Archive for November, 2012

Given the fact that buildings are static and therefore relatively easy to photograph, I’ve always wondered why architecture is an often overlooked photographic subject.

It could be that many people shoot buildings square on, which sometimes produces flat and uninteresting photos. Or maybe a famous landmark has been photographed so many times, with the exact same composition, that a photographer figures “Why bother?” and walks on by.

Whatever the reason, following a few basic tips should help you shoot architecture in a more interesting way.

Perspective Compression

When photographing a group of buildings, zoom in with a telephoto lens and try to get as many of them in the composition as you can. This will create an effect in which the buildings will appear to be stacked against one another.


Converging Verticals

When shooting a tall building, get up close and shoot upward with a wide-angle lens to give the appearance of the walls leaning inward. The lower and closer the camera is to the building, the more exaggerated the walls will appear.


Vert Converge


Modern architecture can be a good source of patterns. A repetition of lines, textures or shapes can be used to create eye-catching abstract images. Using a zoom lens will make it easier to isolate unique patterns and eliminate unwanted elements from the picture.

Weave Lomo


Including a person or a group of people in a photo can often better illustrate a building’s size. It is important, however, that the person/people not compete visually with the architecture. Ideally, they should be located at the bottom or bottom corner of a photograph and should not be wearing brightly colored clothing.


When photographing architecture, oftentimes a story can be told by focusing on the details of a structure as opposed to its entirety. Looking for pieces of a building that would reveal its character is often more successful than using the building as a whole, especially with old architecture.

Framed, matted, mounted, canvas and photographic art available for sale.

© Artkitecture 2012. All rights reserved


The Creative Impulse

cre·ate (verb) to evolve from one’s own thought or imagination, as a work of art or an invention.

Working in the architectural field for the past 16 years has been quite a journey, from working late nights to meet deadlines to seeing for the first time your work built and occupied by people. I have always fashioned myself as a creative person and it is one of the main reasons why I chose this profession. However, as the years have passed, I have found that the time spent on the creative aspect of the business has slowly been replaced with budget spreadsheets, scheduling charts and uninspiring, cookie-cutter projects. All in the name of “putting food on the table”.

But just like other creative people out there working 9-5 jobs but creating in their off-time, I needed an outlet. That’s when I discovered photography. A funny thing happened though, I found myself mostly photographing architecture… talk about ‘coming full circle’.

Living in Canada, I was limited to photographing domestic architecture as I haven’t had much opportunity to travel in recent years. The muted colours of most of our buildings along with the un-cooperative weather at times resulted in many of my photos lacking vivid, punchy colours. Through experimentation with photo editing, I discovered pops of colour could easily be added to my photographs, but more interestingly, ‘what-if’ scenarios could be also be explored visually.

Questions like “What if the glass atrium was lit up turquoise blue at night?”

It might look like this:

Museum of Nature in Ottawa

Or “What if the ROM had wavy window frames to offset the straight lines of the white cladding?” It might look like this:

Toronto ROM

All of a sudden architecture was exciting again, somewhat like playtime is for a child. At the very least, this new-found discovery would provide the creative outlet I was longing for… at most it would help spark conversation and engage others about what could be possible in our cities heading into future.

This creative journey is just beginning for me and my hope is many of you out there will join me or even perhaps start your own journey into this fascinating world.

Happy Travels!

Framed, matted, mounted, canvas and photographic art available for sale.
© Artkitecture 2012. All rights reserved