Buildings don’t travel, which means that most people will experience any particular building only through photographs. Consequently, those who rely on photography to represent their work have a lot at stake. Each image must communicate as effectively as possible, enabling the viewer to fully appreciate whatever the photo depicts. I have learned over time that one of the best ways to get something to happen is to make it easy for people to do. It’s not that people won’t try, b
Shadow is a color as light is, but less brilliant; light and shadow are only the relation of two tones.
-Paul Cezanne In a world of shadows and highlights, the highlights seem to get the most attention. We watch highlight reels on TV, mark our documents with highlighters, and describe positive events as the highlights of our days. When it comes to photography, most of us are probably more attuned to highlights than to shadows, if for no other reason than because they are the
Context matters. Good designs can stand on their own in many ways, but buildings and spaces inevitably interact with their surroundings. Understanding context can deepen our appreciation of the design; for example, by illuminating the designer’s intentions, or revealing how a space functions. Closely related to context is juxtaposition, in which elements are placed near one another to achieve some effect. This is typically done by using contrasts of various kinds, including s
This article is the first in an occasional series about the elements of good architectural photography. It is intended for art buyers, marketing professionals, and anyone else who commissions or creates photographs of the built environment. Architectural photography is full of choices, because there is rarely just a single way to photograph a space. Becoming an informed viewer of architectural photography can help you navigate the possibilities, and obtain photographs that sa