A year after transitioning from architecture to architectural photography full-time, I wanted to share some initial thoughts comparing and contrasting the two professions. Hopefully, this will resonate with others who have, or are considering, making a similar sort of career transition.
Tilt-shift lenses are great. However, getting two or three of them at the same time comes at a high price.This post summarizes my experience with Canon extenders and tilt-shift lenses, their performance (a 2x on a 24mm tilt-shift, you say?) and why using them has been crucial in developing my personal vision and deciding which lens to acquire next.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
At the start of 2019, one of my goals was to understand the nuances of architecture. More specifically, to understand the social issues around architecture in the urban environment. As a photographer who has been photographing architecture and interiors for a few years, I have been absorbed by the prettiness of my chosen discipline yet unaware of the social implications of architecture.
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.
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.
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.
It’s 2019, y’all. There is no excuse for not knowing how to use the pen tool in Photoshop. It’s an absolutely essential part of any retouching workflow for architecture photographers and I still know lots of people who struggle with it, even though it’s as easy as pie. If you haven’t mastered it already, I’m going to show you how you can learn it inside and out in one hour or less.
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.
Every single photographer has rescheduled a shoot due to weather – that’s just a universal truth in this profession. But I don’t think you should reschedule when bad weather is predicted – I think you should embrace it and accept whatever comes your way to create more interesting photographs.
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.