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.
In a previous article, I discussed five mistakes that beginner architectural photographers tend to make. Since then I thought about how I’ve obviously made mistakes since then and although they may not be relatable to beginners there are still lessons one can draw from them. In this article, I decided to discuss some of the worst mistakes I’ve made so far.
A recent article by Lexi Taciak discussed how we finally have the perfect podcast for architectural photographers, and the latest guest on the BAAM podcast was none other than APA’s founder Mike Kelley himself – and the insights he provides are invaluable.
Personally I enjoy listening to a podcast while I edit or write articles.
I can comfortably say that I’m not the most talented photographer that I know. I know plenty of photographers that are extremely talented. The kind of work they produce is simply astounding and I’m consistently impressed by them. The issue is that many of these photographers tend not to be as successful than many other photographers I know who may not be as capable.
Have you ever spent the day on location only to return home to go through the day’s work and realize that some of the images have motion blur? This is probably one of the most annoying little things you may encounter when starting to work as an architecture or interiors photographer. Frustratingly, it’s not easily detectable on the back of your camera screen unless you zoom all the way into the image, and even then can be invisible, so it’s something you need to make sure you catch while shooting tethered which isn’t always possible.
Every year now, Apple releases a new iPhone with a slightly better camera and slightly better features. From a year on year perspective, the differences aren’t significant. However, if you compare what the first few iPhone cameras were capable of versus now, the difference is huge.
Fujifilm is currently my favorite camera company within the photography industry. I find that they’re one of the very few companies that properly pushing the boundaries and delivering feature-filled cameras at very reasonable prices. The Fujifilm X-T3, for example, is incredible value for money.
I can appreciate that many of you may assume I’m simply trying to trigger photographers with this article and its “clickbait” title. That is honestly not my intention because I firmly believe in what I’m about to discuss and I’m going to explain why I think what I do.
Whenever a new camera is released with a higher resolution sensor, the common subject that tends to come up is about how we’re back to the megapixels war.
When I first started as an architectural photographer, one of the things I really struggled with was pricing. This seems to be a common thread for many creatives as it can be very difficult to objectively self-assess your talent, experience, and therefore, value. Some photographers charge less than minimum wage and others charge an absolute fortune for just an hour’s worth of work.
For me, one of the more boring and monotonous things I have to do is post production. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy producing the results, it’s just the basic things I need to do for almost every image before it’s ready to be properly edited in Photoshop that drag me down. For a lot of images I still use Lightroom and this is where I find a lot of time is being spent.
A little over a year ago Mike Kelley, the head honcho, and big cheese at AP Almanac lost against Lee Morris in an architectural photography challenge. This was a huge surprise and an upsetting result for many who are fans of Kelley. This year they decided on doing a similar contest to see who is, in fact, the best architectural photographer between the two.
Cameras like the Phase One XF system and the Hasselblad H6D offer some the largest commercially available digital sensors currently on the market. Generally speaking, larger sensors tend to offer better image quality; this isn’t explicitly true but for the most part, it’s what most people experience.
As architectural photographers, the main types of lenses we use are tilt-shift lenses. They’re simply incredible for the kind of work we do and the control they offer make them indispensable. The main issue with these lenses, however, is the fact they cost quite a lot of money especially if you’re aiming to have the full set.
Tilt-shift lenses are by far my favorite types of lenses; they offer so much versatility, especially when you’re shooting architecture… I wouldn’t shoot with any other type of lens! However, up until recently I had never actually compared the results you can produce with a dedicated tilt-shift lens vs correcting distortion from a conventional lens in post.
Although I do enjoy speaking about cameras, lenses, and technology, they don’t necessarily help with improving your photography. There are only three things that really matter in an image and they are, composition, lighting and, use of color. of the three, composition is king.
In my opinion, there is nothing more important than composition.
For architectural photography, I highly recommend you buy and use a tilt-shift lens. Personally, I prefer Canon because I firmly believe they make the best. Tilt-shift lenses are brilliant because they allow you to correct perspective; which is extremely important for the kind of work we do.
Starting a career in photography can be very challenging. I know that when I first started as an architectural photographer, I made a fair few mistakes that could have been avoided. Fortunately, those mistakes can serve as lessons for future architectural photographers.1. Shooting With the Widest Available Lens
If you’re a real-estate photographer then shooting with the widest lens ever made might work.
Architectural photography isn’t exactly the cheapest profession to get into. The amount of money that we invest in building this particular kind of business is significantly greater than many other genres of photography. Unfortunately, the current price of tilt-shift lenses doesn’t help very much in this regard.
One of the things that I’ve struggled with as an architectural photographer is managing color. This is especially true when shooting interiors because most interiors tend to have a wide range of different colors and shades. For a long time, I’ve been using the ColorChecker Passport and recently X-Rite released their new version 2; so I decided to cover this subject again.