When you’re first starting out in the industry, you have a million and two questions racing through your mind. This is great because it shows that you’re interested and looking to learn more! Most teachers will probably tell you that there are no stupid questions. In most cases, this is true — although — there are a number of reasons why certain questions should be avoided.
When it comes to geared tripod heads, the more popular options on the market are from Manfrotto. The Manfrotto 410 and 405 heads are go-to options for many architectural photographers, mostly due to them being great value for their price. Even I started with the 410 and then moved onto the 405 head, and personally love the heads I currently have.
One of the cardinal rules for architectural photography is that vertical lines must remain vertical. It’s considered bad form in many instances to photograph a building and have it look like it’s falling backwards, or heavily distorted. Unfortunately, there may be times when it just isn’t possible to achieve this in camera and some post production is required.
One of the key bits of equipment an architectural photographer is pretty much required to have, is a good geared tripod head. I would say it’s pretty difficult to photograph architecture without having one of these.
For many architectural photographers, including myself, our first geared tripod heads are probably one of the two options available from Manfrotto.
Most architectural photographers prefer to shoot while tethered to a laptop or tablet device. The main reason for this is because the screens on the backs of almost all cameras tend to be pretty poor, and pretty small. This is true even for more expensive medium format cameras; although their screens are better, they’re still not that great.
The majority of people entering the photography industry tend to ask questions mostly about gear. Questions tend to be about lenses, cameras and what they should buy first, and while the gear is important, actually learning how and what to shoot is far more important. In a video from 30X40 Design Workshop, architect Eric Reinholdt covers a number of important tips that are extremely valuable for beginner photographers.
For those of you that are just starting out in architectural photography, or thinking about joining the industry, you may have a lot of questions. Hopefully, the majority of those questions are about learning how to shoot as opposed to what to shoot with; however, the gear you use does still matter.
Many of us architectural photographers are no strangers to a good tilt-shift lens. We probably even have a favorite that we use regularly for most of our shoots. My personal favorite is the Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5 II. Although I don’t shoot with it as much as I do the 45mm, I still prefer the 24mm over the other tilt-shift lenses.
In my view, the most tedious and frustrating bit of equipment that I need to take with me to any meaningful shoot is a tripod. Most tripods are cumbersome, heavy and, unwieldy. They’re a pain to carry around and I absolutely hate them. Don’t get me wrong, I love the results I’m able to produce with a tripod, I just hate everything else about them.
Most of my reviews and articles tend to be about the “best” cameras and gear; I’m all about high-resolution and super sharp lenses. Honestly, for many of us including myself, the “best” doesn’t really matter that much anymore. In more recent times I’ve been more conscious about my expenses and as a result, the camera that keeps coming up on my radar is the Canon EOS RP.
Tripods are not the most glamorous bits of gear that many photographers own. In fact, I generally hate using a tripod. Not because it doesn’t produce the results I want, it’s just such a pain to carry around; especially the heavier ones which are also, unfortunately, the more useful ones.
For many architectural photographers, a good filter system is an absolute must. Filters offer a great deal of flexibility when it comes to exposure times and also controlling reflections; reflections are probably the most vital issue to control when photographing architecture due to their ability to make or break an image.
My guess is that almost every photographer and creative has probably come across a client that’s either tried to lowball them or just couldn’t afford them. These situations can be tough, especially if you’re just starting out in the industry. In my experience I’ve made a mess of a few negotiations but, these things come with time and experience.
In my last article, I talked about why a 150mp EOS R type camera would be incredible for architecture. I prefer high resolution cameras because as I’ve mentioned in past articles, they offer tons of flexibility when it comes to cropping and editing. In our latest video, we look at a camera that has the potential to produce images with resolutions far greater than any digital camera currently on the market.
Just in case you thought a $60,000, 150mp medium format camera was just not quite enough, Phase One Industrial just announced their latest monster system.
By combining two of their current 150mp sensors, Phase One Industrial has been able to produce what they call a “large format” aerial camera system.
As you may know, I’m not shy about megapixels. For architectural photography, I prefer more resolution over less. There are several reasons for this and it’s mostly down to flexibility; with a higher resolution camera you have more flexibility when it comes to post production, printing, cropping, and scaling.
For the first few years of my career as an architectural photographer, I swore by Adobe Lightroom. In my experience, Lightroom has been incredibly useful for going through a large batch of images, but it doesn’t quite keep up with Capture One’s refined controls, so I started looking at Capture One as an alternative.
Adobe has recently updated Lightroom and some of the new features are pretty useful.
As architectural photographers, I’m sure most of us are pretty familiar with having huge numbers of layers in Photoshop. Light painting and compositing can cost a lot of storage and many of us have become accustomed to using PSB files, especially with the advent of higher-megapixel cameras where only a few layers will put you over the size limit.
I could be wrong here, but the way I see it, the market for filming real estate and architecture is possibly more lucrative than its photographic counterpart. For this reason, I think it’s probably a good idea for us photographers to develop our skills related to filming.
Yesterday, in our interview with Art Sanchez, Art recommended learning the basics of videography to help broaden your skills as a photographer, expand the services you offer your clients, and if nothing else, to make behind-the-scenes marketing content for your own business.
In February 2015, Canon released what I think is the best architectural camera made so far. Almost 5 years on and this camera is a little long in the tooth but in my view still the best camera you can buy for this specific type of photography. I’m aware some of you may want to point out the Sony options or Fujifilm medium format cameras, but, nothing comes close to how good the Canon 5DS R is.