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The essence of Architecture Photography is bringing out details and highlighting the design elements in a building. Architecture is about man made structure and every part of the structure is well planned and researched. A good photograph will depict the various design elements in detail which will happen only when photograph is taken at the right time of the day.
Architecture photography like any other genre of photography involves interplay of light and shadows. The formation of shadows play an important role in bringing out the textures which in turn makes the elements look three-dimensional in the photograph.
The photograph below is taken at around 1 PM when the sun is slightly behind the building. In this photograph the top of the building is partly lit up but the lower part in not getting any light. Also since the camera is directly facing the light source , a lens flare can be noticed.
The photograph below is taken at around 4 pm. At this hour the sun is in front of the building and the whole building is covered with light. But the light is very harsh resulting in harsh shadows and the white part of the building looks a bit washed out though not over exposed.
This final photograph was taken at around 5:30 pm when the sun is in the process of setting and is low. The intensity of light has also come down. The low direction and low intensity is making the shadows longer and softer. Also shadow of trees in front of the building is falling on the structure which is adding another interesting element in the photograph.
It can be seen here that the exposure and detailing in the last photograph appear more pleasing as compared to the previous two photographs. Also the sky looks more evenly blue as compared to the first photograph.
Early morning and late evening times are considered best for architecture photography. Besides the time, direction of light is most important factor in bringing out the details, light falling on the building from front at around 45 degrees is considered ideal . Sunshine on the shoulder of the photographer from behind will definitely make him/her happy as far as architecture photography is concerned.
Before visiting a site for photographing, it is essential to know the direction of the front/main entrance of the building-East facing or West facing etc. It will help in deciding the time of the day- early morning or late evening.
Architecture photography is about clicking pictures the way situation is and since the factors are not under the control of photographer, a detailed planning is important to reach the location at the right time.
Happy clicking !
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