Tutorial: Architecture Photography

Time of day

The best times of day to take photographs of buildings are the early morning and late evening, providing there is little or no cloud in the sky.

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Hofburg Vienna Sunset, You Connect member Kurt Michelitsch, Canon Digital IXUS 870 IS

The illumination from the sun is very warm, giving rise to the term ‘golden hour’. This light suits stone buildings and also concrete and glass constructions. It gives the buildings a glow that is missing in the harsh midday sun. Shooting in the early morning or late evening also means that less people are likely to be around to intrude on your compositions.

However, your schedule might not allow you photographs at these times. In this case, your Canon camera can help. Set the white balance to ‘Cloudy’; this will make the illumination in your photo appear closer to that of the golden hour. Refer to your camera manual for details of how to change white balance.

Shooting in black & white
Many buildings lend themselves to shooting in black & white. Here you can concentrate on the shapes of the structure without the distraction of colour. Modern buildings work well, especially if you shoot late in the day when the sun throws strong shadows.

If you are not sure if your photographs will look good in monochrome, take two shots, one in colour and one in black & white.

Alternatively, if you have a PowerShot G1 X, G12 or S100 try shooting your photographs as RAW image files. When you convert these on your computer using Digital Photo Professional (software provided with your camera), you will be able to create black & white images as well as colour ones.

Enter the Gallery
Now that you have learnt more about photographing architecture, pick up your camera and get shooting! Experiment with the time of day you take photos, try black & white images and seek out details in the buildings. Look through the photos you take and enter your favourite shots in the Gallery. Next month your photo could be displayed as one of the best!

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