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Article: Fine Art Architecture Photography

Fine Art Architektur fotografieren

Fine Art Architecture Photography

As with music or cinema, everyone has their own preferences when it comes to architecture. While some melt at the sight of playful Art Nouveau facades and others love winding half-timbered houses, others prefer to keep it simple and functional with Bauhaus. But no matter which architecture is particularly close to your heart, it always provides material for great photos. Although there are impressive examples and a lot of inspiration in architectural photography, it is still a rather unknown genre. All the more an opportunity to experiment with shapes, colors and structures in the city and create art with light and shadow on building facades!

The fine art of architectural photography

Since the revolutionary Bauhaus movement, which for the first time simplified everything under the motto "form follows function" and put the practical aspect of architecture in the foreground, modern architecture has produced quite a few fascinating buildings that often divide opinions. If one wants to capture these architectural works on film, there are as many approaches as there are photographers. Fine art photography, also called art photography, follows an artistic approach to the subject, which is not primarily about technically good pictures and accurate representations, but rather about the feeling of the person behind the camera.

It is not a matter of photographing plain or cluttered facades in black and white or brightly colored, but solely of what you want to tell about them and how. In contrast to a pragmatic and purposeful representation that tries to convey as accurate an impression of the building as possible, fine art photography focuses on the innovative, the new, and sometimes even the irritating.

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If you want to try your hand as a fine art photographer, you should of course master the craft of photography, but you don't have to stick to general basic assumptions and rules of the photography world. Above all, the images should be interesting and thought-provoking. It should be clear that such photos are not simply taken spontaneously and snapshot-like, but should be given a lot of time for research and image composition. According to your own ideas, you can thus draw a picture with lines, symmetry and, above all, light and shadow.

The search for the perfect place

Before you start taking pictures, it is important to find a suitable place for architectural photography. In doing so, you can be guided by what appeals to you most architecturally when wandering around the city, stopping to let your eyes roam along the dominant lines of the facade. Once curiosity is piqued, familiarize yourself with the building's surroundings and the prevailing lighting conditions.

For example, walk around the building and observe angles and lines and how they each appear from different perspectives. Consider the time of day and the direction of incidence of sunlight. Think about the mood and feeling you want to convey in your photos. At this point, you can ask yourself what makes this particular building so interesting and what special features it has in terms of shape and material.

A play with light and shadow

Right at the beginning of the composition of an architectural photo, pay special attention to the interplay of light and shadow. If the contrasts seem too stark, for example because you are photographing in black and white, the transitions can be softened somewhat by using long exposure.

Light and shadow can change the appearance of a building, highlighting its features and creating a sense of drama. Experiment with different lighting conditions, such as early morning or late afternoon, to capture the building in ideal light. Look for interesting patterns created by shadows cast on the facade that can add depth and texture to your photos. A fun way to experiment with light and shadow is to include people in your shots. For example, you can capture a person's shadow cast on the building's facade, or have someone hold up an object to cast a shadow that interacts with the building's design.

Reflective materials such as glass and shiny metal in particular can create exciting reflections, refractions, and absorptions of light. Pay attention to the different building materials and think ahead to how they might appear at different times of day and in different lighting conditions.

Perfectly equipped for the adventure of architectural photography

Every architectural photographer's equipment includes a good camera with a wide-angle lens to capture the entire building. Alternatively, you can use a telephoto lens to bring specific details into focus. A tripod can also help you get your shots sharp and blur-free, and be comfortable working with long exposures. Look for a lightweight, handy tripod that you'll be happy to have with you on longer forays.

Be sure to bring extra batteries and memory cards so you don't miss the perfect light due to technical issues. To be able to transport all this safely and comfortably and to have easy access to it, the camera bags from Oberwerth are designed. The noble bags captivate with their discreet elegance and are designed in such a way that they don't make you look like a tourist like classic photo bags, but fit perfectly with any outfit from chic to casual.

Symmetry must be

Symmetry is a key element in architectural photography that can create a sense of balance and harmony in your photos. Look for patterns and repetitions in the design of the building, such as columns, windows, or arches. Use these elements to frame your shots and create a balanced but interesting composition.

Playful details in your symmetrical shots can also create an interesting contrast and captivate the viewer's eye. For example, capture silhouettes of people in front of a symmetrical door or window, creating a whimsical contrast between the organic shape of the person and the strict lines of the building.

Angular experiments

Playing with angles can add depth and dimension to your architectural photos. For example, try shooting from a frog's-eye view to create a sense of height and grandeur, or capture a building from above to highlight the floor plan and the patterns that emerge. Don't be afraid to shoot the building from a distance at times, and then get up close to it again to capture its details and textures. In fine art photography, anything goes!


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