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.
Instagram can be an incredibly powerful tool, but also a very annoying, almost disheartening thorn in your side. While it has great promotional value, the flipside is that it is rife with image theft, copyright infringement, enough vagaries to make your head spin, and the unavoidable irritation that comes with constantly comparing yourself to others.
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.
When it comes to negotiations, as a photographer (or any freelance artist, for that matter) you’ve got to master the art of not being emotionally invested in the outcome – something that is nearly impossible to do. But without it, you’ll never be able to break free of difficult clients and underpaid gigs.
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.
D Asks: How does one find out exactly who owns / manages a building? Ask your client if they know, or know someone who knows. Failing that, walk inside and speak to whoever is at the front desk. Make up a good story, or tell the truth, depending on the neighborhood you’re in, and get a business card of someone you can contact.
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.
Any photographer who has tried to take pictures in any moderately urban environment is familiar: the security guard, keeping us safe from the “terrorists” with cameras, protecting the interests of “the man” from purported “liabilities,” and whatever other nonsense boogeyman they’ve dreamt up that doesn’t exist.
R asks: When trying to expand and grow your network and brand as a photographer, do you think “mailers” with a small handwritten note can work or what do you suggest to getting more clients to work with you?
In the past I think this worked, today, not so much. An email introduction done right and not done creepily is all you need.
Getting paid to travel is simultaneously the single most amazing thing and single most overrated thing about being a working photographer. On one hand – exposure to new cultures, places, food, languages, and photo subjects is incredible. On the other hand, when it goes wrong, it can go very, very, wrong and make you question why you even bothered saying yes to the job in the first place.
Over the past few weeks, APA has…grown…a little bit, into something I’m beginning to feel slightly proud of. In the background, I’ve gotten many questions about architectural photography from our small but fiercely interested reader base. Rather than let these questions slowly fall into the fires of Mount Doom, ah, I meant page two of our gmail account, I thought it would be great to begin to publicly answer them.
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.