tips please

wyogirl

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Any tips on how to shoot compelling images of architecture? I have some lovely old buildings that I want to capture but the images just look flat.
 

cgipson1

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Any tips on how to shoot compelling images of architecture? I have some lovely old buildings that I want to capture but the images just look flat.

Try using HDR techniques to increase the dynamic range shown... open up the shadows a bit.

Use perspective correction to straighten out verticals that get canted.

Shoot during the golden hours (morning / evening) to get some nice light... harsh light is never good..

Rent a Tilt / Shift lens and play with it... can do amazing things!


Post some shots so we can see what you are doing, and maybe make some suggestions.
 

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Any tips on how to shoot compelling images of architecture? I have some lovely old buildings that I want to capture but the images just look flat.


Shoot during the golden hours (morning / evening) to get some nice light... harsh light is never good..

or that.
 
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wyogirl

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tell me more about a tilt shift lens.... is this the same as a lens baby?
 

cgipson1

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tell me more about a tilt shift lens.... is this the same as a lens baby?

NO! A lens baby does out of focus junk (IMO)!!! A tilt-shift is a precision instrument that allows you to correct perspective while you are shooting.... (although it can be done in software also)
 
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wyogirl

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good, because I haven't liked anything that I have seen from lens baby. This is an interesting idea..., I'll check out borrowlenses.com right now.
 

cgipson1

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good, because I haven't liked anything that I have seen from lens baby. This is an interesting idea..., I'll check out borrowlenses.com right now.

I think I am going to like you! ;) lol!

I guess the lens baby is ok if you are into that kind of stuff... but I like my images sharp and realistic...
 
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wyogirl

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You are an evil man to link me to adorama... now I'm going to want to look in the "used" department....booo hiss.... I have very little self control
 

cgipson1

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If you do rent a tilt-shift.. read up on it, research it first! There is a learning curve... can be frustrating at first!
 
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wyogirl

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doing a quick google search has yielded some wild photography. I'm very interested in this, but probably wont rent right away. So back to my original question sort of... from what angle should I shoot a 3 story building. Straight on isn't doing much for me and I have a hard time getting the whole building when I shoot low.
 

paulzeee

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What exactly do you see in these buildings that you want to take a picture of? Examples of what you have produced will help.
 

amolitor

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Straight on is usually bad. Walker Evans managed it with surprising success, but he was usually showing us stuff in FRONT of the building more than the building.

Get to the side and turn those horizontal lines into diagonal ones, visually. In an ideal world, you make the diagonals hit a "vanishing point" that's in the frame rather than outside of it.

Keep the frame simple, but give us a little context and some little details to look at. Get some light on there, get some shadow on there. The angled view also gives you two sides in view, so at the very least one can be placed in shadow while the other is lit. If you can get a good shadow on the face of the building, maybe from a building across the street, that's a good idea too -- a nice balance of sunlight and shadow over the face of the building can give some visual interest.
 

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I think it has been alluded to already, but I'll add.

Take time and look at the building. Walk past it, looking at it all the way. Then turn around and walk past it again. If the lighting angle could be better, when will it be and what needs to happen. What specific elements of the building are you particularly drawn to and how can you highlight those in your shot? Does the background add or distract from the image? Do you even need the background?

I just spent part of a day in downtown Denver and took I think 14 shots of buildings (more frames, just multiples to tweak exposure, angle, framing) and only two of them could be considered full-building shots. Be more specific and take time with your subject. Spend 10 minutes walking around the building and looking before you even take a shot.

And yes, learn to love the photo editor. I love my skew tool.
 
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wyogirl

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I have been so dissatisfied with the pictures that I have deleted them all in camera. The buildings that I want to shoot have been around since the 1800's and are in our historic downtown. Both are old banks and have interesting decorative details. The large building is white and the windows are either boarded up or covered in graffiti. I kind of want to illustrate the idea that "the mighty have fallen". The smaller building is stone and I want to emphasize the bank name that is on the building. They both face west so I'm thinking sunset but that may be too harsh. Thoughts??
 

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