I have recently been hired for another architectural photography job. The brief was to shoot the brand new care home Charters Village in East Grinstead, West Sussex.
It was a perfect day for architectural photography. The sky was almost completely blue with just a few little white clouds here and there. The gardens around the various buildings were as green as they can be. I spend about 3h on location photographing the exterior and the interior. I will blog about the interior shots separately.
The aim of any architectural photography is to create maximum impact. The photos have to impressive, detailed and beautiful. It is very difficult to create professionally looking architectural photography with amateur equipment and techniques. I use very expensive special architectural photography lenses, which are ultra sharp and capture an incredible amount of detail.
I always use a technique called HDR for any sort of architectural photography. HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. Even the best cameras on the market are limited in terms of capturing sufficient detail in the shadows (black and almost black areas) and highlights (white and almost white areas). Shooting HDR means mounting the camera to a tripod (so it doesn’t move) and shooting three different exposures of the same photo using different settings. The first photo is set to ‘correctly’ expose, which means all mid tones are correct. The second photo is set to overexpose, which means capturing a lot of details in the shadows while accepting the highlights to be unusable bright. The third photo does exactly the opposite: it’s deliberately underexposed, which means capturing a lot of details in the highlights.
The post-production software I use is able to merge these three photos into one. It digitally adds the additional detail in the shadows and the highlights. This results in architectural photography of far more detail and sharpness than any other photography technique.