Architectural photographers for years have lugged heavy bags and cases full of equipment around the globe. One case held the digital camera rig, bellow, stands, film holders, a loop, dark cloth and a variety 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 Architecture Photographer. 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 needed for the right exposure.
Eventually, a film holder would be placed in the shoot as they lifted the A-slide revealing the film to the inner belly from the 4×5 camera. A press of the plunger cord opened the aperture to its precise coordinates letting light gradually fall throughout the film before closing it away. Next the A-slide was pushed down you flipped the film holder, opened the B-slide and exposed the next sheet of film. Repeating as necessary before you felt you experienced the shot. Before moving your camera gear to the next location to set it up all up again and fire off a couple of sheets of film.
Fast-forward 200 years into the digital era of photography and you will get a new breed of architectural photographer. No more strapped to some film case and two sheets. Will no longer strapped right down to an eye-loop beneath a dark cloth, architectural photographers are beginning to devise new strategies using software interfaces. They are no longer without a darkroom as the digital darkroom in the form of a laptop computer could be on your side during every shoot.
The first aspect to get taken into account not only in architectural photography is the light. Lights can perform magic by working on the shadows and the texture from the building. Bringing in the best contrast is exactly what the photographer aims to operate at. Remember you are meant to accentuate those features of your building that will allow it to be look magnificent. Choosing the right lens is very important. You will need to judge whether the building would look best in a fish’s eye lens or even a panoramic view. Considering how it is sometimes hard to get a complete building in a lens, it would be an essential decision to choose the right lens. In case you are getting a shot of the interiors of any building ensure the white balance is to establish right.
It is essential you have a wise idea of which geometric shapes are complimented in which weather. Your main task is to obtain the style of the property right. For this particular you should break your building up mentally and find out in which the perfect angle that compliments the property is. Should you be intending to click on the skyline during the night it is a great idea to set the buildings between you and direct sunlight. You have to have a wise idea of how the reflections of the building would look. There are several amazing photographs with the shadow play in the building. You need to also be adept to get the correct images in each and every weather.
Today’s architectural photographer remains carrying a lot more loads of gear with their shoots however it is much easier when your tools are neatly packed within your cargo van. Inside an architectural photographer’s van you can find a pc, extension cords, halogen lights, gobos, gaffer tape, light stands, halogen bulbs and a digital camera. The exception here is whether you decide to shoot a very high-end Digital Camera, a medium format camera with digital back or even a converted 4×5 field camera with digital back. You have the power of an electronic environment.
Amazing effects are when you need it thanks to this digital environment. You happen to be no more put through weather because you can shoot using halogen lights at anytime during the day, evening or night. Your image capture holds everything on the high-resolution digital file. That you now drop on to your computer, adjusting files and parameters composing a mofpbm image from fifty or even a hundred layers to make a magnificent composite image your client will marvel over. And rehire you, repeatedly.
Something every architectural photographer always says is plan 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. Just before sunset a bit of a breeze kicked up. Adding sandbags we quickly secured taller lights. Ten minutes later just like we were getting ready to shoot, it begun to rain. Since it started, we ran around unplugging all of the cords then grabbing light stands, dropping the halogens and moving them into the garage. Once we had moved every one of them we were soaked and half the sunshine bulbs had popped. Unfortunately for all of us this shoot had to be canceled. But as Ann Landers once wrote, “Nobody says you have to laugh, but a feeling of humor may help you disregard the unattractive, tolerate the unpleasant, deal with the unexpected, and smile through the day.”