Photographing Interior Architecture
|January 2, 2011||Posted by admin under Photography|
Taking photos of large or small interiors requires using a special set of rules. The lighting almost always requires some sort of flash, even if there is plenty of light inside. Fluorescent and incandescent lighting can cause unsightly discoloration in finished prints, and colored walls and ceilings will reflect their colors into the lighting causing the same thing.
The type of lens you use will also affects the look and feel of your photo. Large public buildings like churches, train stations or museums are better photographed using wide angle lenses of 35mm or less. Homes, apartments and small offices could benefit from using wide angle lenses as well, but can be shot using a 50mm lens if need be. A zoom lens with a wide range between 35-210mm will enable you to have the best of both worlds; wide angle for big spaces, telephoto capability for zeroing in on details. Whatever lens you use, vary your techniques and angle of view to help convey a sense of place and space.
Photographing Architecture: Lighting, Composition, Postproduction and Marketing Techniques
Essential for professional commercial photographers but with appeal for anyone who enjoys architectural photography, this book explains how to build better light indoors while finding the optimal positions for capturing images. Beginning with advice on understanding angles, controlling perspective, and becoming familiar with the tools necessary for capturing interiors, this guidebook then progresses onto explanations of various types of light, methods for manipulating them, and circumstances under which different lights should be utilized. Also included throughout the book are example shots of homes, businesses, and public spaces followed from start to finish, illustrating the challenges of the shoot, how these problems were solved, and any work that required editing after the shoot.
Shooting Large Interiors
Old public buildings are one of my favorite things to shoot. Though they are usually large and are better served by wide angle shooting, there are often many architectural details that define older public buildings that make them beautiful such as carvings, statuary and window and door treatments. Most later buildings, especially those built during and after the Art Deco and Modernist movement have some fine details but derive much of their beauty from the massive size and clean modern lines of their overall structure. Look for patterned tile inlays, modern wall details like wall sconces with stone inlay designs to compliment them. No matter the style, most large buildings will have a grand staircase somewhere that can be shot from different interesting angles. You will have to choose what you want to shoot and should stick to shooting features that are the most impressive and show the most character.
A flash unit is not likely to light up a huge interior. This means working with available lighting. Use tungsten film if the lighting is artificial. Otherwise, stick to ordinary daylight film since most large buildings are designed to let in lots of natural light. Look for interesting angles. Look up (or lay on the floor) and shoot an interesting ceiling. Get down low and shoot stairways so that the perspective angle is exaggerated and dramatic.
Photographing Small Interiors
This usually means shooting home interiors. Using a wide angle lens will include most of the room you are shooting and be much less limiting than shooting in large spaces. However, lighting is usually more of a challenge. Choose times to shoot when the most natural light is available. Flash can be used, but off camera flash is best. Shooting rooms in the home is best done with a combination of natural light, off camera flash and a wide angle lens.
Photographing Architecture and Interiors
Julius Shulman‘s long career photographing great architectural works with depth, passion, drama, and an instinct for the architect’s intentions has ensured his present status as one of the world’s preeminent architectural photographers. His eloquent photos interpreting the structures of Richard Neutra and other early modernists helped the viewing public to understand these revolutionary buildings, and brought prominence to modernist practitioners who might otherwise have been considered eccentric.
A Constructed View: The Architectural Photography of Julius Shulman
Excellent catalog of a great body of work
This catalog provides a history and overview of Shulman’s work, along with a nice biography of the photographer. The print quality is good, and the selection of photographs convey the breadth and nature of Shulman’s career from the 1930′s to 1980′s. As a whole, Shuman’s work illustrates how purpose so often underlies great art. In addition to the historical and catalog aspects of the book, the narrative provides some excellent instruction in architectural photography. A must for any photography library.