I am a photographer and freelance writer living in Atlanta Georgia. My personal expertise includes photography, computers, travel, construction, and fitness. I have written over 500 articles on these and a wide variety of other subjects with word counts from 200 to over 2000. I have also written several dozen short stories. Rights available on these articles range from First Serial to Exclusive to Reprint, and I am also available for work on the assignment.
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Architectural photography is a specialty, just like portrait or landscape photography. It requires specialized equipment, experience, and mindset not necessarily used in other types of photography. This article will discuss some of the equipment and techniques used by a professional architectural photographer.
An architectural photographer will always shoot from a tripod. Sure, they may walk around and grab some shots to test the lighting and perspective, but they will always shoot finished work from a tripod. One reason is the same as any other photographer, getting a sharp image. Depending on the room, an architectural photographer may rely partly or wholly on available light. Available light will mean a slow shutter speed, which requires a tripod. But the main reason is the need to get all the lines and angles perfectly level and perpendicular. This requires being able to dial in a precise angle from which to shoot and keeping that perspective consistent.
An architectural photographer will require a particular set of lenses to capture a home correctly. A wide to medium zoom will be the primary lens in the photographer’s toolkit. In many rooms, they will need to be able to shoot as wide as possible without going to fisheye distortion. A zoom is handy to be able to crop as needed in the camera rather than doing it in post-processing.
A very specialized lens many architectural photographers use is the tilt-shift lens. This lens allows the photographer to shoot the rooms or exterior from different perspectives or angles without the converging lines typical of many shots of buildings. For instance, they can tilt the lens up to take in the entire exterior of a house without it looking as if the house is leaning back.
A well-photographed interior will be well-lit without any indication that they used extra lighting. Lights will be placed and powered to appear that all of the light is naturally occurring from windows or existing lights. In addition, the light will be balanced so that lamps aren’t overpowered and that exterior scenes through the windows are visible if that is desirable.
Anyone can walk through a house and snap pictures. But if you want images that will display your house in its best light, you need to hire a professional architectural photographer.