shoot a very high-end Digital SLR, a medium format camera with digital back or a converted 4×5 field camera with digital back. You now have the strength of an electronic environment.
Amazing results are close at hand thanks to this digital environment. You happen to be will no longer put through weather because you can shoot using halogen lights at anytime in the daytime, evening or night. Your image capture holds everything on a high-resolution digital file. Which you now drop on your desktop computer, adjusting files and parameters composing a mofpbm image away from fifty or even a hundred layers to make a magnificent composite image your client will marvel over. And rehire you, again and again.
One thing every architectural photographer always says is get ready for the unexpected. On a clear Arizonian evening we set up fifteen halogen lights, a Hasselblad camera with digital back and our computer. We had extension cords coming out of every light socket possible. Right before sunset somewhat of a breeze kicked up. Adding sandbags we quickly secured taller lights. 10 mins later equally as we were about to shoot, it started to rain. As it started, we ran around unplugging all of the cords then grabbing light stands, dropping the halogens and moving them to the garage. When we had moved all of them we were soaked and half the light bulbs had popped. Unfortunately for us this shoot needed to be canceled. But as Ann Landers once wrote, “Nobody says you need to laugh, but feelings of humor may help you disregard the unattractive, tolerate the unpleasant, deal with the unexpected, and smile from the day.”