Photo Focus: Architecture
I want to talk about architectural photography in this post… There are some amazing buildings and structures all around us which deserve to be photographed! You can be as creative as you want when photographing structures – look up, look down, inside, outside, or just shoot a section that looks interesting… walk around and suss out the best vantage point for your shot before taking it.
Here are some of my favourite architectural photos…
I’m going to start with a couple of photos from my study of Architectural Curves for my A Level Photography… all taken in Sheffield some years ago.
This first image is of the curved entrance to Sheffield’s beautiful Winter Gardens taken on my Canon EOS 40D… I love the shape of this structure and have taken many photos of it over the years! (Settings: ISO 100, f9, 1/60 – I spent some time messing with my settings for this photo as the natural light was not great on the day!)
My second photo was taken when the Wheel came to Sheffield… it dominated the city centre skyline for the duration of it’s stay and provided Sheffielders with a fantastic view of the city! My settings for this shot were: ISO 100, f10, 1/125.
I’m a massive fan of Art Deco… I’m always on the look out for Art Deco architecture and features. This building in Sheffield is has beautiful detailing which is why I took the photo. It has then had a filter added in Photoshop to make it look a bit Pop Art. The settings for the original shot (taken on my Canon EOS 40D) were: ISO 100, f14, 1/125.
Another one of my Art Deco favourites is this photo of the Showroom Cinema in Sheffield. Again this has had a filter applied in Photoshop. The settings I used were: ISO 100, f9, 1/100.
I took this shot of Winchester Guildhall last month on a flying visit to Hampshire. It is an ornate and imposing building… I took this using my Canon Powershot SX60 HS (bridge camera) at ISO 200, f5, 1/1000.
And another shot from visit to Winchester… this time of one of the gates in the medieval city walls. It may not look like it, but this was tricky shot to get as there was a constant stream of people walking through the gateway! Again, this was taken on my Canon Power shot. Settings: ISO 200, f4, 1/800.
I took this photo inside Leicester Cathedral – the ceiling was so ornate and I loved the repeating arches! This is not one of my better shots as there were two difficulties with it. Firstly, the lighting inside most cathedrals is not great – they are traditionally quite dark but there are often well-lit areas to contend with. The second issue is trying to take a photo looking up without it looking odd… I would normally lie on my back and look up but this was clearly inappropriate in a cathedral where most people were there to pay their respects to King Richard III… Camera settings: ISO 1600, f3.4, 1/20.
I was really pleased with the way this shot of the CN Tower in Toronto, Canada came out… sometimes shots taken looking up can look somewhat distorted, but this one makes the Tower look particularly imposing! What’s particularly impressive is that this was taken on a Canon film SLR so I had no idea if the shot had worked or not until I got the film developed when I got back to the UK!
I think this photo of the One World Trade Building in NYC works similarly well… this was shot on my old iPhone 4S (so the settings were selected automatically by the phone: ISO 50, f2.4, 1/1672). I love the contrast of the shiny, silver building against the bright, blue November sky.
I took so many photos of the Alhambra in Granada, Spain – it’s such an impressive place with so many beautiful photo opportunities… here are a couple of my favourites:
I loved the ornate carvings which cover the Alhambra, not to mention the stunning views over Granada! (Camera settings: ISO 80, f8, 1/125)
The Alhambra is full of beautiful fountains and courtyards, all elaborately carved from stone. Unfortunately, as it is such a major tourist attraction, it is almost impossible to get a photo without many people in… this was rare moment when I happened to be at the right place at the right time! My camera setting were: ISO 80, f8, 1/250.
So those were a few (diverse!) examples of my favourite architectural photographs… I hope you liked them!
*With the exception of the two photographs above which have obviously been manipulated, all the other photos have just been cropped to cut out any unwanted detail.
*All images were shot on either my old iPhone 4s, a Canon EOS 500 (film SLR), a Canon EOS 40D or a Canon Powershot SX60 HS.