Architectural Photography

When shooting pictures of buildings or other architectural points.

  1. Shoot straight on.
    • Don't shoot from an angle.
    • Unless you're trying to create an effect.
  2. If you can, shoot from the a point mid-way between the top and bottom of the building.
    • This would mean you either need a ladder or to be across the street in another building.
  3. For interest, and to get sense of scale, it's often nice to include a person or some object in front of the building.
    • Including people makes the place feel alive.
    • Be cautious to make sure the person in the photo is not identifiable unless you know them.
  4. Be sure the building doesn't move or you'll get a blurred photo.
  5. Taking photos from the bottom of a building looking up to the top will give you distortion, but it might be the kind of effect you're looking for. Try it and play with it.
  6. If the building is only one part of the picture, consider what your apeture will be.
    • Do you want the background in focus or out of focus?
  7. Take advantage of the weather to create a mood.
    • A misty morning in front of a graveyard gives a chilling mood.
    • A shot of a store selling snow tires during a blizzard creates a feeling of irony.
    • The giant Viking near Gimli shot during a torrential rainstorm could create a feeling of bravery as he toughs out the elements.
  8. Look for photos of the unusual.
    • Most skyscrapers and apartment buildings look pretty much the same.
    • The Legislature, the Esplanade Riel, Christ the King Catholic Church (on St. Mary's), St. Boniface Cathedral ruins, and the gate of Upper Fort Garry are all good choices. 
  9. Shoot from public property only. This avoids any chance of you getting charged with trespassing.
  10. If you zoom in for a closer shot of some interesting architectural feature, be sure you are not accidentally shooting a photo of someone through a window.
    • This is an invasion of privacy and is illegal.


  2. DCist