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My first Architectural attempt

Discussion in 'Landscapes, Architecture, and Cityscapes' started by Broyer, Mar 26, 2007.

  1. Broyer


    Apr 26, 2006
    North Carolina
    I would appreciate any advice or criticisms on these. I'm planning to go back a little later in the day and redo one room that just had way too much range for me to get and I'd like to get an outside shot at dusk, with the lights on. It was a great experience.

    I usually do weddings and corporate portraits. A good friend of mine who is building a marketing relationship with a builder asked me to help him out.

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    View attachment 87109
  2. Scotty_R


    Jan 1, 2006

    The most important thing about architectural shots is that lines have to be straight. Wall edges/corners that are akimbo to a door frame, cabinets that are out of alignment with the entryway to the kitchen, one corner of the house that is not parallel to the edge of the image frame all spoil the shot because our eyes don't see the scene the same way that the camera lens sees the scene. Perspective control is very important and PC lenses are a huge help, but expensive! There is an application that will handle the perspective issues automatically--DoX Optics (http://www.dxo.com/intl/photo)--but you can use the transformation tools in PS as well if you have the patience and a good eye and aren't challenged by spacial relationships like some of us are.:wink:

    On sunny days when you have some blue sky in the scene, try using a polarizing filter to give your image some punch and contrast.

    Just some quick thoughts...you've done a good job here with your layout and your interior images are well exposed with lighting that is very nice and even from edge to edge. If you can, remove left over building materials from the scene (8x4 sheet of plywood acting as a door mat in the last image).
  3. Excellent advice to which I'd add a couple of suggestions. In the second one, it looks as though there should be a left side to the house, but there isn't. I think I'd try an angle where at least a small bit of that side shows. In the last, the overall lighting is good, but the lamps tend to stand out and draw my attention from the structural considerations. I think I'd tone down the brightness of the lamps in PP (just a few percent makes a significant difference)
  4. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Tim :

    Some nice work here. You have an eye for the lines of a property, and you landed solid photos for the builder.

    I'll echo several remarks on this, and add a couple of others.

    A CP is pretty much essential for shooting with those clouds and sky. You can produce the same effects in PS, but why add work ? A sharpish blue sky and crisp clouds adds a lot to the photo. Try shooting with the CP, and take several shots rotating the CP a bit between shots, and you'll likely get a balance that you like.

    Shooting interiors where you have really bright exterior light through windows or skylights is tough. You can have dark interiors or blow the windows or get flaring on interior lights. The pros who do this all of the time bring along several pieces of white semi-sheer cloth they can hang over the windows on the outside, several because they may have more than one window, and they also usually have differing thicknesses for their needs. The alternative is to shoot two photographs, one exposed for the window view (if the view is at all interesting or won't detract from the interior view), another exposed for the interior, and then juxtapose the relevant parts in PS.

    Hanging cloth over the exterior of the windows, BTW, only works when the window is at an angle to the camera; for direct window views, it just looks plain goofy.

    Yup, pull those lights down in PP, if you can. Pros come in with several lights and/or flashes to shoot in a manner where they don't have massively flared light fixtures or splashes.

    If you're going to do this a lot, aside from the usual accoutrements of the photography trade, get a three step height step-ladder, and a gardener's rubber ground pad.

    The ladder will let you re-position yourself upwards when you need more height for perspective reasons, or to land a superior composition. Make sure that the ladder has clean rubber feet to avoid floor damage. That size of ladder's about as big as you want to go - it fits into a trunk easily, and it's not a problem to bring to a site.

    The gardener's rubber ground pad will let you kneel/crouch/lie down on the floor or on the ground outside when you need a lower perspective, or where you're shooting with a WA and want to get "near-far" composition. It also keeps your knees intact, and avoids you getting dirt and mud all over you unnecessarily.

    And as for Perspective Control (PC) lenses, I love them to death, but know that you have to shoot manually with almost all of these, need to very carefully set up using a tripod for such shots, and that the widest PC lens available for the Nikon line is a mount-converted Zuiko 24mm f/3.5 (there's a Canon 24mm T/S, but I understand the mount conversion's a bear, and thus it's quite rare). 24mm may not be quite enough WA for your needs, and you still have to shoot all manually that lens.

    I hope that this helps. For some odd reason, you might think that I've done a few of these shoots, eh ? :rolleyes:  :wink:

    John P.

    P.S. BTW, the term "pros" above is loosely offered. There are "pros" who don't do any of this, and don't have any eye for building details and architecture, both of which skills you demonstrated. :biggrin:
  5. Broyer


    Apr 26, 2006
    North Carolina
    Wow, great replies everyone and I will certainly take it all into consideration. As I was driving home from the shoot, I remembered the CP and mentally kicked myself in the arse for it.

    I did bring a ladder for the outside shots but it was two big to use inside. I have a two step ladder I use for location portraits that I should have brought. I shot most of the interiors with an sb-800 fired into a white brolly with black background via PW's. I also agree about turning some of the lights down or off and supplement with off camera flash instead. I'm assuming you mean dodging the lights in PS?

    I thought about covering some of the windows and actually did cover one with my lastolite. Covering them as you mentioned would add considerable time to the shoot. Perhaps a bigger client would justify the added expense of covering windows. What about third story windows?

    I did do a couple shots where I exposed for the windows and then the room. I find the photoshop portion of that exercise a little tricky.

    I don't see myself buying a PC lens unless this area of business takes off but I am looking at the DXO software much closer now.


    It's actually a shower rug and not a piece of wood. I had to go back and look at the original again. Either way, I agree it should have been removed. Hindsight is 20/20...

    Thanks all!
  6. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Tim :

    Ah, that's when you really get to test your ingenuity, lad ! :rolleyes:  :wink:

    Seriously, though, there are significant limits to what one can do. I photographed a spiral staircase sometime back, and the lights, the windows, the angles to capture a ceiling as well as the wood of the stairs were all such that I couldn't achieve all of the goals at the same time. I ended up digitally stitching the image, PPing the daylights out of it, but I was never wholly pleased with the result.


    But going through the process of masking the windows in PS, re-working the outside images (which were truly unattractive), managing the blown areas of the stair where very harsh New Mexico sunlight was blasting in, still getting the reflection light on the glazed plaster finish, etc., all within really significant time limits (I had five minutes to shoot all of this, limiting the opportunity to get a range of images to re-work, and, as it happened, the images were needed that day)... Well, it just didn't play out as I wanted, although the client was well enough pleased.

    This kind of shooting is unforgiving on a lot of levels, and that's one reason why I decided not to pursue it as a very regular aspect of my photography.

    John P.
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