What is Architectural Photography?
Obviously, it involves photographing of the built environment, including buildings, bridges, industrial, construction, and related structures. In fact the first photograph in history, by Niepce in the 1830s, was an architectural photo. As noted below there are several sub-genres, with subtle differences and overlaps with "Street Photography" - traditional or otherwise.
There are many ways to approach a definition of architectural photography (AP). For many, it is a profession. Practitioners earn high fees to photograph for architects, builders, and companies, to provide high quality images for sales, promotion, portfolios, company reports, architectural magazines, reviews, and other uses. For many others, it is a focus or sub-set of their artistic exploration - not necessarily working for a fee or commission.Some Notable architectural photographershttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Architectural_photographersSpecial Techniques and Rules
Architectural photographers generally follow these techniques that are not necessarily a tenet of other photography genres, but as always, there are many exceptions. Buildings do not normally move, so architectural photographers generally use tripods, longer exposures, low ISOs, supplemental lighting, HDR, and other techniques that would not work well for other genres.
- Controlled perspective: vertical lines that are non-converging (parallel) - accomplished with tilt-shift lenses or view cameras, or with post-processing.
- Lens distortion correction: barrel distortion, fish-eye and excessive wide-angle distortion are normally not the norm for AP.
- All in focus: Soft backgrounds, soft foregrounds, bokeh, are not the norm.Sub-Genres
- Urban-Country Street: As opposed to traditional street photos - these focus on the built environment and less on the people and their relation to others or their story. Photos of historic interesting store fronts, or a crumbling ghost town might fit here. Architectural photography does not necessarily include the human component or make a social comment like traditional street.
- Urban-Country Landscapes: Sweeping city and countryside views featuring the built environment - cityscapes not focusing on a single building.
- Patterns and Geometric and Abstract Design: Google "Jared Lim" or "Nick Frank".
- Real Estate: Usually fee-based, photographed for real estate agents for their listings for sale - Special constraints and rules include: high volume, quick turn-around, MLS rules preventing some PP modifications, and more to be discussed.Appropriate Topics for the Architectural Photography section
The general UHH rules apply here of course. It is appropriate here to discuss special techniques, equipment, post-processing, software, workflow, and professional strategies for architectural photography and photographers. It is appropriate here to post photos that illustrate architectural photography and its sub-genres as well as traditional street photography that the other moderators will address.
Constructive criticism is allowed if it is designed to elevate our understanding and skill related to the topic. Rather than simply reply with "I like it", "Good shot", or "I don't like it", be specific with the why and how.