a cool apartment on my street, first time photographing buildings


TPF Noob!
May 24, 2013
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Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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Hi, this is my first time taking architectural photography if you can even call this that. I've been walking past this place every day for over a year now on my way to school and to work, for whatever reason I finally decided to take a photo of it today. It looks pretty cool to my untrained eye, but I know virtually nothing about photographing buildings so I would really appreciate it if someone could chime in and tell me what things I should look for when photographing buildings and how to improve this image. In terms of autocritique I see that there seems to be some distortion due to the focal length I was using (35mm)? But I don't really know much about these technical aspects, I know that very wide angle focal lengths like 17mm generate a lot of distortion, but if someone can explain to me how that stuff works too that would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all :) $DSC_2396.jpg
Well, I am no expert, but....

First order of business, the composition is off on this one. It feels cramped, and is way off kilter as far as perspective goes. The white building next door is very bright and distracting. I would try A. from another angle (or at least back up some) B. at a different time of day or C. both.
Is that a little bit better? (I adjusted the exposure of the building on the side) In terms of composition being cramped what would you suggest to remedy that? I couldn't step further away as there was a fence behind me, and a wider focal length probably would have introduced more distortion. Is this one of those weird situations where a tilt-shift comes in handy??

edit: I guess I could have taken the photograph head on to help with perspective, but I really wanted to show that cool little window on the side of the porch type thing
True architectural photography requires perspective correction to look right. In the old days we used tilt/shift lenses or got on a real tall ladder to get the perspective right but these days it can be done with software.

When standing on the ground the walls at the top are farther from the camera than the walls at the bottom. This makes the walls look like they are closing down on each other. It's called "Keystone" distortion and is clearly visible in your shot. The walls on the left are leaning to the right and the walls on the right are leaning to the left. Extend the lines of the walls and at some point well above the camera they would come together.

I did a real quick perspective correction. Not perfect but then I didn't put much time in it either. The problem is that you have to leave a lot of room on the sides because they will leave triangular areas that need to be cropped off after the correction.

WOW. thank you so much scraig, that's exactly what I was looking for, how did you do that?????

edit: can that be done in lightroom 4? that's the only software that I currently have
I would have left a touch of convergence in, at least on the horizontal. The building looks a bit unnatural when totally squared-up. Also, maybe clone out those distracting traffic signs.
WOW. thank you so much scraig, that's exactly what I was looking for, how did you do that?????

edit: can that be done in lightroom 4? that's the only software that I currently have

That was done with DxO Optics 7. I don't know if Lightroom has the capabilities or not since I don't use that software. With Optics 7 I draw a square on the distorted image and drag the edges of the square so that they align with vertical and horizontal lines in the image; top, bottom, and both sides. The software calculates what it needs to do to the image to make the lines parallel to each other. It usually does a very good job of it to.
Thank you so much. God, I love this forum.

edit: I figured it out in lightroom. thank you so much all.
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He is just being modest,he really tied a chain to all that horse power of his motorcycle and gave it a good pull to straighten the building.:thumbup: Kidding aside, IMO buildings are hard to shoot. Some look right at angles and some straight on and others looking up.This one looks better they way it was edited.
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