Quick guide: Architecture Photography

This is the 5th in a series I am trying to complete that is straight to the point settings and tips to guide you through different photography themes, subjects and styles. Today we will be talking about Architecture Photography.  

When you do get the chance to get out and shoot for yourself, you find that you are surrounded by architectural subjects. Specially if you live close to a busy downtown area or in a city with a lot of history, so there’s never any shortage of interesting buildings to shoot. You don't need expensive gear to take interesting architectural photos.

Start with these camera settings next time you are out shooting architecture subjects:

  • Exposure: Aperture Priority (A/AV
  • Focus Mode: Single or one shot
  • Shutter speed: Set by the camera
  • Aperture: f/11 or narrower
  • ISO: 100 to 200
  • Focal length: 18 to 300mm depending on your proximity to the subject
  • Drive mode: Single-shot
  • White Balance: Cloudy or Shade

Consider those additional tips when shooting architecture subjects: 

  • Look around you for a vantage point and try to capture a new perspective (avoid cliches) 
  • The best outdoor shots are during overcast days
  • Avoid reflections by using a polarizing filter or change your position to reduce the same
  • If the sky is blue and you are shooting in the shade, the best White Balance setting would be Shade. If the sky is overcast, select Cloudy WB instead
  • Be careful about tilting your camera back too far and causing distortion. The resulting is the top of the building looks narrower than the bottom. Therefore, don't crop too close and leave room to the left and right of your scene to adjust perspective in post-processing
  • Concentrate on angles, composition, and lighting
  • As for the focal length selection, your ideal setting will depend on the size of the subject and how close you are to it. If you are photographing gargoyles several stories above the ground, a long telephoto lens with 200-300 mm is a must. On the other hand, if you are shooting doorways, you will need a wide angle of 18mm or wider
  • In post-processing, increase clarity and sharpness to show architectural details