Ever since I started my journey as an architectural photographer, I’ve had to face a big dilemma. I learned the basics of photography with Nikon cameras, so when I got to the point where I really needed to use tilt-shift lenses in my architectural photography work – I was left wanting. Nikon’s tilt-shift lens lineup lacked a wide-angle TS lens until the Nikon 19mm PC-E came out.
Sky replacement is a tool every architectural photographer needs to know. I personally use it very rarely, but there are times when this type of knowledge comes in handy.
If you’ve ever seen Mike Kelley’s Where Art Meets Architecture series, then you know that he talks about sky replacements in-depth in the second part of WAMA 2.
I wrote about the DJI Mavic 3 drone in March, and at the end of the article, I shared my wish for its improvement, saying “There are many unique benefits we get with this new drone, but there are still flaws. I hope that the Mavic 3’s issues can be resolved with software updates down the road, as they have done so far.”
The first DJI Mavic Pro was announced in September 2016 and released in late 2016. The small size and the foldable design made me absolutely love it. I used the Mavic Pro for 2 years, and I was very pleased by its capabilities. I even won an architectural photography contest here in Hungary with an image created using that drone.
Just writing about my first book – Budapest Architecture – here makes my heart beat fast.
Before I jump into sharing the how behind this project, I think it is important to tell you the why. Since you’re reading this post on Mike Kelley’s APALMANAC, I assume you’ve already come across his book New Architecture Los Angeles.
An APA reader asks: I was hired by a development company to photograph a handful of specific angles of a project that is completed. The images were delivered to the original developer client, and they are happy with them. I’ve already been paid for the job and figured it had been put to rest with everyone involved being happy.
How do I start this? The question has been haunting me for weeks now. First, I want to thank you for the many great responses to the previous chapter of this series. In my last article, you saw my process for achieving a large number of images for at least four different clients — taken care of all in the same shoot.
When I wrote the first part of this series, I intended to only talk about post-production, but the way I tend to photograph projects affects a lot of my post-production techniques. I’m the guy who likes to shoot as many angels as I found interesting enough to photograph, which ends up being a selection nightmare as I sit in front of the computer.
I hope everyone has been able to stay healthy through these past few months and that you’re looking forward to working again. Over the last few weeks, as restrictions have been relaxed here in Hungary, it feels wonderful to be able to get out and shoot, even if precautions and distancing have kept things a little bit different than normal.
Architectural photography started for me as a hobby, but from the very beginning of the ‘photographing my hometowns cityscape‘ stage, I called my photography Facebook page György Palkó Architectural Photographer. That name led me to my first contract. Five years and many many jobs and clients later we moved into our new home last year.
Since the beginning of my photography career, I’ve had a list of projects that I dreamed of shooting. While most of the projects were out of my reach at the time, as my career has grown, buildings on my “dream assignment” list have become more accessible — while my goal list has grown! If you are in love with photography and architecture, I think you can agree that your list of dream projects and clients will always be growing and evolving.
A new year gives us all an opportunity to rethink our processes and see if we are doing the tedious back end parts of our jobs in the most efficient way. In 2018, I started a new — and more organized — system of organizing my files, and so far it has been working out really well for me. Data storage and file handling is usually incredibly personal and changes from person to person, so just remember, there is not one single right way to do it.
In my previous article, I admitted to both using Lightroom’s HDR function and showing that it’s a viable solution for professional architectural photography. There are many benefits to post processing with this technique, because what you end up with is still a RAW file, you can play with white balance, shadows and highlights exactly like on a single capture, but with the extended dynamic range offered by a blended HDR file.
HDR has become a dirty word in professional architectural photography. We’ve all seen the over-processed HDR real estate photos where the colors and tones are off, and everything looks crispy and awful. Don’t get me wrong; tasteful HDR like the work of Trey Ratcliff as an artistic choice, now that can be cool.
There are many situations where the 24mm TS (Nikon or Canon) — our standard lens for architectural photography — isn’t quite long enough. Maybe you want to make a detailed vignette. Maybe you’d like to hide the side of a building which doesn’t look so great. You may need to do the opposite and highlight something important that requires a different focal length than 24mm.
We have arrived at my third and final image in this series, and this time, we’re photographing an interior. In the first two articles, I showed how I create twilight and daylight exterior images. To create this image, I used just a handful of techniques, such as blending different exposures, cloning, cropping and making some color adjustments.
In part two of my behind-the-scenes series in the Hungarian countryside, I’m going to jump into (ha ha…) a more complicated daylight image that I created. This image, like anything in architectural photography, contains quite a bit more than meets the eye, and utilized many different techniques to put together a visually harmonious image.
My name is György Palko, and I’m an architectural photographer based in Hungary. For my first post on APA, I’m going to share how I edited one of my favorite twilight images. To perfect this image, I used a wide range of techniques including exposure blending, color correction, cloning and sky replacement.