Concentrating on Structural Elements in Architectural Photography

Golden roof above the Albertina protruding into a blue sky on Summer's evening in Vienna, AustriaCanon 5D Mark II camera and Canon 24-105mm f4 IS L series lens @ 40mm. Exposure Details: 1/20 second @ f4.Here's a simple image of a striking architectural element on a Summer's evening in Vienna, Austria. So how do you photograph it? Here's a simple recipe for how I went about making the photo.

Determine what specific element within the overall structure drew your attention and caused you to decide to photograph it.

In this case its clearly the golden roof, protruding outwards against the blue sky at dusk. Its then simply a matter of positioning yourself in such a way to emphasize that feature. In this case I photographed from below and at an angle so as to highlight the 3-dimensional aspects of the structure. Notice how the roughly equal space above and to the left of the structure helps to frame it. You'll likely also notice a similar thing happening with the sky surrounding it from the top right and bottom left.

The blue sky really made this image possible. The color contrast between the golden roof and the blue sky really helped define the shape and 3-dimensional nature of the roof. 

Its important to set your exposure so that diffuse highlights are not blown out. That simply means that color and texture are retained in important highlight areas, such as the right and underside of the roof. If I'd allowed those areas to burn out they would have created distractions and a certain disquiet within the image. And that would have been the opposite to what I was trying to achieve.

Hopefully you'll be able to incorporate some of these fundamental considerations into your own photography. 

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Glenn Guy, Travel Photography Guru