Architecture Photography for Editorial Use

Stock agencies will almost always ask you for a release for you images most especially when you are dealing with models and property rights. This, however , doesn’t mean your image cannot be licensed. In most cases, the jeopardy is shouldered by the publisher. But never pretend you have obtained a release when in fact you do not.

It’s always better to be safe by acquiring a release for your images, but when using them for editorial purposes, it will hardly ever have a need for one. There may be numerous stories claiming to have gone through hell and high waters with this type of problem but it is a rare scenario.

Wide angle lenses are quite pricey and a common thought among photography enthusiasts is if it is possible to photograph buildings without it. It’s always fun discovering different angles that would allow you to capture buildings and other types of structures with a telephoto lens. Distant viewpoints can give out of the ordinary perspective of a well known architectural landmark, this allows you to focus on architectural detail and patterns in a selective way.

But because buildings are tall and as well as being surrounded by other buildings, the most extreme wide angle lenses are useful for architecture than other subjects and become even more so when shooting indoors where possible viewpoints are a lot more restricted.

One particular drawback in using a wide angle for large structures is that to get the whole building’s image from top to bottom in the whole shot, you have to tilt the camera. This can cause parallel vertical lines to meet in the actual image. This type of result can be unique when it creates noticeable diagonal lines. 

When shooting from a farther distance with a longer lens can help get the whole architectural structure in your shot and you don’t have to tilt your camera as much. Another technique you can use is to look for a high vantage point such as another building from across the street will give you a better view and allow you to keep the camera at a vertical position. Furthermore, you can utilize a perspective control lens which is an expensive accessory for some DSLR cameras. This allows you to shift the camera’s lens up to be able to include the upper portion of a building without having to tilt the camera.

Converging verticals can easily be corrected by using any standard image manipulation software which is essential for every aspiring photographer. By stretching the building from the top portion will align the vertical lines. This will however make you lose some of the picture area. It’s best to study the image and imaging how you can use the software to your advantage to enhance your image while still I the scene and remember to frame the subject loosely to make sure you capture all the important elements for your final image.

The ideal equipment for architectural photography are:

  • A super wide angle zoom that can cover focal lengths effectively in the 15-30mm range. A wide angle or semi fish eye converter may also be used.

  • A standard zoom with a 35-200mm focal length can be very effective. This enables you to shoot from varying distances as well as effectively crop your images to enhance details.

  • A tripod is very important when shooting indoors but is also important for outdoors. A tripod allows you to make full use of the fixed nature of architectural structures as well as image quality ad depth of field.


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