Before & After
What goes into a great architectural image?
The camera needs to be the perfect spot to tell the story.
Hunting down the perfect spot for the camera is one of the biggest challenges to making a compelling image.
Our eyes are designed to hone in on the exact point we’re looking at and to tune out everything else - so a room you’re standing in may not feel very cluttered as your eye jumps from interest point to interest point. But with an image, the entire image is in your eye’s interest point. So you see everything in the image all at once. Too much little clutter and your eye gets overloaded. So we simplify and remove everything from the picture that doesn't absolutely need to be there.
If you take absolutely everything out, though, you start to lose the story of the image. So once the camera’s field of view is cleared, we intentionally place each object we want in just the right way to enhance the image and make it as compelling for the eye to explore as possible.
Light and shadow are the essential tools a photographer uses to set the mood of an image. Light adds feeling - hard or soft, somber or energetic. Shadow adds depth and texture. Sometimes we wait for just the right light, sometimes we manipulate the light with settings on the camera or by adding reflectors or tools to block light. Sometimes we add light with pop from flashes or broad brushstrokes with a flashlight.
After the component image(s) are taken in the field, they are ‘developed’ in the edit - sometimes a single image captured everything and just needs a few minor tweaks - or maybe some major tweaks can bring an entirely different moon. Often multiple exposures with different lighting or different actor / object placement are merged together to create a look that’s just a little more artistic than reality, so we can enjoy a moment of awe when viewing the image. We can then slow down and really appreciate every detail.
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